How Press Release Can (And Can’t) Benefit Your Company
By Elon Law | May 14 2016
Benefits of Press Release
Press releases used to be the most effective way to create public relations… years ago. With the increasing complexity in today’s world of marketing, it is important for companies to understand when press releases will benefit your public relations strategy, and when other tools or tactics will be needed.
Below are few ways which press releases can effectively help your company – and times when they don’t.
1. You build links
One of the greatest benefits press release can value-add to your company is the number of backlinks you are going to get. A press release may not necessarily optimise your website for SEO, but the editorial coverage you get from a press releases will bring great benefits to your SEO.
According to an article by Search Engine Watch, there is synergistic relationship between SEO and PR. Press release helps build brand awareness as it often comes with inbound-links linked back to your website.
2. It will be picked up by other publications
The purpose of a press release is to get your news in front of as many people as possible. Most people see it as a success to get their press release out to other publications, but is it really effective?
When companies include data and research findings in their press releases, it’s even more likely that it will be picked up by other publications. Success begets success. But what’s even more important than presenting your quality press release is the timing of the release.
3. Brand consistency
Press release is where the readers will get your “story” and cite important data. Press release ensures you focus and produce the best message for the announcement to get maximum exposure. Doing so ensures that your message is being refined to get the right messaging for all content creators to draw upon. From bloggers, to sales reps, to external content creators, everyone will be speaking about your brand with a unified message that’s set forth during the drafting of your press release.
4. Press releases provide content for other marketing channels.
The content you produce to be press release worthy is usually something of value to read. You can repurpose some of the content in other areas of your marketing to engage your current and future clients, while helping in the content marketing and SEO of your websites. Other digital marketing channels include emails, landing pages, social media and blogpost. The value of a press release can be multiplied once leveraged across different channels strategically.
Limitations of Press Release
1) Press releases used alone will not help your SEO
Even though the possibility of having additional editorial content published based on your press release can help your SEO, they actually don’t help as much as the popular belief. The reason is press releases are syndicated for a certain amount of time before being taken down at some point.
To tackle that, leading your press releases to other beneficial press can help your SEO in an indirect way. Furthermore, your PR strategy should not depend on press releases solely for SEO success. Use them as a means to an end that will get you higher rankings, instead.
2) Most press releases seldom improve communication with target audience
Even though press releases may get the attention of a journalist, it is very unlikely that it will reach your target audience. The press release format takes longer to read, and is often harder to understand without reading a couple times through.
Consumers like to read information in a way that is easy to digest and more natural — like news stories and blog posts. In a world with thousands of stories being posted every hour, readers want to be able to quickly understand the story.
Marketers must make sure the content is somewhere else in a better format so that your target audience gets access to it. Instead of promoting your press release through social channels or email, promote your blog post to achieve the same effect of the press release and get your audience the information in the announcement.
3) Difficult to measure
Press releases are extremely difficult to measure, and therefore it’s hard to prove whether or not they are successful. For marketers, data is the prime way they can prove success to the rest of their department and company. For press release, however, it’s pretty hard to track results for analytics, ROI, and to say “X amount of people viewed our release, and X amount of journalists decided to write about it/not write about it as a result.”
Though press releases can still be measure in several ways, such as how many times your press release was reposted, or referral traffic from the release (if you used tracking tokens in your release’s links), it’s hard to get an accurate number of just how many leads or customers are generated as a result of your work.
4) Press releases could be costly
Posting one press release can cost quite a bit of money, and there’s no guarantee it would be picked up by journalists or simply reposted on other websites. They have become a bit outdated as public relations rely more on building relationships with the media instead of sending out hundreds of emails with press releases to journalists you may not even know.
One way marketers can improve their results is to spend time meeting with journalists, figure out what they look for before writing a story, and find out what beat they write about. Building these relationships with the media will end up paying off much more than simply posting press releases onto the wire.