Online Visibility and Press Releases, Part II

Note: This is Part II in an eight-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 treat news and information differently.

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. We 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.

Press releases distribution services get your press releases out in a way they will potentially be picked up as news for other services. One of my clients, a relatively unknown local artist, got international coverage on her press release when it was picked up as a story for a european blog.

Understanding your target public is always a good idea, so part of your market development strategy might be to determin if your target public would even pay attention to a press release. For example, consumer analysis might uncover that while an older demographic would consider a press release, perhaps younger bloggers might disregard them completely.

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