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Modern In-bound Marketing Press Releases

Yesterday Mike Volpe over at HubSpot ran another great webinar, this one on Press Releases. I am impressed with how much focused content he provided. I learned a lot. Here are the points that I noted. I use PR, press release and news release pretty interchangeably here.

He began by establishing the benefit of a news release and provided some facts based on heat maps and comparing organic with pay-per-click (PPC) traffic from search engine result pages and on and off page search engine optimization (SEO).

  • 75% of clicks come from organic results
  • 25% of clicks come from pay-per-click ads

Apparently more highly educated folks use the organic listings more, while those with less education use PPC comparatively more.

  • A Phd uses PPC only 1% of the time
  • A high school educated visitor will use PPC 50% of the time

The next battery of stats were about on page and off page search engine optimization.

  • 25% of SEO is on page – title, copy, H1,2,3 and meta data
  • 75% of SEO is off page – links

Links to your web site were described as having three importance factors, from good to best.

  • a link
  • a link with the specific anchor text of your choice
  • a link with the specific anchor text of your choice on a trusted web site

News Releases include links and are a great way to distribute them to trusted sites.

The overall goals for news releases are:

  1. Build improved ranking for your site in the search engines
  2. Increase your site’s find ability through distributed content
  3. Gain press coverage

Content suggestions

  • Make it interesting, about your industry
  • Trends, survey data, case studies
  • 300 to 1,000 words in length

Style tips

  • Spell out abbreviations, it’s better for the search engines
  • Type out full names more than once in a release, same reason

Key Word notes

  • 1-2 key words per release is sufficient

Love Links

Text of the link, Anchor text of the link, Page title of web site linked to, and the the on page text should all use the same keywords. This shows relevance.

  • Place your link in the first 250 words. Some services will truncate the article at that point.
  • Include one link that is the full URL.
  • Link to your properties, not to others so much
  • Link to interior pages of your site that focus on the same subject.

Your Boiler Plate

This is the text about your company at the bottom of the release. It should be key word rich and include a few links.

Post the news release

  • Post the release on your blog or site
  • Submit it to your RSS feed
  • Tag your release on social tag sites

Distribution of your press release

Choose a wire service that allows links with anchor text. If you need multimedia support, look for one that supports that.

Send your release to only one service, not many. Remember that you get what you pay for. Some agencies are free and others are expensive.

Distribution is offered by these services, among many more;

www.marketwire.com
www.prweb.com
www.prnewswire.com – Steve did not recommend using their regular service at all.

Frequency

Remember that the release is intended to reach prospects and not the media. Some may choose to send them out as often as four times per month. Consider your audience and competition before deciding when not send out a release. A bad time to send a release may be a time when there is also less competition, like at Christmas time.

Measure

Before and after review your and track your

  • Google page rank
  • key word ranking in the search engine results
  • the number of links to your domain name
  • review the quality of those that are linking to you
  • review the anchor text of the inbound links to your site
  • the number of visitors
  • the number of leads you get or conversions (downloads, signups etc.)

Focus future PR efforts on the media that brings the best results.

Social Media News Release

www.shiftcomm.com has a template for social media news releases. Consider embracing social media and multimedia press releases.

www.pr-squared.com has further resources.

Add your press release to your Facebook news feed

Write a Press / News Release Today about

  • A story around the founder
  • Staff you are proud of
  • Customer utilizing your produce service in a unique way
  • Results of a survey or poll
  • Awards
  • Unique story angle on something familiar

Visit this link to see the entire presentation on in-bound marketing press releases. Mike remained on topic and provided a lot of value in this webinar. Since we are both in the Boston area, I look forward to thanking him in person one day.

What tips might you add to this? What have you found successful? Please leave a comment below and click the green button to share this post.

5 thoughts on “Modern In-bound Marketing Press Releases”

  1. Jim – and to Mike Volpe,

    This is a nice recap of the webinar that took place on a very interesting topic for both public relations and marketing professionals alike. There was a lot of great information that came out of this webinar. There were, however, some points that Mike made that I would respectfully like to challenge. Also, I think Mike was given some grossly inaccurate information about PR Newswire which needs immediate correcting.

    Some points I respectfully disagree with:

    1. SEO is a great tool, but it is only one of the tools that counts. No matter how much technology, tactics, tools you use….if the message that you are trying to put out there is not one that is well crafted and interesting, then it’s not going to get all that much attention.

    2. Anchor Text is a great tool, but it’s not always the best tool in our experience. It can be very effective, but keep this in mind, 90% of websites that PR Newswire and other newswire services distribute to DO NOT display the anchor text. While Mike does suggest that you should put at least one full URL in a press release, the most effective way to make sure that your keyword or key phrase is associated with a link for search purposes is to go the old fashion route and have the word or phrase right next to the URL, ie (http://www.etc.com). In speaking with many in the SEO community and Google itself, we are already seeing the algorithms of the major search engines starting to discount the effectiveness of Anchor Text as an SEO tool. However, for those clients wishing to use Anchor Text with PR Newswire, we CAN do this for them both in our Multimedia News Release (the joint PR Newswre / MultiVu offering that was mentioned) and on our “PR Newswire Regular” service via our US1 distribution.

    3. You CAN put too many links in a news release. Mike mentioned that you don’t have to be concerned with putting too many links in a release. This is just not correct – at least not in my experience. PR Newswire has been in the business of distributing press releases for over 50 years, and have been distributing online since 1996, and we have seen a lot of changes through the years. Just as putting multiple tickers into a release was an early form of SEO which later became known as ticker spam, link spam is real and already being discounted in news releases by the search engines. We don’t advise clients to put more than 3-4 links in a release.

    4. You have to know how to write for search engines. One very important thing that Mike did not mention is the importance of selecting the right keywords and writing with proper Keyword Density.

    Inaccurate statements about PR Newswire:
    Mike made a lot of statements about PR Newswire, our services, our distributions that were inaccurate. Most importantly, PR Newswire has been employing Search Engine Optimization since 2004 when we entered into a partnership with iCrossing. We were the first major wire service to start making SEO available for press releases. Our partnership with iCrossing has grown exponentially since 2004. If you have questions about our service, you should know that iCrossing was named as one of the top providers of SEO services by AdAge in Nov. 2007. The points that Mike made during his presentation that our “Regular Service” should not be used and that our SEO is “complete bunk”, is just plain wrong and borders on irresponsible. It seems to me that Mike is totally unfamiliar with our optimized site, systems, and services. I would welcome a conversation about that and what we do to help companies optimize their releases. It’s unfortunate that he would make these statements and provide such misinformation.

    Also, MultiVu is a company that PR Newswire created when we hired broadcast veteran Tim Bahr. The service that you referred to as MultiVu is a joint service of PR Newswire and MultiVu called the Multimedia News Release – which was first used to help launch the movie Pearl Harbor in 2001 – and was the precursor to the much talked about Social Media Release. In fact, Shift Communications first distributed their template in May 2006 using a Multimedia News Release from PR Newswire – http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/shift/24521/ .

    I have been doing a number of seminars and speaking engagements on this topic over the last year. In fact, I will be doing a seminar in Boston on 2/5 that I would like to invite Mike to attend. Education is something that I feel strongly about. I’m very happy to see this conversation taking place, but we need to make sure that we have all the facts before making public statements that can be wrong and have adverse effects.

    Michael Pranikoff
    Director, Emerging Media
    PR Newswire

  2. @Michael Thank you for providing clarification for our readers on the many important points you have raised. I hope you will stop back and leave a link for more details on your Boston presentation. I would love to attend also.

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