Are Press Releases Still Effective? 5 Myths To Ignore

All businesses can benefit from good PR. A well-developed press release has the potential to garner the attention of your company's target audience.

All businesses can benefit from good PR. A well-developed press release has the potential to garner the attention of your company’s target audience.

Sadly, 
a great press release is one thing that a lot of e-cmmerce businesses
 are missing out on given that many entrepreneurs
 have accepted a few myths about PR.

Here’s a look at five press release myths you should ignore:

 

Myth 
1: My press release will not get published.

In
 times past, businesses (or their PR agency) would submit their press releases to journalists. These 
journalists would then decide if the story was worthy.

In
 today’s Internet age, getting word about your business is not as challenging. For starters, you can write a press release, or hire someone to write it for you, and sign up for press release
submission sites. These sites not only publish your press release, but many of them 
syndicate your submission to relevant news outlets and typically allow outbound links, which can give you a healthy SEO boost.

If
 your run a startup, then it is wise to invest in a good press release distribution service such as PR Newswire, PR.com or Business Wire. There are free and paid press release sites. Paid press release services can range from $100 to $300 per release.

This
 means that getting published, and driving traffic to your company website, is no longer at the complete mercy of media gatekeepers.

 

Myth 
2: Press releases are for larger companies.

If you have a shoestring PR budget, there are press
 release services that are more forgiving on the wallet. These 
sites, however, often do not include distribution services. Their site rankings 
may also not be as impressive as their pricier counterparts.

As I mentioned in my earlier point, there free press release sites but they are limited in features. For example, they may or may not let you include photos, videos, or HTML content.

To identify the best free press release sites, you will have to do a bit more work such as profile their page rank to make sure that you are
 submitting to one with at least a 4 or 5 score. This can also mean going the
 manual route when choosing distribution channels.

 

Myth 
3:  Press release distribution services are a last-ditch effort.

Depending
 on the size of your PR budget, press release services can yield explosive results. However, getting your release published is not the end of the line. You can amplify the benefits.

Once 
your press release is published, you can schedule social media updates featuring the release with compelling snippets in your updates. You can also publish a company blog post highlighting key insights from the release.

I’d also recommend monitoring your distributions and relevant news stories through social media and Google alerts. You can then pitch your release directly to qualified media reporters, writers and journalists.

 

Myth
 4: No one will read my press release.

Did
 you know that images, videos, and other forms of media can be incorporated into a 
press release? Multimedia is a sure way to grab someone’s attention. Remember:
 where interest is, attention and action can follow.

Use branded graphics when incorporating media into your press
release. You can link to a relevant case study, an infographic or a fun explainer video.

Multimedia visuals are a few of the ingredients to a press release recipe, so make sure the content itself is publish-worthy.

 

Myth 
5: I don’t have a newsworthy story or the skills to tell it.

If you don’t have a story or new news to share then consider riding on the coattails of trending events. Often businesses “tie media pitches to popular news to generate coverage for their companies. One approach, sometimes called ‘newsjacking,’ is to piggyback breaking news. Another is to get ahead of the news curve (PR Daily).”

Next, you can always hire
 a content writer or copywriter to draft a press release for you. While rates will vary, you can also seek out the help of content writer VA’s (i.e., virtual assistant’s). With the right VA you can create affordable press releases without compromising the quality of your content.

 

This article has been edited and condensed.

Catherine vanVonno is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) service provider. Under her leadership 20Four7VA has developed into one of the most well-respected VA service providers in the e-commerce space. Catherine holds a doctorate degree in applied statistics, research design and program evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is married with four children.
 Connect with @20Four7VA on Twitter.

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