The press release is a powerful marketing and PR tool. It’s a time honored tool, too. Used correctly, it can help you create a powerful reputation for your company, increase your dominance of the Search Engine Results Page, and even attract the attention of reporters and bloggers who might be interested in hearing more of what you might have to say.
However, if you use press releases incorrectly you run the risk of making your company look foolish and dishonest. Like any bad move, this can impact your overall reputation.
How do companies misuse press releases? First and foremost, they issue releases for things that aren’t newsworthy.
A press release is not an advertisement dressed up as news. It’s news, and that’s all it is. It’s a way to let news outlets know that there’s news to share. Thanks to Google you can use them as a legitimate way to offer up the news yourself to readers who might have a direct look at it. PR Wire, after all, shows up in Google news results.
But if your release says, “ABC Company Launches New Website” the website better offer something awesome to the customer. It had better not be the same old corporate website that tries to sell customers on your products. Instead, it had best be a great new tool or app that makes customer’s lives easier.
Sometimes it can be difficult for companies to use press releases in a legitimate manor because they simply don’t do much that is newsworthy. They go through their day-to-day work. Perhaps they do a good job, perhaps they don’t, but they aren’t doing anything exciting.
If this is you then you need to rethink how you might approach this powerful tool. There are legitimate ways to create some news that will be helpful to your company.
Is there a local athlete you can sponsor, even if you’re simply offering a discount sponsorship? That’s news. Is there a local charity you can support or a local event you can create or attend? All of this is news, too. In other words, you’ve got to think about how you can get out from behind your four walls to start contributing to the greater community. If you partner with other businesses to achieve some greater goal, that’s news too.
You should also remember that a press release should not be your final stop if there is real news to work with. Instead, you should think about contacting relevant bloggers and reporters directly to let them know you have news to share. They may or may not be interested, but you’ll greatly increase your chances of actually getting the coverage you want, and you’ll increase your chances of getting that coverage out to a more meaningful audience.
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