Between blog posts, eBooks and social media posts, a long-time marketing stalwart seems to have fallen through the cracks in many of today’s digital marketing strategies: press releases. That’s a big oversight because press releases offer several advantages that no other form of content can bring a robust strategic digital marketing campaign.
A press release is a summarized announcement of something newsworthy. They used to be the only way to share news with the media. Companies would send the releases and hope that busy reporters would notice. However, today there are so many online news sites available, such as Google News and Yahoo! News, that there are more opportunities for companies to get their news out in front of the world. What’s more, press releases can even be added to organizations’ own digital content where they can share the news directly with consumers.
Done right, press releases can be the key to building your brand’s reputation, earning media coverage and growing your online presence. In fact, 72% of journalists say that press releases are one of the most useful types of content organizations can create. In particular, they are a good way to get the word out when you have something big to announce to your target audience.
The secret to adding the power of press releases to your digital marketing campaigns is in understanding the why, when, what and where of press release creation.
There is a multitude of reasons for adding press releases to your digital marketing campaigns. Here are some of the leading reasons:
If you create a well-written release containing genuine news, you’re likely to catch the attention of a journalist who will then report on your news. Your story will carry more authority when media outlets report on it.
A Digital 2021 study reported that over half of all internet users worldwide visit online news sites each month.
Press releases channeled through major online sites, such as CNN, Yahoo News!, The New York Times, and MSNBC, receive maximum exposure.
Being plugged into media wire services, such as Business Wire, PR Web, Market Wire and Cision PR Newswire, improves your chances of getting newsworthy content to the most popular news-based search engines.
As soon as you write a press release, you can post it online for the world to see, thereby, immediately generating the potential for brand awareness and SEO.
Adding targeted keywords helps optimize releases, which tells the search engines that your information is relevant and important.
The more good press releases you have on the internet, the more you can improve and increase your brand’s image.
As an extra, newsworthy piece of content in your digital marketing campaign, press releases will enhance your potential to garner valuable attention overall.
Primarily organizations create press releases when they have something newsworthy to share — in other words, when they have timely, relevant and impactful news. This is important if you’re hoping to attract media attention because journalists want to write about things that are new, will catch readers’ attention, and are worthy of their time.
This time investment means that journalists are selective, and it means that boring announcements without relevant news angles will be ignored.
Almost anything can be turned into a news story; you just need to find the right hook. Here are some examples of news that’s worthy of being a press release:
An effective press release grabs attention and tells a story while still conveying a newsworthy message. Remember that press releases are not self-promotional pieces. They need to be impartial sources of solid information.
Here are the basics of creating a professional, effective press release:
It needs to grab attention, briefly summarize the news and include at least one keyword related to your niche or industry.
The subhead supports the headline by providing more detailed information. It should also include relevant keywords.
Include the date of your announcement, so that journalists can be sure they are getting the latest and greatest news.
Always lead with the news angle written in a way that will appeal to the interests of reporters, industry peers and consumers. Use the tried-and-true “five Ws” approach, which includes the who, what, where, when and why of the news you’re sharing. Also use the “inverted pyramid” structure, which leads with the most important news at the top, followed by supporting information in descending order of importance.
In the body of your press releases be sure to quote key influencers, such as your organization’s CEO, to give the news credibility. Also, quote anyone else referenced in the release, such as a business partner or customer.
Adding visuals should improve the impact of your press releases as long as they are interesting, informative, and support the news being shared.
Conclude your press release with an “about us” paragraph that tells readers about your organization.
Be sure to include a valid source for journalists to contact if they want more information, and include the best URL, email address, and phone number.
Keep in mind that a press release should be kept short and sweet. Try to keep it all within one to two pages.
There are a wide variety of press release distribution services available for getting your releases published on news sites and in front of journalists. Each one offers different options and fees. Do some research to find the best fit for your organization. Some trusted news release services include:
Also, when you use press release distribution services, you’ll need to choose which lists to include in your distribution. The best way to select correctly is to research every industry that applies to your company, products or services, and then select the related distribution lists. Proper distribution targeting can mean the difference between a few readers and thousands of readers.
Another important place to publish your press releases is on your own website. Include a “news” section just for press releases. You can also write blog posts and social media posts about your news that include links back to your press releases. And, of course, include a link to the press release in any other content you create for your digital marketing campaign.
If you haven’t used press releases to supplement your digital marketing strategy, now would be a great time to start employing this hardworking source of content. You stand to gain the opportunity to maximize your organization’s exposure and boost the impact of your marketing campaigns.