5 Things Press Releases Are Still Good For

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Photo: daoro via Flickr

The common wisdom these days it that the press release is a bit of a dinosaur.In a world of constant contact many marketers are focusing on blogs and social media as the best channels for spreading their message and raising awareness of their brands.

But a recent study found the 75% of journalists still like press releases, especially if they’re well targeted.

And, according to a few PR pros we spoke with, the press release still offers a lot of value in other ways, too. 

We talked to Steve Greenwood, the creator of PressLift, which is giving the press release a digital makeover, and Ellen Thompson, CEO of the residential marketing website 4 Walls, and together, they came up with…

Grow incoming links

A press release can be a great way to seed the web with your company's name. 'It's a quick way to get a lot of links from good quality sites--much more effective than the old link exchange route,' says Alison Heath of Workbench Marketing.

Target the right resources

Sending a press release to a journalist that doesn't fit their work is the fastest way to piss them off. 'That said, the smartest and harder-working PR people know that, and as such I get some wonderfully targeted stuff,' notes Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs.com. Aim wisely and you could build valuable outlets for your brand.

Raise your profile

'If you are a major consumer brand or person of interest, social media may be enough to get the message out. But if you run a typical business, as unpopular as it may sound, you probably need a press release even more than a social media strategy,' says Ellen Thomas, CEO of the residential marketing firm 4Walls. 'We still find that press releases get us more 'higher profile' coverage.'

Build reputation

Social media is a great way to reach a broad audience, but it doesn't necessarily enhance the reputation of your brand. 'The traditional press release is a good way to build your company's credibility online,' says Kara Silverman, a public relations manager at local advertising firm Yodle.

Improve SEO

A well written press release is key for search engine optimization. 'The audience isn't just a few media outlets, either, but exponentially larger -- including countless bloggers and other outlets,' says Ann Handley of MarketingProfs.com. 'That makes it more imperative than ever that the press release is well-written, scannable, easily understood, free of jargon or 'Franken-speak,' and search-engine friendly, so it'll be indexed and easily found by those who.. well, search for it!'

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