Think public relations and press releases are only for giant corporations with deep pockets? Think again. Press releases are quickly becoming the go-to tool for small businesses looking to get better SEO as well as the attention of media, bloggers, and consumers. Here's a few tips for small businesses looking to use this type of content for positive PR.
What the Heck is a Press Release?
If you're not familiar with exactly what a press release is, here's a quick definition:
A press release is a news blurb, usually 300-400 words.
It can be about the launch of your company, securing a major client, or participating in a community event. As long as it's newsworthy, it's a good fit for a press release. You can write a press release and do one of three things with it:
- Use an online distribution service to get it on dozens of websites
- Send it to a journalist
- Send it to a blogger
4 Reasons Press Releases Rock
Most people assume that writing a press release and distributing it online will attract dozens of well-known journalists who are clamoring to write about your brand. That's not usually the case. Journalists do read press releases, but we'll get to that in a minute. Here are some reasons why you can't ignore the power of press releases.
1. They Boost Your SEO Juice. When you opt for online distribution, your release is published on dozens of news and niche websites, all linking back to your own website. As you probably know, Google likes it when other reputable websites link to your own, and will reward you with better ranking for your SEO keywords.
2. They Make You Look Important. Whether you feel like a big deal or not, press releases can give that impression. Potential customers will see all the moving and shaking that's going on at your company and want to do business with you!
3. They Open the Doors with Journalists. While journalists don't usually scour the web for press releases (they have enough flooding their inboxes), sending a link to your online press release in your pitch to a given reporter can make it easy for him to quickly learn about your company and see if it's something he wants to write about.
4. They Help You Build Relationships with Bloggers. Just like with journalists, bloggers can help you reach a wider audience if they write about your brand. But they'll be looking for a more long-term relationship than reporters, so be prepared to give it to them. Send the link to your press release in your introduction letter, and then make some suggestions on how you can work together, such as with product reviews, giveaways, or advertising.
Related: Get help optimizing your SEO efforts from an online marketing firm.
Tips for Better Results with Press Releases
Now that you're convinced that press releases should be a part of your marketing and PR strategy, use these tips to maximize your efforts:
- Share each press release through your social channels, blog, website, and email newsletter to amplify its reach.
- Never attach your press release in an email to a journalist or blogger. They'll delete your email. Instead, link to it.
- Develop a list of journalists at the local and national level who have written about your industry or competitors. Follow them, connect with them, and after you've developed the relationship, pitch them.
- The best time to publish a press release online is Tuesday through Thursday at midnight (Pacific) or 3 a.m. (Eastern). This is according to a well-known press release distribution company.
- Use the keywords that people search for to find you in your press release.
Press releases are affordable to write and distribute, so look into distribution companies like PRWeb and PRNewswire to get started.
Author Bio: Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She's also the founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.
(Image: adamr via freedigitalphotos.net)