Too many firms resist utilizing press release distribution as a tool in their marketing arsenal. The argument against press release marketing has traditionally been the lack of solid data to accurately gauge your return on investment. But the online press release industry has evolved to the point where marketeers can obtain very detailed tracking information and analytics. In fact, a business that omits press releases from their marketing plan is simply missing out on a significant lead generation and branding opportunity.
Press release distribution has always been among the most inexpensive marketing tactics. It is still a very cost-effective tool. Each release typically costs a few hundred dollars or more, depending on its total reach. Gone are the days when the PR manager would write her release and email it to her limited trade press list. Today each press release can be sent to dozens or hundreds of sources and viewed by thousands of consumers and potential customers. It can be picked up and re-posted by scores of bloggers. It can be connected with your social media sites for extra exposure. In short, each press release can greatly enhance your firm's search-ability and website traffic.
So -- we've convinced you to initiate a press release marketing program. Hang on ... there are a few items to review before you get started.
- Writing ability counts! In the Internet age, there's a ton of poorly-written blogs, web content, press releases, etc. This does not mean it is OK to join the "sloppy writing club." If you are not a strong writer who understands at least the basic rules for constructing press releases, then you should find someone else to handle the task. A shoddy press release may backfire and actually harm your brand image.
- Don't get too cute with your keywords. It is best to write a press release that flows naturally, instead of one that is jammed with a plethora of keywords. Excessive keywords will not help to improve the performance of your press release.
- Avoid the blatant sales pitch. It's fine to write a press release announcing a new or improved product or service. However, it should be written as an information piece that educates the reader. This is another reason why a skilled writer should be constructing your press releases. The experienced PR pro will know how to craft the release so it does not seem like an "in your face" sales pitch.
- Don't overdose on press releases. As you start to see some success with your press release efforts, many marketers are tempted to go to the well too often. There should be a legitimate reason for the release: innovative new product, change in management, office relocation, attendance at a trade fair, speaking at a conference, a new joint marketing arrangement, etc.
Good luck, and happy marketing!