Do you use press releases in your business? If you do, or if you ever have before, what feedback did you get from it? Were you receptive of the response or activity that you were hoping to see?
Many online businesses use press releases as a communications tool for their readers. They announce products, convey information, cover developing news stories and even give themselves a little public relations action. They are generally written in response to anything that is pertinent to the company, or, the topic will somehow link back to the company. If used properly, press releases can be a very powerful marketing and communications tool that can drive high traffic to the blog or site and create a buzz of valuable information. The whole idea of the press release is to highlight a specific focal point of information and convey it in a way to the readers that will leave them with a message and a particular thought pattern. In other words, the information provided in press releases have the propensity to make a company become a household name.
Which type of companies benefit from press releases? Is there a such thing as a “useless” press release? What’s the difference in an advertisement and a press release?
Companies that benefit greatly from press releases are those that have a constant flow and change of information. The company doesn’t have to be necessarily large one or a Fortune 500, but one that is progressive and fluid in their growth and development. What can make a press release sound stale or boring are those that repeat the same information in the same way. For instance, if within a five-year time span the Vice-President of Marketing is changing offices again and is on their third executive, the reader might not necessarily feel comfortable with that many personnel changes within a short period of time. Their uneasiness could translate to a drop in sales if they feel uncomfortable in spending. Any internal company issues don’t convey clearly to the public and it is a challenge to try to make it be so. To keep the press release from sounding like a report on Human Resources matters, highlight in the press release just why this third candidate is going to significantly impact the company’s marketing efforts. Focus on the executive’s proposed marketing ideas and changes that he will bring to the corporation. This takes the focus off of anything negative and still allows you to write a good, solid press release that is enjoyable to read.
Press releases are great to share, but then there are some that are pointless and really do not add any value. This is obvious when within the release there is nothing really significant that is reported, the information is not customised for the company, or, the information is readily available anywhere on the internet. In other words, what was the point of the release? You must give your readers something to “take away” from the press release to really feel that it has done something for the them. Don’t focus so much on issuing a press release simply for the sake of it, but ensure that you are engaging and enlightening the readers. They will remember and it and be back for more.
Advertising is not a press release and a press release is not advertising. Why not? Advertising is showcasing a product and enticing the audience to buy while press releases are sharing information. Sure, within a press release you can entice the audience to buy, but it is done so subtly that the reader doesn’t think he’s been “sold.” Carefully word press releases so that the reader feels in control and can decide what to do next. Don’t ask for a sale. Don’t provide overt links. Don’t use too much marketing jargon or hype that is reserved for sales pages. Maximize the use of the press release by capitalizing on the information that you are already sharing with the readers. Get your point across and let the audience absorb it all in.
In using press releases as a part of your company’s marketing efforts, the bottom line is to concentrate on the customer. Build into the ideas that your customers are seeking without being too extreme. Eventually, your traffic will begin to show what’s working and what is not working in your efforts to attract readers to your site. What press releases have you published that have been profitable for you? What would you change about the ones that you are currently publishing?
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