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Press Release As An Effective Marketing Tool

Nov 11, 2007
Press releases have become a marketing tool for communicating directly with consumers, as news websites, among which Google news and Yahoo news are quite prominent, have caused the syndication of news to become much simpler and more prevalent. These sites carry huge amounts of content in terms of press releases, many of which have been syndicated through RSS. This is a definite departure from the times when press releases were meant for communication between the media and public relations firms or the company's own public relations staff.

In today's times, when some of the press releases distributed online gain as many as five hundred links from unique domain names, it is important to have the releases optimized for the various search engines. The syndication of the press releases allows these to attract more of incoming links. These can then help distribute content to consumers and the media in an effective and efficient way.

The news search engines can access the news content more easily by making use of wire services such as Market Wire, Business Wire, PR Web and PR Newswire. These services are quite progressive.

It has been reported that nearly 50% of all the people who use the Internet tend to access a news website, per month. Even as Yahoo News is reportedly the leading news website, other such sites that are quite popular include CNN, the New York Times and MSNBC, etc.

Marketers in many companies have still not realized the kind of opportunity offered by press releases in terms of being a tool for marketing and, therefore, the importance of ensuring that these get as much exposure as possible. Some pointers towards making this happen are as follows:

1. Since substantial results are unlikely to be attained through news that is boring, even if it is optimized quite well, it is important to announce something that is newsworthy. Also, the message might get diluted if the keywords being focused upon are too many and the information being provided is too much. So, the topic should be as specific as possible.

2. The phrases containing the most significant keywords should occur first and near the upper end of the document. Similarly, all principles for optimizing a web page should be applied while creating a press release.

3. A news release should be mixed up and full advantage should be taken if there are multiple angles to it. This can be particularly useful for avoiding the story being filtered out by news search engines, when submitted through many wire services, and hence being treated as duplicate submissions. It is always better to use a wire service such as PR Newswire, PR Web and Business Wire, to distribute the release.

4. Consultations, white paper downloads, email newsletters, free trials, reports, special offers, webinars, podcasts and other such action opportunities should be offered, especially when releases are meant directly for consumers. Something more than a mere news announcement is required, for a reason to click through to be provided to the readers.

5. For visitors to the press release to be converted to prospects, a landing page has to be created. In accordance with the desired outcome, in terms of the visitor's progress along the various stages of the sales-cycle, the destination of the link on the press release can be designed. This has to be provided along with links, in the press release, to other useful resources.

6. A summary that is fairly concise should be emailed to media contacts, along with the release itself, after compiling a list of all such suitable contacts. Indicating familiarity with the work of a writer, and sending ideas and suggestions, in the form of relevant releases, for news-stories, can be a plus, definitely. This is especially so, if an exclusive is offered.

7. Bloggers, who generally write about the topic in question, are likely to include a summary of the release in their blog posts, along with some of their own comments, if it is pre-written and provided to them. Some of them might actually copy and paste it as it is. Therefore, it is important to carry out some research and compile a list of such bloggers in advance.

8. The company's media room should be blog-enabled and a copy of the release should be posted there. All releases should be searchable there and archived chronologically, as well. An RSS feed should also be available for those who might be interested.
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