Whenever I talk about doing traditional press releases, I generally get a blank stare or a look of disbelief.
Typical Responses I get to the notion of press releases and heaven forbid, using a Wire Service like BusinessWire or PR Newswire.
"Who reads news releases?"
"No one is going to just pick up a news release."
"Why can't we just announce what we have to say on the social web and count on others to spread the word?"
"Our fans on Twitter will Tweet this thing up."
"OMG- news releases are so.... Web 1.0"
Here's my belief: when appropriate, news releases matter, have impact and actually work. They are not a substitute for the social web, they are part of your overall communications strategy.
If you are publicly traded, then it's a no-brainer that you have to have traditional news releases for disclosure and compliance issues. And if you are not, I still believe that select, strategic news merits the time and minor expense of a news news release.
1. Writing a news release is more formal and makes you really think through what you are saying and how you want to reflect the written word about your company.
2. Investors, partners, suppliers, and your other publics will still mosey on into your press room to see what's news, how you report your news, and the wording and editorial strategy you take.
3. The written word is very much a part of your overall brand experience. How you write, the tone and choice of words is very much akin to the graphical image you project, the company culture you promote and the quality of customer service you aim for.
4. News releases, if applied correctly, can be searched (and found) on Google. They are also a platform which can easily be re-published and spread by your stakeholders on the social web.
5. A well written and well crafted news release illustrates team work and common vision.
There is more to a news release than just the mechanics of writing and pitching.
Oh, and speaking of pitching, yes, I still do very traditional pitching. And that's a whole other post in its own right.
Here's a hand form you can use to get the press release writing process going.
Any comments on you belief (or disbelief) in using press releases? How do you and your team writing your press releases?
Buy a local circuit. In fact, buy the least expensive local circuit you can buy.
It will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars depending on the scope and reach you are going for.
2. Going global? If you need to reach the UK, buy the metro London only circuit. In general, try to buy capital cities only. You'll get the local translation and major media outlets where they tend to be located.
3. Is this really newsworthy? Ask yourself if what you are about to announce is really newsworthy, or in need of compliance. If not, reduce the number of press releases you issue, but don't kill the outreach. If you have five releases scheduled through the end of the year, pace them out a bit more, consolidate your news and reduce the number to three.
You stay on the radar. You are visible on the search engines. You communicate to your publics.
Yes, Wire Services Are Effective and Worth the Money
I highly recommend wire services. Even in times of budget cuts. The main thing is that you need to get on to the search engines in ways that only the major wire services can get you on.
Here are 3 main take-aways from a recent BusinessWire webinar on SEO I attended. Much of it is common sense, but important and very useful principles of tying in your PR and SEO initiatives together.
1. Remember that you are writing your press release for human as well as search engine robot consumption. Keyword placement is important, but the press release still needs to make sense to the human reader.
2. When it comes to keyword selection, choosing the most popular keyword is not always best. Relevancy is the key.
3. Keyword phrases are more effective than individual keywords. Select keyword phrases that are between 2-3 words long. Remember that the average search query is 3.3 words long and this is how searchers are finding your news
For other BusinessWire events and webinars, click here.
Crafting a message that is compelling is much more an art than a mechanical process.
This was part of a message I recently took to current and potential clients in Israel, during my seminar held on July 8, hosted by BusinessWire / Israel.
The seminar was geared towards CEOs and VPs of Marketing at leading Israeli high-tech and bioscience companies and covered topics including how to create a message that resonates with a company’s many audiences, such as the media, customers, and industry analysts.
When you buy a foreign circuit such as China, Japan, India, or Israel, always allow a minimum of three working days for translation in local languages. There is no additional charge for this, as the translation costs are bundled into the cost of distribution.
To download a sample news release in Hebrew regarding my upcoming PR / Social Media in Tel Aviv on July 8 click below.
Today's post, "When is the best time to send a press release," begs the right question, but I don't think it's as simple as do this on Monday or do that on Tuesday. You should tie the release of your information based on the type of release you are doing and its objectives.
I am getting ready to start planning my next PR seminar in Israel. It will take place the second week in July, and at this time I'm still finalizing the venue.
I want to address how corporate blogging and social media can impact your public relations strategies and I am asking for your help.
Trying to manage your company's image and reputation online and communicating with your publics can be a challenging task. The old days of just listening to and responding what trade and business journalists are saying about you online are long gone.
We now have the era of user generated blogs, videos, wikis, and the prosumer generation-- and your job just got a lot harder.
I want to cover subjects like video, blogging, videoblogging, wikis, and other forms of social networking that are changing the nature of the roles we play in PR.
Before I develop the program, I would like to solicit your help and your input.
Is there something you would like to see me cover?
Send me an email to: alan at weinkrantz dot com and let me know.
Debbie Weil Debbie Weil, aka the MonaLisaOfBlogging.com, is a corporate blogging and online communications consultant and the author of the forthcoming "The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right" for Penguin Portfolio (2006).