With the increase of social media, data-driven storytelling, and the 24/7 news cycle, the press release has evolved while remaining a relevant part of your marketing strategy.
How people communicate around the world has changed drastically in the last decade. Social media, blogging, influencers, and television have created a world of 24/7 news consumption. So it would be easy to write off the press release as an archaic marketing strategy, but that would be a mistake.
Like everything in life, the press release has evolved within the online world of marketing and public relations. According to Cision’s 2019 Global State of the Media report, 65% of journalists believe audience metrics have changed the way they evaluate stories. Journalists continue to look to PR professionals for content specific to their audience, and this relationship has only become more valuable.
In addition to journalists, consumers have direct access to press releases through online distributors. The key to standing out to both journalists and consumers is to focus on distributing a well-written press release that clearly promotes something significant and specific.
These five reasons show the press release is very much alive and beneficial to any marketing strategy.
- Establish a relationship with the media. Journalists find themselves with fewer resources than ever, and their partnership with PR professionals is a valued resource. When looking for content from brands, 71% of journalists look to press releases and news announcements as their primary source.A well-written, relevant press release shows you’re proactive and have done your research. Media professionals don’t have time to sift through hundreds of irrelevant pitches and press releases that have nothing to do with their niche. And, yes, a pitch and a press release are different.
Think of a pitch as a teaser to pique a journalist’s interest. Provide just enough information about what’s going on with your brand to grab their attention. Pitches work well for product updates or to introduce an employee as a media expert to be used for quotes. Keep it short, preferably in a bullet list, and send via email.
On the other hand, a press release is a factual account of something newsworthy. Your press release needs to provide the full story, including the who, what, where, when, and why. Always remember to include why your news matters, if you want to get the attention of journalists. Press releases work well for personnel announcements, new openings, and product launches. Writing a clear, concise press release goes a long way and will help you establish a trusted relationship with journalists.
Remember, the media need timely, relevant pitches. They need information before the news happens- not after or during- so make sure to have information ready for a quick turn-around.
Over time journalists will be reaching out to you for a story idea or expert quote.
- Business Credibility. The media and consumers view press releases as a trusted source of data and information. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: In Brand’s We Trust, an eight-country study, shows the majority of consumers across multiple demographics say brand trust is essential to buying.Consistently distributing accurate press releases allows you to build credibility over time with journalists as well as existing and potential customers. It is especially useful for start-ups and growing small businesses to get positive word out about themselves.
With an in-house writer, you control your brand’s voice, message, and perception. In addition to publicizing important company information, the press release can be used to mitigate an internal crisis or negative external press. By providing credible facts without spin, you can clarify internal conflict to reestablish a positive brand image and public perception.
- Build SEO traffic. A well-written press release utilizing SEO best practices for search algorithms allows search engines to find, match, index, and rank your press release. With 63,000 searches per second, having a high-ranking press release on Google and other search engines provides enhanced exposure to current and future customers. Releases posting on PRNewswire.com see 2x the page views as the nearest competitor.Search algorithms are looking for well-written content that naturally incorporates keywords and links, so make sure to focus on using natural language and providing high-quality links in your press releases. Proper keyword usage, quality links, and consistent distribution allow you to develop authority in an industry.
Google and other search engines are looking for and ranking content from authoritative sources. So, post a variety of content, including press releases, often to establish your brand’s expertise.