Note: This is Part I in an seven-part series I’m writing about Press Releases. Press releases are possibly an overlooked item in the enterprise social media toolbox, so I’m going to cover a few points and talk about how I’ve used them successfully for client campaigns.
News vs. Information
Search engines categorize news and information differently. News kind of has an expiration date. Is the Grand Opening of a new store in downtown Metroville still news 6 months after it happens? Not really. It’s just information. This is where Press Releases have an advantage over articles, blog posts and other information, when it comes to short term visibility.
By nature, press releases are about news. Normally a press release wouldn’t be written about a restaurant’s menu or how to get rid of pond scum. That’s just information. But if there is a newsworthy angle to pond scum, a press release could be written about it. And you can get that press release to show up on the 1st page of a Google Search for certain keywords, practically overnight. I had one client’s Press Release show up in 8 hours on the first page of Google once it had been distributed.
Of course, you have to know how to research, write and issue press releases in an optimized-for-search manner for it to work right. But if reputation management is on the agenda for your corporate social media campaign, press releases can be a powerful tool.
Even if reputation management isn’t on the menu, press releases can be used as part of an effective marketing plan. I suppose press releases aren’t technically an enterprise social media topic, but I often suggest them for creating immediate online visibility, while leveraging other social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) for medium range to long term online visibility.
Whether a company has been around for awhile, or is just starting out, Press Releases can offer visibility without breaking the bank the way a Pay Per Click campaign might. First, try to nail down what news you’d like to make known. Is there a niche or aspect of your business that’s newsworthy? What sets you apart from your competition?