Sunday, May 4, 2008

How press releases still don't get respect

Press releases are still considered by "the pro's" to be a way to get reporters to write articles about you - not. I've gotten a recent blog post (by a Publicity Professional) and an ebook (by another Publishing Professional) who both say the same thing - they limit press releases to being "breaking news".

Here's the modern concept of press releases:
  • They can be submitted for free - you don't have to pay someone to distribute for you.
  • They have a high Google attention and frequently show up "above the fold" within days, if not minutes.
  • Real People look for these press releases, not just "journalists".
  • They search by keywords.
  • Anyone can write one about anything.
Essentially, they rank up with social media for impact on the search engines.

Now, whether some reporter will pick it up - no reporter worth his salt will pick up and write a story based on a single press release. They really research into it. So you are going to need to write a bunch of stuff and get it on the Web (where reporters do all their work these days). And you are going to have to write regular press releases.

What do you write then? Whatever your niche is interested in. Yes, your niche, not reporters.

Look, I'm biased about the news. I think it stinks to high heaven and you should detox from any addiction you have with it. Look at Google Trends and see how they think (and report) differently for the same keywords. Reporters live in that environment where catastrophe and complete anarchy "sells" newspapers, magazines, TV shows, etc.

But your niche is looking for useful data about what you have to say. So fill your title with your keywords and then people looking for information about your stuff will find it. And if a reporter is looking for those keywords, they'll get your data.

It's keywords, niches, and search engines, not reporters, news editors, and press deadlines. Get the difference? The old days of the press release are dead - all we really have left is the format.

Get your news out by regular press releases. Regular.

PS. My most effective press releases have been when I've used the same keywords for a slideshare, a video, a podcast, a press release, and a blog post about all four. Means you have four social media, plus a press release which all say the same thing. And this has gotten me nearly all the "above the fold" real estate for that search term.

You can check out my results here:

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