Press releases are where marketing and journalism collide. In the right hands, a press release is a valuable tool to market and promote a business. In the wrong hands, press releases can actually turn off prospective customers, not to mention annoying people trying to do honest research.
The internet is one of the most valuable tools ever available to marketers, and that’s why it’s our responsibility to preserve the integrity of the information found here. So before you publish that latest press release, ask yourself a few questions.
1. Is it newsworthy? To people not in your marketing department?
People on the internet tend to be very good at looking for exactly what they want. If they want a sale, they’ll check the shopping-related sources. If they want news, they’ll check the news sources.
When they look for news and find a sale, they get annoyed. If later they decide to buy the product or service you are marketing, they’ll remember, and they just may decide to go with any company except yours.
2. Is it topical? The whole thing? Every word?
So a celebrity was seen using your product. That’s fantastic! Can you write 400-500 words about just that, or at least tie it back in to other celebrities who’ve used your product, or celebrity buying trends in general?
If so, go ahead and send that press release. If your plan is to write 150 words about the celebrity sighting and 350 about how amazing your product is, wave off. The sources you want your press release published in won’t touch these kinds of articles, and the outlets that do pick them up tend to be the kind that Google hates: thinly veiled excuses for spammy advertising.
3. When is the last time you sent out a press release?
When talking about best practices for marketing press release frequency, Disney seems like an obvious choice for maximum density. They are a media company with their hands in movies, television, theme parks, merchandising – you name it, Disney probably does it.
In a big news quarter, Disney sends out about 3 press releases a month. During more average quarters, the numbers is closer to two. That’s for a huge multinational corporation. For the rest of us, once a month is an ambitious goal, and once a quarter is probably more realistic.
Give the public some credit
Consumers know the difference between a newsworthy story and thinly veiled advertising. If they think you don’t, you lose their respect, along with any potential to gain their business. Incorporating press releases as part of a comprehensive marketing plan is just good sense, but relying on them to boost your traffic and SEO is dangerous, and could end up costing you.
SEO Advantage, Inc. is a full-service web marketing and search engine optimization company helping businesses of all sizes from a wide variety of industries grow rankings, visitors and revenue.