PR 101 Part 1 – Why Press Releases?

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There are at least 3 great reasons for writing, distributing and adding press releases to your web site.

  1. For publication:  your press release is picked up and published by a news outlet.
  2. For SEO:  adding new content in the form of press releases to your web site provides extra Google juice.
  3. For putting your company in a positive light when visitors (prospective customers) find your web site (in another blog post I told the horror story of the business whose most recent “news” item was from 2008!)

A press release documents a newsworthy event that is happening at your business.  That event could be the release of a new product, the invitation to speak at a conference, the acquisition of a key account, receiving an award or special designation, the hiring or promotion of a key player within your organization, the contribution of the company to the community, or special educational, presentation events to name just a few.

Put yourself in the position of a visitor to your web site.  If they click on your news section what are they going to see?  If they see a listing of news items that are frequent and meaningful, it indicates that they are visiting the site of a vital, dynamic company.  If they visit and see sporadic and outdated information – it raises questions and puts your company in an unfavorable light.

Part of your annual marketing planning should be to map out regular press releases.  I would aim for monthly press releases – however, depending on the seasonality of the news, you may have 2 press releases one month and none another month.  But you should have about 12 in total.

Once you’ve written your press releases, you can add them to the news section of your website and distribute them to news organizations.  There are many free online press release sites.  You’ll also want to develop a list (a target audience) of editors, writers and bloggers who cover your industry.  (We’ll cover media relations in a future post.) You’ll want to email your news release to this group directly, along with a quick note regarding why you believe it would be of interest to their readers.

As the months go by, your library of press releases will develop into a nice repository of your company milestones.

Additional resources:

Tips, Guidelines and Templates for Writing an Effective Press Release http://is.gd/bq3J5

50 Free Press Release Submission Sites http://is.gd/bq3YI

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