V2 Marketing Communications Blog

Why Press Releases Pack a Big Online Punch

Written by Heather Kelley on Tue, Mar 12, 2013

pr punchMost people consider the press release as simple, traditional method of disseminating news about a business, its products, and its services. Press releases have gotten shorter over the years in a nod to online communication channels. They are generally 3-4 paragraphs, written in a newsworthy fashion, telling a story about your business, employees or an industry related topic.

Press releases can help create buzz about a company, and it’s a popular marketing tool because, after all, it is free!  Write a couple paragraphs, send it off to your local media outlets and, if it gets picked up, your company gets free coverage. (Of course, a structured PR campaign is slightly more involved than that.)

Press releases are a great way to give your business extra exposure to targeted media outlets while, at the same time, controlling your message.

Ramp Up Your Online Presence with the Lowly Press Release

What if I told you a well-written press release can provide significant online exposure for your company as well? Every business today uses their website as the cornerstone of their marketing plan. Your website provides general information about your company and its products/services, but that’s not enough today.

The real goal of today’s website is to attract new customers and, in order to do that, you need to increase awareness of your site – to drive traffic to your site.  More than 98% of people use the web for research, for gathering news and information, well before they ever contact your company directly. You cannot afford to miss out on grabbing the attention of these people.

There are many ways to get people to notice your website – utilizing a press release campaign is one of the easiest.

Create content that gets you noticed

Depending on the content, press releases are picked up by:

  • Local news outlets – newspapers, television, radio
  • Regional news sites
  • Industrial trade outlets
  • And, sometimes national news sites such as Forbes.com, the Wall Street Journal and Fox
  • Business News, among others.

When your press release appears on the online versions of these media outlets, they also published with links back to your company website. These back links improve your company’s site search engine rankings and offer even more credibility and authority to your business.

Internet users can also share the news release on their social networks, building even more links and excitement about your business.

Here’s a key point for writing your press releases for online optimization. Identify those key words that people might use in a search inquiry that would, in turn, direct them to your news piece. Then utilize those key words in an organic way in your press release.  It has to be written naturally – you can’t just “stuff” a bunch of words in your press release – it has to make sense!

Utilize industry-specific keywords to help your press release get found online.

Your Takeaway

Build your contact list for your local news outlets and use it regularly. Don’t think local only. Build a second list of your industry-specific trade publications. Garner national attention, by distributing your press releases through outlets such as:

Come on, you know how important press releases are! They can attract interest and buzz in your activities, and help increase traffic to your website, thus increasing sales. A press release containing relevant, industry-related content and keywords will not only grab the reader’s attention but, if optimized correctly, will get you found on the internet.

Use your PR writing skills to release new stories every single month to continue to build back links to your site and increase:

  • Blog readership
  • Appearance in industry news feeds, regional and national news feeds
  • Social bookmarking

Writing a press release seems like a simple, easy activity to add to your marketing plans – and it is!  But that simple press release can garner big impact – not just in the actual information that gets read by the public – but as one of the tools you can use to drive traffic to your website.

Image courtesy of hin255 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Create an Effective Inbound Marketing Campaign

Topics: content marketing, public relations, press release

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