You’ve probably noticed that large companies publish press releases on a regular basis.
This is often their primary way of getting information out to their shareholders and the public.
Small businesses often never consider that they too have newsworthy topics that are worthy of publication too.
Unfortunately, if you’ve ever tried to get the attention of a local reporter because you have something you want in the paper, you get a lot of silence.
You e-mail them, call them, fax them, and you get no response. It can be very frustrating.
There is another option, however: online publication of press releases using a paid service like PRWeb.
Why would you, as a business owner, even consider this?
Online press releases are actually a very powerful way of getting to the top of the search engines like Google.
If your press release never shows up in the newspaper, that’s OK. Why?
The newspaper will typically be recycled or used as bird cage liner within 24 hours.
Furthermore, you have no idea how many people actually saw your release.
Maybe the paper has a delivery of 100,000 copies, but how many people actually got through to Section D, Page 7 to find your article?
There’s no way to know.
Building Search Engine Results
Instead, we’d like our news to do better than that. When you use a paid service, you’ll quickly discover that:
- Your press release shows up at the top of Google within an hour of being published
- Your news will continue to be read for many months after it’s gone live
- It gets duplicated (syndicated) across thousands of news websites with links coming back to your site from each one
- It will probably get published at least in the online versions of large papers like the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News
Who Reads Your Online Press Releases?
Just like a webpage of content, your news release becomes more content on the internet, and anyone may read it, including:
- Your customers who may be searching for your services – this elevates your professionalism by always being in the news
- Your competitors may see that you’re always in the news too
- The reporter you’ve been trying to reach may actually call you because they want to ask you some questions for a related story
- The search engines like Google will index it and display it in their search results
Here’s an example of a press release that we did for a client.
Search Google for quality process equipment and you should see two articles right at the top talking about a company, Yield Engineering Systems.
One press release was done over a year ago, and it’s still at the top of Google for a very competitive phrase. You won’t get those results from ink in a newspaper!
What Should You Write About?
One of the questions I get a lot is, “What do I write about in a press release?”
It’s hard to imagine what to put in a press release. After all, you’re probably not solving world hunger (or maybe you are).
If you search Google for “press release ideas”, you’ll come across a lot of articles that will give you some topic ideas, like 20 Press Release Ideas for your Business. If you hold any type of event or class, you should be publishing a press release about each one at least a couple weeks beforehand to generate interest, and possibly sign ups!
If you’d like to get quoted, subscribe to HARO or Help A Reporter Out.
When reporters are looking for experts to quote in their articles, you can put your hand up and let them know you’re there for them.
You may get mention in a large article – and always ask for a link back to your website. It’s free publicity after all!
Finally, try to be consistent about putting a press release on a regular basis – once a week, once a month or once a quarter.
Build it into your marketing budget and you’ll definitely get it back in returns.
Photo by NS Newsflash
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