Maximize the Power of your Press Efforts

Two ways to use press releases more effectively

These days, a press release does double duty.  First, it serves a traditional public relations purpose. It provides news that editors of publications might be interested in capturing for their readers. This is important, not only because you can get published in powerful venues both print and online, but also because it gets your company name in front of some of the most influential people in your industry. Editors and journalists are always talking with others about industry topics and companies that excite them.

Second, a press release distributed online exponentially multiplies the size and influence of your online footprint. In other words, when people are searching for the service or product your sell, they are much more likely to find you.  If they find a formal press release, it increases your credibility in their eyes. If a potential client is searching specifically for your company’s name to help them decide whether to buy, the existence of a solid network of press releases, social media postings, blogs and other “traction” online will push them over the edge to make a decision to buy.

Traditional P.R. — Build Relationships with Editors

To further maximize the power of your press release, you should make plans to personally contact a select number of editors in your industry with whom you could build business relationships.  You can become an information source for them by offering free information, keeping them updated on some of the latest studies and happenings related to your product, and sending them occasional articles you’ve found on the web, for example. If you attend tradeshows, you can further build these invaluable relationships by asking for meetings, visiting publication booths, and attending press events—even giving editors and writers small tokens of your appreciation to help them remember you. Your interaction with them should always be businesslike and courteous of their time. It’s important to limit yourself to being helpful, and avoiding at all costs being pushy. It’s also important to limit your contact to just once every couple of months, more or less, depending on your industry and the urgency of your topic. Do anything you can to show up just when they need the information you have to offer. Like anyone else, it takes editors 5 to 7 impressions to really remember you.

Online P.R. — Repetition and Key Words

When it comes to online p.r., the name of the game is getting the biggest, most robust footprint you can. First, pay attention to repetition to increase the size of your footprint. It’s effective to combine press releases with a solid program of social media that includes blogs, articles, tweets, videos and — most importantly — links between them, with everything pointing back to your web site.

Second, after someone finds you on the web, you must make sure the content they see is robust. By that, we mean it must have truly useful, factual, well-drafted ideas. Too many online articles and blogs are sloppily written these days. A sloppy article with a lot of keywords might get you placed higher in search engine results, but once someone finds you, they may not have a great impression of you if the material is not professional and rich in helpful ideas.

If you pay attention to both arms of p.r.–traditional and online–and follow through with a well-planned strategy, you will substantially increase the power of your message to the marketplace.