I used to work at newspapers and magazines – the types of publications that receive dozens (if not hundreds) of press releases every day. All of these organizations are, in simplest terms, looking for free publicity. They hope their event or accomplishment is worthy enough to be featured in the publication.
Obviously, these newspapers and magazines don’t act on the vast majority of press releases they receive; but when they get a good one, they’ll end up doing a story on it. If a reporter is getting several press releases each week from the same company, after a few weeks of less-than-newsworthy suggestions, that reporter will begin ignoring everything that comes across their desk.
I know; I used to do it.
All of that being said, with search engine optimization and online content an additional element of press releases has arisen. Not only are you hoping to get that free press, but you’re also hoping to get the online benefit of improved search results for your company or keywords. And while it’s important to try to get Google’s robots to look over your content, you shouldn’t forget about a human’s ability to look over your content.
Like many online channels, online press releases have devolved into another avenue for spam. People decide to send press releases for the most mundane of announcements, simply for the potential search engine benefit. But again, there are actual people who look at these sites – who subscribe to certain categories within these press release directories – and if they notice you’re continually making announcements about things like buying a new water cooler or what your team had for lunch, they will be conditioned to not even give your release a few seconds of attention.
The solution, again, is to focus on quality, not quantity. Only submit releases that really are newsworthy, and categorize them correctly so people who are potentially interested actually see it. If you choose to capitalize on the ever-diminishing SEO benefits of online press releases, do so from a different account – one that you don’t care about people actually reading.
But for the quality releases that you hope to get picked up by websites, blogs, newspapers, magazines, or other publications, take the time to do it right and establish that reputation of always providing quality online press releases.