I am asked regularly “What are other companies doing that’s working?” One best practice I’m seeing is the regimen of regular press releases and online distribution.
For a very impressive treatment of how powerful this strategy can be, pick up a copy of The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott and read pp 20 -22 on how The Concrete Network does press releases.
Now here are a number of tips from me on how to make the most of press releases and online distribution of the releases.
Schedule one a month. That’s at a minimum. If you have an opportunity to showcase additional news about your company, there’s no reason not to take advantage of it. The subject matter could include new customer you’ve won, certifications earned, awards won, upcoming presentations, promotions, new product releases. If you still need help, read Dave Manzer’s 5 Common Myths Businesses Have About PR. Then go back to The New Rules and read pp 218-219.
Think of it as a monthly update to the “News” section of your website. The upside is that the spider and search bots love fresh content. The other consideration is the impression a visitor to your website leaves with when the most recent content in your News section is from 2008. You built it, it’s in your best interest to fill it.
When writing your press releases, be mindful of keywords but don’t overdo. Yes, it’s an excellent way of connecting your company name with important keywords – but don’t impair the readability of the news with over-zealous keyword stuffing (which may also get you into trouble).
If your news is really pertinent and unique to your niche, it is worth the time and effort to work one on one with the editors and writers covering that beat. However, if you are one of a hundred businesses being ranked in someone’s Top 100, that’s probably not a stand out story. You need to work your press relationships carefully which I’ve written about here.
Do make an investment in online distribution services. This is important in that it allows you to bypass traditional media and go straight to the reader (this is talked about in The New Rules).
Recently, I used an online distribution service for a press release on an upcoming speaking engagement. The last time I checked, it had been picked up by 1,491 online sites. While all of these sites may not be where my target audience goes to read their news, some are – and I wouldn’t be mentioned on the site if not for the press release.
The press release included a link back to my website as well as to the conference registration site. I see significant peaks in hits to my website for about 48 – 72 hours following the online distribution of a press release.
Having lots of controlled content (like a press release) show up when a Google search is done on your company name, is a good thing. It means that if a prospective buyer searches on you they will find a lot of information written by you. Do a quick Google search on your company name and see what comes up. Do a quick Google search on Dawn Westerberg and see what comes up.
Remember, aim for one a month. The release should cover the traditional Who, What, Where, Why and How questions. You should target roughly 400 words. Get help if you need it. I can help you. Dave Manzer can help you. But commit to the regimen and watch your exposure grow.
Earlier entries in this series:
Please share your experience, tips and perspectives on press releases in the comments section.