While press releases have been around since the Model A, there’s a quicker, smarter way to get your message to the masses while increasing your web traffic and social engagement through a little something people in the know call “the interwebs.”
The traditional way involved a sizable company submitting a perfectly crafted release into the hands of editors who may or may not decide to run it in whatever newspaper space was available. Even when it was accepted, the results (which often couldn’t be tracked) usually didn’t outweigh the cost.
Mercifully, the times have changed and small-and-medium sized businesses can reap the reward of the shifting digital landscape.
It’s the Sour and the Sweet
Online press releases can be likened to this quote from Vanilla Sky:
“You can do whatever you want with your life, but one day you’ll know what love truly is. It’s the sour and the sweet. And I know sour, which allows me to appreciate the sweet.”
While the advantages considerably outweigh the negatives, the electronic distribution model isn’t perfect. For one, there is the chance that the decision maker in the market you’re targeting prefers to get news the traditional way. In addition, it’s possible for online releases to be “over-optimized” and focused more on increasing inbound links and keyword rankings to the point where the true meaning and impact of the message within the release itself is lost as a result of bloated SEO.
It’s a delicate balance of being just technical enough to reap true rewards without sounding ‘stuffy or pedantic,’ as an English professor of mine once said.
We’re no strangers to meeting in the middle of the online Yin and Yang. We’ve found that the new way of distributing releases allows companies to:
- Integrate with social media and strategy. This can result in enhanced engagement through shares, likes, comments, views, etc., and more exposure with digital word of mouth.
- Enhance branding prominence. Online PRs allow for logos, images and even videos that can go viral to familiarize strangers to your company. It’s like a smorgasbord of multimedia.
- Pick when and who receives the release. Online releases can be scheduled to launch whenever you want. We’ve found that readership is highest on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. And, you can select journalists within specific industries to receive it.
Most importantly, the results can be tracked. There’s no hiding how impactful (or not) the release actually is. Sign-ups, purchases and website traffic can all be measured to see the ROI.