Why do we write press releases?

Being a content writer I have to do varied kinds of jobs: like writing content for sites, blogs, forums and press releases (Oh these days I write official mails to clients too!!!!). Amongst these the most challenging one is writing a press release(PR). I confess that I simply hated writing PRs, so a few days back I decided to ask aji sir (aka Web Kotler), why do we write press releases?

 

Given below are some of the reasons that he gave to me:

  1. To let the whole world of web and off the web know about your services/products/launches: “The best of best is useless if no one knows about it”. A press release will help people know about the products or services that you have developed so they can explore more about it and more importantly they will talk about it. This is the key, to have more people talk about it. There are paid services like urlwire.com of Eric ward and businesswire, they will charge you close to $600 to publish your article across a set of 6000 US journalists. These journalists (if interested) will then publish it across different news websites and many will copy it from news websites. In this way you can get a lot of publicity (and links) through press releases.
  2. News websites publish contents from the press release websites:
    There are many news sites like google news and yahoo news that take content from press releasing websites. Google and Yahoo picks the news from some selected websites only. You can get the list of (new and old) websites using google alerts (subscribe to related keywords). Thus, a well written PR can also become the starting point of your social marketing. There are many who sync (using rss feeds) these news items directly to their websites.
  3. You end up getting more links to your site: When different websites (news websites or websites with focussed subject) pick up the story and use your press release as a resource, you get one-way links. There are many techniques to get good quality links but if your campaign works well then you can get some good number of links. Free press releases contribute very less to it. Matt cutts once said, “Try submitting only to 3 to 4 submission website as only one link will be considered.”
  4. PRs add credibility to your website: Readers do not come to know that a press release can be initiated by the owners of the site, they assume it to be a plain coverage because of its credibility. Trust is a big factor on web, offline as well as online readers are more likely to trust authentic sources like columnists, editors and reviewers about the credibility of any write up. And PRs are covered by journalists, editors and even news websites.An example of building trust through PRs is careonecredit.com. The site has published some quality and well written articles on different news website and it has indeed helped them tremendously in building trust amongst the visitors. People feel that they are covered by big news agencies but the fact is that they did press releases.

There is more to learn about press releases and I am learning :).

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