This article was originally published in August 2014.
Press releases aren’t dead
. You just have to know how to use them.
If you're only sending them out to reporters, or only posting them to your website, you're not using your press releases to their full potential. There's no rule that restricts you to only using a press release in one way, so why not get everything you can out of them?
Here are five ways you can wring every drop of value out of your newest press release.
1. Issue the press release using a wire service.
This gets the news out there to benefit search engine optimization and, who knows, a reporter may even happen across it.
Do you really need an expensive wire service to get the word out? It depends. If you have a major announcement, you might want to consider a service such as PR Newswire
or Business Wire
. However, those services costs hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. There are additional costs to add photos or any multimedia element to your release. Another way to go is to use PRWeb
, which charges $249 for a release, with multimedia included. That site often offer a discount if it’s your first time using their service.
If you’re on a shoestring budget like many smaller companies and startups are, you can use free wire services. There are many to choose from, but I prefer PRLog.com
. PRLog enables you to include an image and a link to video at no cost. PR.com, while it doesn’t allow free multimedia, will get your news on search engines.
2. Pitch it to reporters.
Send the press release with a brief cover note to your list of key reporters. Make sure not to include it as an attachment. Just cut and paste it right in the body of the email. The cover note can include a one to two sentence synopsis of the release. Make sure your contact info (email and phone number) is clearly visible so that the reporter can reach you with questions.
3. Post it on social media.
Post your release to all your accounts: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and any others you may use. Well-written press releases can fall under the umbrella of content marketing and can sometimes be a worthwhile piece of content to share.
4. Post it on your website or online newsroom.
You should have a newsroom or press area designated on your website. If you don’t, you can always include your release in the “About Us” area, though you should really consider giving your releases their own space on your website. Research shows
corporate websites are the place reporters are most likely to do research for stories.
5. Share it with your sales team.
This may only be applicable in certain situations, but it’s never a bad idea to share the press release with the internal team so that the members are aware of the announcement being made, and are conversant about your newest projects.
As you can see, press releases are a multi-use tool that organizations can use to achieve an array of goals.
What are some other ways you make use of your press releases? Share your comments here.
Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant and writer at Garrett Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter @PRisUs or connect with her on LinkedIn.