People are getting their news from more and more diverse channels in 2020. Without the audience that major networks and channels used to command, attention has shifted to many different points.
However, the human demand for news remains just as strong.
Press releases, along with many other news formats, have adapted to meet this demand. The Internet is one of the fastest-growing outlets for news, second only to television.
Press release distribution has undergone a dramatic change in the past decade to meet these very different media consumption habits. And as news services specialize, consumers and clients are expecting better and better levels of customization to their needs. News apps are constantly being innovated to better serve general consumers, business clients, and all the variations therein.
SEO and PR
Of course, there is a powerful and effective SEO component to press release. The publication of relevant news across multiple reputable outlets signals to search engines that this piece of news and its relevant sources contained therein are valuable content.
On a qualitative front, however, the targeted use of press releases can generate attention that leads directly to sales or customer action. With the ability of modern press release distribution services like PRDistribution.com to target regional and industry publications, PR strategies can be very finely tuned to reach the most effective audiences.
The boost this gives a brand or company can be very powerful and also quick, with a high level of cost effectiveness. Oftentimes, it is the rate of change that is lacking in organic SEO and branding efforts. High quality press releases and press release distribution services allow businesses to reach thousands or tens of thousands of outlets and, over the course of a few weeks to months, clients will have had numerous high-credibility viewings of the brand.
With the correct strategy, effective press release distribution will lead directly to increased organic engagement. Readers can be directed back to native content or even right to sales outlets. Press release services like PR Distribution also facilitate the hosting of content so that many years down the road, your accumulated media and content is still generating SEO value for your brand.
Within certain industries, a credible press release launch is also an important part of getting in the door. Marketing and sales departments within the industry are often paying close attention to their respective industry outlets. Featuring prominently in such publications will at the least create awareness for a new brand or product.
How to Create Effective, High-Quality Press Release Content
Veterans of the PR industry know that certain guidelines have to be met in order for a story to gain significant traction. This can be as simple as the formatting of a story and the inclusion of media. There can be slight differences from industry to industry, so it pays (this is always helpful) to familiarize yourself with individual publications and journalists.
Visit PR Distribution’s resource center to view our templates and press release writing guidelines. These will give you a start in creating your custom press releases and casting your company news in a relevant and engaging light.
Many press release distribution services also offer complete packages that include written content. PR Distribution’s PR Writing service can shed more light on this type of service. These types of services are a good way to work with writers and marketing strategists that have specialized industry writing experience. They may be familiar already with the particular needs of journalists in an industry and can then help your company or brand get a leg up in terms of competing for readership.
Who Will Read Your Press Piece?
When you prepare your press release strategy, consider where you want to be published, foremost. Your strategy will differ if you’re aiming at a large general audience or a more localized, specialized audience. Keep in mind your usage of industry lingo, regional language and locations, as well as the industry implications of the news you’re announcing, be it a new product, service, location, etc.
The good news about landing a piece in a big publication is that it also signals credibility to smaller publications who are now more likely to pick up your story. This effect will also affect your newsworthiness in social media, blogs, etc.
What Is Newsworthy?
Of course, this all depends on the newsworthiness of your piece. If you’re breaking ground on a large factory, or have made a large real estate purchase, that can be highly relevant to a local community. Likewise, if your company is introducing a groundbreaking product, make sure to highlight the implications of that. If you are ethical and professional in your reporting, then publications and journalists will be able to lean more on your brand for true industry news.
Final Dos and Don’t
Do make use of available multimedia options. Give readers more opportunities to connect with your company. This can also give journalists and editors more to work with when writing about your company.
Do link back to your site. Besides the obvious SEO benefits of creating high-credibility links to your native site, this can greatly improve the user experience for readers who are genuinely interested in your company.
Do include contact or location information. This is particularly relevant if you are publishing locally.
Don’t disregard your press release distribution service’s formatting guidelines. These are often following the dictates of publications. If you submit a piece that is overlong, for example, it can greatly lower your chances of being published.
Don’t write spammy articles and headlines. Inaccurate or sensational headlines may give you a short-term boost in viewership, but this type of content can often damage the reputation of your marketing team, particularly in smaller industries.
Don’t skimp on editing. There are numerous resources for crafting and editing press releases and even small errors can be costly.
Final Checklist for Industry Homework
As we’ve discussed, small steps in preparation can make for a big difference in how willing a publication or journalist in your industry is to accept your press release. We’re listing here in checklist format the very basics of making sure your content is news-ready (we’ll leave it to your judgement to decide what’s newsworthy). Head over to PR Distribution’s industry resource templates for further detail.
- What aspects of your industry does this publication or journalist cover? Just because an outlet ostensibly covers your industry, it doesn’t mean that a particular piece of news you have is relevant to it. For example, if an engineering magazine focuses on technical developments in the field, it may not be interested in news regarding your engineering firm’s large charity efforts. Making small adjustments in tone and content can reap large dividends.
- Have you done basic research on the journalists that will be receiving your pitches? Going out of your way to follow up with a personalized message can also be a big help in establishing a professional journalistic relationship. This is, after all, the foundation of PR before press release distribution became more automated in recent years.
Clearly, you don’t need to do this for every media outlet you send your press release to, but do target the most prominent outlets. Addressing a journalist by name and following up after a press release gets published can be important in setting a relationship, informing the tone of what gets written about your company, and is a courteous professional step that can open up future opportunities for press and industry insights.
- Have you vetted your own press piece? This seems like it should go without saying, but often, especially as organizations get bigger, things can change even during the writing of a press release. Make sure that your marketing and product teams are in sync with the actual content of your article. After all, it is an official release representing the official voice of the brand or company. Having to publish an update or retraction because of factual inaccuracies will instantly muddle your message. Additionally, make sure that the tone and content of the piece fits your overall brand. If your organization is smaller, or you require professional expertise in fitting these pieces together, many press release distribution services have networks of professional writers and strategists who can help with the overall scope of the project. Visit PR Distribution’s PR Writing division for examples of what can be done in this regard.
In 2020, with the further specialization of news and audiences, it is more and more important to pay attention to detail and factualness. Readers, both consumers and professionals, are more savvy these days and will smell the substance of an article. The same goes for journalists, bloggers, and other media voices.
We at PR Distribution wish you good luck in PR for 2020.