Promoting Your Business with Press Releases - dummies

Promoting Your Business with Press Releases

By Jan Zimmerman

Press releases can build interest in your business online when they’re repeated on multiple sites, thus conveying information cost-effectively. The following illustration shows how Mobile Tech News displays press releases from other sources.

[Credit: Courtesy of MobileTechNews]
Credit: Courtesy of MobileTechNews

Whenever your company appears on a third-party site or whenever a journalist writes about your site, you gain relevance and credibility from an objective source. You’re working on your 15 minutes of fame!

Search engines love press releases almost as much as they love blogs. Because press releases often appear on popular sites, such as Yahoo! News and Google News, they earn extra points with inbound links to your site. Use keywords in the headline or lead sentence to make it even likelier that your rank will rise in search engine results.

Of course, you can also post your press release on your own site, perhaps on your Media Room page, along with coverage you receive.

Online press releases have three audiences:

  • Automatic: Many sites now automatically publish press releases from specific distribution sources (that is, they accept electronic RSS feeds) without human review. In this case, your target audience becomes the immediate consumer of your release.

  • Industry specific: Readers of blogs that aggregate industry-specific news are intense consumers of news releases. Distribute or post your release on as many subject-related blogs as possible. Check blog directories such as Technorati and others to identify sites that accept press releases.

  • Intermediary: Like traditional press releases, online press releases run through an intermediary audience of editors or journalists who decide whether to place your headlines and links on their sites and, potentially, reproduce the information in print publications.

Online readers rarely see the complete release at first glance. They see only the headline and perhaps the first line (the lede) or a summary. Because you must convince readers to click through to the full release, writing an effective release becomes doubly tricky.