Best Practices for Online Press Releases
Search marketing and public relations have traditionally functioned as separate entities however in recent years it has become clear that there is a close synergy between the two. Many companies will employ both PR and search marketing agencies to help promote their companies. This can be a powerful combination and generate a lot of exposure.
Some companies cannot afford both and ask their SEO companies to look into PR strategies for them. When working without a specialist PR company you might want to consider the following.
Craft Your Message – Journalists receive hundreds of emails each week so you need to not only attract their attention but also get right to the point. This is more difficult than it sounds and you should try and avoid using
Keywords – You will need to look at your keyword targeting. You should try to include your targeted key phrases within the copy and page title. Although you will want to include them you should not do so at the expense of reducing the readability of your article.
Links – Press releases are not like blog posts where you include a good number of links throughout the post. New stories tend to include very few links as they don’t want to advertise people’s companies. You can usually include the odd link in the footer of an article but it will vary depending on the outlet.
Don’t Advertise – This is probably one of the biggest no no’s. This will instantly get the journalist reaching for the trash can. When writing the piece you should also try to be unbiased. Journalists like well balanced stories.
Timing Is Everything – Journalists are always on the lookout for stories but sending them at the right time is crucial. Most outlets will be short on stories in the summer months or during holidays. This makes it an ideal time to send a story. Make sure you send them in office hours.
Submit The Releases Manually – Mass submission approaches won’t work (usually). You need to find the appropriate media outlets and journalists and contact them directly. The message should be carefully crafted for each journalist. If need be you should pick up the phone and speak to journalists direct. This will help you in the future as you can build up a relationship with them.
Record Responses – This is essential. You need to record the interactions you have with each person. Most journalists will provide feedback which you can use for next time. If they accepted your first press release they are likely to accept further ones.
These all seem pretty straight forward however it takes time and practice to perfect it. You won’t get accepted everywhere and all the time.