#451HeatTV: Today’s Press Release
Press releases have been in use for decades — the first one dating back to 1906. With the advent of the internet people, mostly press, began saying that releases are dead.
Many still believe this, but I’m here to tell you that although times have changed and releases aren’t just for press anymore they remain a critical tool in a publicist’s toolbox.
They should be used sparingly, smartly and function as a sharable content hub for the announcement that can be consumed by both press and consumers. Think of them as a “news” release not just a “press” release.
So why do they matter?
- They help publicists and brands to refine messaging. Sitting down to write a release means tightening up your message and ensuring it’s consistent to ensure a unified message across channels.
- Releases help journalists identify stories. They might just inspire a broader piece and your brand will end up with coverage. They are also viewed as a reliable source by journalists when they are fact-checking stories.
- Even though releases are viewed as syndicated content by Google, they are still a searchable web property when customers are looking for more information about your brand or products.
The key to making a press release relevant today is in how it’s structured and shared. With recent announcements about changes to Google’s link schemes and link devaluation, it’s a good time revisit how to make sure your releases get the most mileage in the digital world.
As publicists, we have to ensure that our releases are searchable and shareable. How do we do that?
- Include Data. Interesting facts and numbers tend to perform well when it comes to sharing.
- Think about Keywords. What terms and phrases do you want to show up for? Use those terms thoughtfully in your release.
- Make it Shareable. We’ve always needed to make releases eye-catching, now they have to be shareable too. If your headline isn’t interesting and succinct, chances are the rest of your release won’t be read, let alone shared.
- Include Relevant Links. Even after the recent Google “link devaluation” announcement, links in press releases are valuable. Why? They give the release audience context and detail around your content.