Science is Beautiful Blog

The Press Release is Dead. Long Live the Press Release

Posted by John Kouten, CEO

Feb 10, 2014 9:30:00 AM

 

John Kouten

The press release has been an important public relations tool since time immemorial. But with the death of the monolithic News Source and the rise of citizen reporting and social media, the press release is actually seeing resurgence in the field of inbound marketing. While the traditional press release is not nearly as relevant as it once was, in the world of inbound marketing there is wide open relevance that will not likely end soon. The following is a look into how press releases are evolving for the modern world.

Press Release Becomes Content Release

The applied sciences and technology industries are rich with news, and while the general media are less interested in static traditional press releases; your target audiences will read your news if it is presented in easy to read, multi media sharable formats.  Consequently we are witnessing a sharp decline in the effectiveness of the traditional press release and an evolution of the press release as a tool to provide multimedia content – links, print, audio and video.

As the press release evolves we are witnessing a complete change in how we measure the effectiveness of this communication vehicle. In the past it was considered successful if the mainstream or trade media pulled quotes or wrote stories about your news release. Later we measured how many news organizations “posted” your press release.  Today, your press release should also drive traffic to your web properties and result in social sharing.

Also, press releases today should never be distributed in a vacuum. We should support press releases with social media air cover -- tweets, Linked In posts, Face book posts and YouTube links, etc. The era of professional reporters needing press releases is almost at an end. While there may be professional news sources in the future, their jobs will most likely be as curators for large numbers of individually reported stories that ordinary people have submitted.

The Evolution of SEO

If you were around in the 90s during the stone age of online marketing, you are well aware that SEO used to be all about submitting to as many search engines as possible. The copypasta of that era was legendary, but it ultimately surrendered to Google's dominance in searches. With so many updates happening all the time, two things have become clear: reaching search engines for your inbound marketing is now about far more than keywords, and the best way to appeal to a search engine is providing content  people want.

Today, optimizing for search engines is less about technical details and more about providing expert  content for your readers. When your target audience is attracted to information  worth reading, they will return, and more important, share this information with others. Today's inbound marketing depends on this process of sharing. With so many different ways to share, SEO has evolved to be about this social process. 

Since your company undoubtedly has a lot to say but limited time to do so, a press release can be the best possible way to disseminate information. Most importantly, you

When you write a press release, you are putting the most vital news components into a multi-media, sharable format that the public can easily digest. Since ordinary people (not big media) are the primary distributors of news and search engines respond to this sharing -- press releases are powerful communication tools. As well, since potential customers are more likely to use what you offer if they are familiar with your company's contributions, press releases are still one of the best ways to communicate with your target audiences.

If you are engaged in content communications and inbound marketing, we've got a free inbound marketing checklist that is just for you. Download it here

 

Topics: public relations, science communications, inbound marketing, content marketing

 

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