For a long time press releases were the go to way for businesses to try and get their name out to the general public. Companies used to compete with each other to get sponsored in respected magazines such as the New York Times. As with most things though, press releases have changed with the advancement of technology. Despite what many people like to say, printed press isn’t dead. Magazines like the New York Times are still certainly respected and have a great audience. The type of audience is worth considering too, and many New York Times readers are the type of people that companies are going to want seeing their press releases in the first place. Even though getting printed press releases is still a viable option, it doesn’t change the fact that companies are going to want to look at online marketing as well.
According to Forbes writer, Cheryl Conner, a major mistake that companies can make is associating press releases with search engine optimization (SEO). For those that aren’t familiar, SEO equates to how easy it is for searchers to stumble upon a website based on the keywords they’re using on sites like Google. Basically, SEO is about using specific types of keywords and tags to get higher rankings to appear higher up on search lists. Press releases are supposed to be about providing news and information. Putting it in simpler terms, SEO is about bringing in the readers and a press release is what you show readers once you’ve brought them in.
That isn’t to say that press releases don’t have their own advertisement value. After all, the content is being used for marketing purposes. Ultimately the type of content is going to vary from company to company. Sometimes press releases will be announcing a special type of sale or event. Other times it might just be to address a specific type of news, such as the announcement of a new CEO or a company merger. Some press releases might also be to address an accusation or debunk some sort of rumor about the company.
There are plenty of reputable websites where a company might want to get their press release published. An advantage to getting press releases published online versus in printed press is the sheer amount of options that are available. Printed press is limited by how infrequently the issues come out compared to online sources, which can publish new content daily. In addition, printed press only has so many pages that they can work with. This is arguably an issue with online content as well, since sites don’t want to overload themselves with press releases. Again, because they can churn out content daily though it makes it easier for these sites to handle the large volume.
Companies are encouraged to take a quality over quantity approach to press releases. It might seem easy at first to create a variety of press releases to get posted all over the internet. This approach isn’t encouraged though because ultimately it is more important to reach out towards an audience that will be interested in what the press release has to say. Otherwise, it is just going to get ignored and the company will have ultimately wasted time and resources creating the press release in the first place.