Enough with the ‘death of the press release’ already

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I just read yet another opinion piece about the death of the press release.

Why folks are in such a hurry to kill off press releases I’ll never understand. Perhaps they don’t know the value of the press release—they haven’t witnessed the increase in SEO it can bring. They haven’t had the pleasure of landing a new customer because of a press release the customer read announcing their latest product or service. They haven’t enjoyed the attention received from a reporter who saw the press release and contacted them to be featured in a story that ran on the front page.

The press release absolutely has a place in today’s marketing world. It’s a perfect vehicle for getting out the information reporters and potential customers need. I work with editors who actually request press releases from my clients. It’s a format they find useful. Let’s face it, reporters are stretched thinner than ever and need information such as availability dates, features, and pricing in an easy-to-use format. Press releases provide that.

I’d argue that the value even goes beyond reaching reporters, customers, and prospects. The act of writing a press release helps businesses hone their messages and focus on the key elements. This helps them in communicating with their audiences, both externally and internally. Many times, the press release will be referred to for the messages surrounding that particular piece of news. It has a life beyond the day it’s issued.

Though press releases are far from dead, it is safe to say that the purpose of the press release has evolved. It used to be primarily for reporters. Now, one of the biggest benefits is SEO. If you include your key words in a press release and issue it on a wire service, it will help your company, product, or service rank higher in search results.

[RELATED: Find out how to craft the perfect pitch at our April PR & Media Relations event in NYC.]

Now, let’s talk content marketing for a minute. Press releases are also great content for your social media platforms, as you can issue them via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and any others you use. It can also be a useful tool to include in your sales kit. Last, don’t forget to put it on your site in your “News” or “Press” area.

No, the press release isn’t dead. It’s alive and well, and companies would benefit from crafting one whenever they have something newsworthy to share.

Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant and writer at Garrett Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter @PRisUs or connect with her on LinkedIn.  

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