Traditional media is changing more right now and in the past two or three years than the last thirty years. Most newspapers are laying off staff and some are going out of business. Newspaper ad revenues are on a multi-year downward spiral.
Regardless, traditional media is certainly not dead yet. In fact, in spite of the ongoing implosion of newspapers and traditional media, the reality is, the big names aren’t all going away, but the way they communicate to readers is changing. And the most obvious point is the news is moving online.
So, what about press releases? That old stalwart for getting new info about your company’s products and services promulgated to the world (or not)?
Online Press Releases
Like everything else, press releases have moved online.
However, there is a big difference comparing press releases of today, to press releases of olden times when citizens used to read physical newspapers.
Number one (good news and bad news): you don’t have to beg and plead to get your press releases printed. In fact, not only can you be assured that your press releases will be utilized, you can even know they will be distributed as you have written them (however, you do need to adhere to the publisher’s editorial standards). This is in contrast to traditional press releases which may very well be significantly edited prior to publication. However, for those with any experience in submitting press releases to newspapers, the reality is most press releases do “not” get printed.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the advantages of online press releases come at a cost. Well, in fact, that is the bad news: cost.
Traditional press releases were printed at no cost as an aspect of editorial content. Today, press releases can definitely get distribution, and you can control what is written, but in reality, online press releases have morphed into another paid lead generation, publicity and marketing service.
But who the heck reads online press releases?
Ahhh, well that’s a good question. They do get picked up by bloggers and other distribution services and there are plenty of individual companies and readers around the world who monitor the Internet for the latest news that includes keywords related to their area of interest. Of course, there’s also the potential that a traditional news outlet will pick up your online press release and publish it, as well.
All of those are good opportunities for getting your message across. But it’s worth emphasizing that bloggers, particularly those that have a following, are often monitoring keywords related to your industry. If even one important blogger picks up your story, it can receive broad propagation directly within the industry you are targeting. (This point is so valuable, that it’s common for public relation firms to target industry-specific blogs with their press releases).
Regardless, if you are primarily interested in traffic generation, the most useful answer can be determined by actually testing out a press release campaign and measuring what kind of traffic is generated. The numbers after-the-fact will reflect the real news for your story.
But, even the test of traffic generation is not the only interesting news here.
Backlinks from Press Releases
There is one more important feature that is more compelling for search engine optimizers: Press releases not only get your message out further than the reach of your own subscribers or RSS, they also establish more backlinks to your website, even if it’s just from the company hosting your release. (However, this is an important enough feature that you should confirm that your press release service does indeed provide this service).
Of course if your press release is legitimately newsworthy, is well written, tells a good story, and is compelling enough that others want to share it, then you may receive an avalanche of backlinks from all manner of readers and websites around the globe.
Press releases are another part of the online marketing and publicity world whereby good copywriting skills are the determining factor on how much mileage you’ll get out of each release.
Which company should you use?
Click the following link for the Top 10 Press Release Distribution Companies.