Used by many marketing professionals, but misunderstood by just about everyone else, internet marketing, and its primary tool – press releases – remain a key promotional tool.
The key is understanding that press releases sent to relevant online and print media is an effective strategy with a high potential payoff.
Sending press releases through online distribution sites is not.
In other words, effective press release distribution is highly targeted. It requires researching and contacting appropriate media. When done correctly, the results can be very impressive.
I offer a complete press release service (estimate here), but if you would to go it alone, what follows is a summary of what has worked successfully for me.
My greatest successes with press release distribution
I’ve had winning press release campaigns, and I’ve had duds. The winners had these common characteristics:
- The press release distribution ‘left no stone un-turned’. All possible media were contacted, including print, local and micro-local blogs, bloggers, online newspapers and magazines.
- The press release itself was good.
- The campaigns were budgeted for content. Google will not index the same content repeated over and over again. An online press release strategy requires multiple versions – as many as 25.
- The press releases were allowed enough time to take effect – usually 3 months.
Success begins the press release itself. If you have one, and are considering a campaign, here are a few questions to ask:
- Does the release contain news of some kind?
- Have you written a strong and compelling headline?
- Have you made certain to avoid using promotional language?
- Does the opening paragraph include:
- Is is absolutely clear how readers benefit from the news you are announcing?
- Have you made certain to properly attribute quotes, and include references?
- Are you certain the facts are correct, and rechecked the following:
- spelling of any names, titles, services, organizations telephone and cell numbers. prices, times and dates addresses, contact information and details.
- Have you indicated the availability of support items like Power Point Presentations, media kits?
- Have you planned how to respond to questions from the media that may be probing or not skeptical of your claims?
- Have you make sure to brief anyone else in your organization who may be contacted for information?
If the answer is ‘no’ to any of the above, contact me for information on my press release writing service.
When to send online and print media press releases
Perhaps the most commonly asked question, here are the guidelines I use:
Fast turnarounds are what newspapers are known for, but feature stories are often written weeks in advance of publication. The exact of publication varies as well. If you have the information 6-8 weeks in advance, we would suggest sending it. No story that we know of, was rejected for being submitted too early; the opposite happens all the time. Three weeks is probably the minimum amount of advance time, unless there is strong news content.
There is less information available for online editions, but if you are sending to the online edition of a print newspaper, the same rules will apply. For an online edition only, we would suggest giving more time, as they are normally working with a smaller staff.