I keep seeing articles and blogs discussing the imminent demise of the press release. Some PRs are saying that the rise of social media means both journalists and the public will be getting most of their information from blogs and social networks – so there’s really no need for press releases….or so the story goes.
But my experience is completely at odds with this. Instead of press releases being less effective, I find that well written and well targeted releases can actually drive better and more wide ranging results than they might have done in the past.
Not only do I find that journalists still pay attention to and write stories based on the press releases that we distribute for clients. But by posting them on clients’ web sites and their partner web sites and blogs, as well as sharing on Twitter, LinkedIn and other relevant social networks, it’s possible for releases to reach many target audiences directly.
Optimising releases with appropriate key words enables our clients’ stories to be found in the search engines. And if editors use the embedded links we include in press releases when writing them up for their sites, it adds to the number of backlinks to our clients’ web sites and landing pages to help search engine optimisation efforts.
And with press releases gradually evolving into social media news releases, incorporating video and audio and links to supporting information and dowloads, they are actually becoming a more valuable way to reach target audiences with useful content.
By way of example, a recent press release we issued about an SAP archiving implementation by our client, Macro 4, pulled in 15 media clippings in one week. This included the Computing, Computer Weekly, CIO UK and Computerworld UK web sites as well as specialist data storage and document management publications. Many of the media clips included links to the Macro 4 web site to drive traffic and help SEO and the release is also due to be part of an email marketing campaign
So while it may be true that the digital revolution means PR is changing and there’s a whole number of new PR tools out there, don’t start mourning the press release just yet. It’s alive and kicking and getting more powerful with extra digital muscle.