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Effectiveness Of Press Releases?

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#1 Xangis

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 10:45 PM

I have my first press release scheduled to go out tomorrow (via PRWeb). I don't expect much from it, but maybe I could be pleasantly surprised. Here are some "noob" questions I have:

 

Do you use press releases as a strategy to get more website traffic?

Are the paid services worth the investment?

What kind of results have you seen?

 

As far as I can tell it's sort of like buying a scratch off lottery ticket. You might win $1000, but chances are you just threw away a few dollars.

 

It also seems like the efforts accumulate over time, so doing things that are interesting enough to mention in a press release every 4-6 weeks might pay off more than just a one-shot thing. Anybody have experience to confirm or deny that?



#2 iamlost

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 11:08 PM

There have been a number of threads here on aspects of Press Releases. Two that I've commented on are:
* The Press Release: Not Dead Yet, June 2013.
* How To Write Press Releases?, April 2014.



#3 EGOL

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:20 AM

Do you use press releases as a strategy to get more website traffic?

 

No.    

 

My visitors share my content through stumble, reddit, slashdot, etc and that does better than a press release.

 

 


Are the paid services worth the investment?

 

I would not use them, even if they were free. 

 

I would rather spend the time to make content for my own site than to spread it across the web in a press release.


 

 

What kind of results have you seen?

 

I think that a lot of people who now have panda and penguin problems were big users of press releases.

 

 

 

These are just my opinions.  You will find plenty of people who disagree... probably the guys taking your money for press releases.... and traditional PR people who have evolved into spammers who wear suits to work.


Edited by EGOL, 27 May 2014 - 08:21 AM.


#4 jonbey

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:00 AM

Use LinkedIn, Twiiter and Google+ to find every single journalist, reporter, editor etc. that might be interested (don't bother with general news, go for niche publications or those with niche experts) and ping them. They probably won't be reading PRWeb.



#5 EGOL

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:07 AM

They probably won't be reading PRWeb.

 

Nobody reads that crap. 



#6 earlpearl

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:49 AM

Nobody reads that crap. 

LOL.   I'd say this is to the point!!!!!   Ha ha.



#7 EGOL

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 11:15 AM

Go to PRweb and look at the recent additions.  You will not want to read any of it.

 

If you do read any of it you will find a bunch of chest-thumping BS that is a total pack of puff. 



#8 earlpearl

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 07:10 PM

Well here is some sweet news about the web press release sites:   http://searchenginel...se-sites-192789



#9 EGOL

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:11 PM

heh.... What took google so long.  I could have told them a long time ago that those sites were crap. 



#10 bwelford

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 02:06 PM

Don't forget:  Those press releases were favored by the big guys with all the money.  With Google, money talks.



#11 test-ok

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 02:49 AM

Don't forget:  Those press releases were favored by the big guys with all the money.  With Google, money talks.

Do you really think google is able to take certain sites and make them exempt in an algorithm that would exclude them for a lot of money? ;)



#12 bwelford

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 09:54 AM

I'm sure that if one of the money guys is hurt by a change in the algorithm then red alarms start ringing and they make sure the situation is corrected.  Clearly the algorithm must be wrong if one of their big friends is hurt.  After all, money talks.  :(



#13 MarkWarner

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 03:13 PM

The ROI usually is not there if this is just a promotional strategy by itself for you. When I have done the math for clients in the past, it usually either looks to be a break-even scanario or a losing decision. With the recent issues that PRweb and others are facing, it is even less likely to be profitable as a stand alone promotional tool. I wouldn't bother with the paid services for the most part unless you've got the buku big bucks to toss around and are willing to go for the highest packages. You are better off developing and working with a qualty list of media contacts, or hiring a PR company that focuses in your industry and has those key contacts already.


Edited by MarkWarner, 31 May 2014 - 03:15 PM.


#14 EGOL

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 08:21 AM

Barry S. says that the press release sites got hammered by Panda....

http://www.seroundta...ases-18631.html



#15 iamlost

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 08:39 AM

Well here is some sweet news about the web press release sites:   http://searchenginel...se-sites-192789

 

Barry S. says that the press release sites got hammered by Panda....

http://www.seroundta...ases-18631.html

Sooo...

do you think that the PR sites were used because they were awesome platforms for getting out one's message...

