It's a common fallacy, especially among small business owners. The idea that writing and distributing a single online press release is enough to gain exposure is as pervasive as it is untrue. One release is unlikely to yield the exposure, media coverage, and marketing benefits that an ongoing PR campaign can produce.
Online PR should be a component of your continuing marketing efforts. There are good reasons large companies often put out dozens of press releases each year; some distribute hundreds. They understand the value of keeping their names in front of those who can help build their brands and promote their products.
Below, we'll present some of the most compelling reasons to add online PR to your regular marketing mix. Whether you're pursuing exposure in the search engines or the attention of journalists and bloggers, you'll discover how consistent press release distribution can help build your business.
The Journalist's Unspoken Credo: What Is Familiar Is Credible
This is something that few journalists and bloggers publicly admit. The more they see the name of your company, the more likely they are to consider your press releases for publication. Having a track record builds credibility in their eyes.
In any given year, a full-time journalist might skim through hundreds of releases. Most of them come from companies that are unfamiliar. Predictably, there is an inherent skepticism on the part of the journalist, who has no expectation regarding whether a given company will survive. If a press release carries a "big" news story, it may grab the journalist's attention. Otherwise, releases from unfamiliar companies are likely to be set aside for those coming from companies that are recognizable.
The bottom line: the more press releases you send, the more attention you'll attract. And this means more coverage for your company.
Increased Search Engine Visibility
A single online press release can bring targeted search traffic to your site. But over time, the position of the release will likely fall, eventually dropping off the first page of the organic results. As this happens, you'll find your traffic will decline. This is one of the reasons to distribute press releases on a consistent basis. Rather than relying upon a single release to drive search traffic, you can have several streams of traffic coming from multiple releases.
This not only increases your exposure in the search engines, but also improves the ranking of your company website. Each press release carries links to your site. The more releases that are indexed by the search engines, the more links you'll build. A growing link profile is a key ingredient of search engine optimization.
Suppressing Negative Publicity In The Search Engines
While the search engines have been a boon for many small businesses, they have also opened the door to criticism. Frustrated customers, disgruntled ex-employees, and even competitors, can post disparaging comments about your company on blogs, forums, and social media sites. Once such comments are indexed in the search engines, they are almost impossible to remove.
By consistently sending out online press releases, you can push such negative comments off the first page of the organic search listings. Together, your press releases, along with your website, can essentially control the first page for your company's name. Few people will venture to the second and third pages. Out of sight equals out of mind.
How Often Should You Distribute Press Releases Online?
This depends largely on your budget, as opposed to newsworthy items about your company. Most business owners assume they have nothing interesting to tell their customers. In truth, there are myriad topics that warrant a press release. For example, you can tout new products, new employees, or new partners. Release news about recent expansions. Let your market know about the ways in which your company is getting involved with your community. Company anniversaries, holiday sales, results from polls recently taken, and tips for your customers, also pose interesting topics for your press releases.
The key is consistency. There is no shortage of things to tell your market. Rather than sending out a single press release, focus on integrating online PR with your regular marketing campaign.