Archive for: ‘July 2014’

Are press releases still relevant in today’s publishing environment?

July 1, 2014 Posted by admin

Online publishing, blogs and a company’s own website are making traditional press releases less important than other forms of delivering your message.

With every company having its own website and every expert blogging about the expertise they possess, the web is awash with material to engage general readers and, more importantly, potential customers. But with so much material available, how do you make yours stand out from the rest?

This question itself is the subject of endless blogs on SEO and content marketing and I’m willing to stick my neck out and say that none of them suggest producing strings of company announcements and sending them to a distribution list of journalists for publication. The standard format starting with “Blackburn Metal Bashers, a leading basher of metal, is delighted to announce…….” is not interesting, not engaging and won’t result in any increased business.

Why do companies still produce press releases?

The simple answer is that they’re afraid not to. It’s something that marketing departments have always done and it’s something that PR agencies encourage. Marketing Managers are afraid that by not issuing standard press releases, they won’t be giving the company or the product the press exposure they need in order to maintain or improve their brand profile.

Press releases are sent out to the media in the hope that they will spark some interest with editors and result in much-needed press coverage but what do those editors and journalists do with all this unsolicited material?

How press releases are used in modern publishing

There are roughly three broad categories of media that receive press releases. There’s the mainstream media, niche industry-specific titles and online media.

Unless the press release is announcing something of cosmic importance or wide interest, the mainstream media won’t touch it. Niche industry-specific titles might make a story out of it if it’s interesting enough or may contact the marketing department of the issuing company to schedule it in to a special feature issue at a cost.

This leaves the online media where editors receive piles of press releases in their inboxes every day and either delete them, publish them verbatim or use them for a feature. Deleting them is the easiest and most commonly deployed option. Using them for a feature is like hitting the jackpot and rarely happens unless its either a paid feature or it happens to hit the right spot with the editor at the time it was received. This leaves publishing the press release verbatim…. which is a bad idea.

Press releases and duplicate content

Publishing press releases verbatim is a BAD idea both for the publisher and the producer because there’s nothing original that would make the content stand out on the search engines.

The target audience for press releases don’t go to a publisher’s home page and browse around the site, they arrive at the most appropriate page via a search engine and the search engines have a tendency not to favour material that’s duplicated across a dozen sites that run press releases.

New-age publishing

Today, everyone is a publisher and anyone with a blog wants it to be the most popular media outlet for the subject of the blog regardless of whether it belongs to an amateur owner’s club site or a multi-national corporation.

To achieve this popularity, it has to be relevant, well-written, topical, high quality, original and marketed. It also has to conform to a few simple structural rules but you don’t need an SEO consultant to achieve this.

Marketing content isn’t about press release distribution any longer, it’s about social media, getting recognised and being considered an authority on the subject. These are all things that shouldn’t be difficult for a specialist manufacturer or service provider.

Contact us for more information on how AltoCIM Services can help in content generation and publishing.