The Value Of A Good Press Release
In recent months, I’ve noticed more and more talk in online marketing forums about the decrease in usefulness of press releases.
Common critisizms are that it’s inefficient and used too often, causing readers to switch off. While I value differing opinions, I must have you know that I beg to differ. People say familiarity breeds contempt, but I say, “Press Releases: Tried and true”. Here are some reasons why press releases are amazing tools, and how you can get them to work for you.
All businesses can benefit from press releases, regardless of industry or size. Whether you are promoting your blog, a product or a service, highlighting awards and advancements, or just disseminating information, press releases can get your brand name out there in front of thousands of interested visitors. Keep in mind that press releases can also be powerful tools in attracting investors – they keep up with the news, too.
Boost Company Visibility, Increase Viewership
One of the best reasons press releases have and should become a must in a marketing strategy is because it works well in print and on a screen. When utilized properly, it gives a company the power to garner great exposure, increase viewership and send traffic their way. Statistics show that about 68 million American adults get online everyday. Internationally, about 30 million users go to Yahoo! and Google in a month. All of these people are searching, with 30% of them on a mission to find something, and 27% to get relevant and local news. To top this off, thousands of people read the papers (remember, this is both on and offline), and this goes on to increase your potential viewership amount exponentially- you can imagine what a press release could do for you with numbers that large.
Optimized SEO and Targeted Traffic
Targeted traffic is the life source of many internet businesses, and it is essential that we know the fantastic things SEO can do when it is teamed with the word ‘viewership’. Think of the amount of furious mouse clicks and eager, impatient eyes your sites can potentially get. By embedding links into your press releases, you gain quality back-links, enticing visitors to come to your website.
Newsworthiness, Five W’s, and one H
Research has sadly confirmed the decreasing attention span of humans, and that editors take no more than 7 mere seconds to read the headlines and first paragraph of a press release before deciding if it’s newsworthy. It is therefore critical to keep five W’s and one H in mind when drafting a release: Who, what, where, when, why and how.
What do you have to offer that is worth being mentioned? Why will it benefit people’s lives and businesses, and how? When will it be available? Last but definitely not least, it is extremely important to know who your audience is. It is always better to have a well-researched and defined audience, than an endless list of non-relevant contacts. Once all of that that is sorted, you’re on your way to a fool-proof call to action.
Convinced? As much as I’m sure you’re are a capable, engaging writer, here are some handy tips you might want to keep in mind while creating a punchy press release:
Less is more: Be clear and concise. Proof-read, and leave the poetries of praise and disbelief for the novels. People want information, and they want it quick. Stick to the facts, be bold and unafraid of bragging, provided it’s brief and straight to the point. Anything longer than a page and your press release will be on a one way ticket to the editor’s filing cabinet. Keep the objectives you want to achieve clear- will this be just a dissemination of information, or are you looking to increase your sales? The tone you set will determine the readers’ reactions – choose wisely.
Be Contactable, and fast: Provide conveniently listed contact information. List addresses and phone numbers. Make sure they work. Answer your calls and reply to your emails. If your readers are kind enough to send you an inquiry, be efficient enough to send back a response the very same day. We’ve all heard horror stories about bad customer service; don’t add a chapter to that book.
Last but not least, if you don’t get the coverage you want immediately or the editor wasn’t having a good day, don’t get too disheartened. It may take some time, but hey, the best things come to those who wait. If your budget and marketing plans permit, persist and keep sending them in regularly until you get the coverage you want.
Are press releases part of your marketing strategy?