My approach to press releases is different than traditional PR. Most of the press releases I write are less about getting press coverage for my news, and more about getting quality backlinks to my site. However, it is possible to do both. It starts with a good story and added to that, online distribution.
Many people believe its enough to blog about their news. For some high traffic blogs (thought leaders) this might be true. For most blogs there isnt the distribution. You want to reach outside of your community for greater exposure.
Heres an IM conversation I had recently about the importance of press release distribution:
Clogon: i guess i just put my “press releases” in the form of blog posts
Me: yes and your reach is pretty limited compared to a distribution site that sends it to thousands of people
Clogon: so which one do you prefer at this point – prweb.com or are there better ones?
Me: even our hero [name deleted] said the pr is what killed it the last time I worked with him
on a contest
prweb is still the best
tell me you can get that kind of reach for free
not going to happen
even if you blog you should be sending out press releases
it doesn’t need to be either/or
What should you write about?
This is easy if you have news to announce like a new product. If you dont have any news of your own to announce, look at the news going on in your industry right now. Then give your opinion or slant on it.
One of the best ways to increase visibility is to tie into a trend. Right now a trend thats hot is the economy and how its affecting your business, customers or community. Anything that has a green benefit (as in saves the environment) is popular. For example, colleges are trying to save money by cutting down on the number of commencement ceremonies. What is happening in your industry?
I look at press releases as feature stories more than hard news stories. That way journalists or bloggers have a ready-made story to work from and a good angle. Were either lazy or were overworked and giving us a good storyline is helpful. We can add our opinion and input and its good to go. So give us a good story and make sure it’s not boring or bragging. That’s the fastest way to turn off a writer.
A good story will get you links – sometimes not to the press release itself – but they see the story and link to the domain.
Want more information about press releases? Read my Book.
My book, I Want a Killer Press Release, Now What?!? A Guide to Online PR goes over more ways to increase your exposure online. Its in pre-order both in paperback and as an ebook. I wrote it after years of writing press releases and seeing what works. Also as a resource for people who want to write and distribute stories themselves. I also charge a fee to review and improve press releases that are already written. It’s my favorite thing to do.
FREE OFFER: I’m looking for before/after examples of press releases so I have a special offer. I will review and improve your press release free. Just be one of the first 10 people who make a comment on my blog www.OnlinePRBook.com or become a fan of the online PR book on Facebook.
By entering you give me permission to use your name in blog posts and promotional materials. Email me when you’ve done this. If you’re one of the first 10 then I’ll ask you to send the press release to grocerybike @ gmail .com
No matter what your budget writing and distributing news online monthly or quarterly is a great way to build links and get traffic to your site.