Ooor...

do you think that the PR sites were used because they - and so one's message - showed up high in SE queries....

Oooor...

do you think that the PR sites were used as juicy backlink fodder and who cares about any message?

 

:D

 

Of course none of the answers to the above actually say anything much about the value of a Press Release, instead they say more about both sides of the search game.


Edited by iamlost, 01 June 2014 - 08:40 AM.


#16 MarkWarner

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 10:28 AM

Sooo...

do you think that the PR sites were used because they were awesome platforms for getting out one's message...

Ooor...

do you think that the PR sites were used because they - and so one's message - showed up high in SE queries....

Oooor...

do you think that the PR sites were used as juicy backlink fodder and who cares about any message?

 

 

The "majority" of people using those big release websites were after the latter two scenarios you list. If you read the stuff published there, it's mostly garbage.



#17 iamlost

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 11:48 AM

The "majority" of people using those big release websites were after the latter two scenarios you list. If you read the stuff published there, it's mostly garbage.

Which was my point. They weren't actually 'doing' Press Releases for marketing or exposure, instead they were simply playing the SE back links game.

 

For those folks who actually want to write PRs the best way by far is as you mention in a prior post: You are better off developing and working with a qualty list of media contacts, or hiring a PR company that focuses in your industry and has those key contacts already.

 

In other words: a press release is content released to the press. Such a shocking concept. :D



#18 cre8pc

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 11:34 AM

Fourteen years ago, one of my freelance projects was emailing press releases for a famous web site to specific newspaper and magazine editors.  The job required that I research the correct names and obtain accurate email addresses.  Every email was modified to be customized for each recipient.  Not once did I submit any press release to search engines or sites like PRWeb.

That one client was the only one to use this personalized method.  Every other SEO project I did that included press release work was nothing more than writing a press release and paying the fee to have it placed into PRweb.com.  Time was spent on the links inside the press release and in all but a few cases, the content itself was not fussed over.

The idea was that once the press release was submitted to press release sites, and optimized for specific keywords, it would magically find interested editors and bloggers who would pick it up and write a blurb or blog post about it.

I agree that the stuff found on PRweb is useless.  



#19 EGOL

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 12:06 PM

A long time ago...  (before the internet and even before fax machines and desktop computers (anybody remember the Mag Card Selectric?))... I worked at a government agency.   Occasionally we had news that we wanted to communicate.  We would write press releases and send them (by snail mail) to all of the newspapers, radio stations, tv stations, relevant government agencies, a few relevant university departments located in our state plus anybody else who asked to be on our press release list.  For the media we would usually include a high quality relevant photo.

 

Sending out a press release was a lot of work, printing photos (B&W of course), folding papers, stuffing envelopes and running them through a PB machine.  Cost a lot of money too.

 

The press releases would almost always be published in several newspapers and result in phone calls or visits from reporters who wanted more information. 

 

Like I said, this was a long time ago before you posted stuff on your website, so informing the media was the only way to get information out to a lot of people. 

 

In those days, this was how press releases were supposed to be done.  And, yes, even then there were a few people who sent spam press releases.  They were guys who liked to do a little chest thumpin', but most people who received this crap got on to them after a few BS releases and tossed them in the trash. 

 

When people had to do a lot of work to produce a press release and produced them infrequently with substantive content, they were quite effective.   Today, press releases are waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy out of hand.  People publish press releases when nuthun' happened and spam has grown into an industry.   Probably because it is so easy to send them out.


Edited by EGOL, 02 June 2014 - 12:30 PM.


#20 bwelford

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 03:20 PM

It strikes me that press releases would be so much better with a little customer-centric thinking.  So many press releases are created with the notion that what a company has done will be of interest to the world.  It is the old "Read all about it" approach.

 

The customers for press releases are those people sitting in an editorial office.  What to do they need? They have a certain amount of editorial space to fill.  They are looking for content that is likely to be of interest to their readers and which hopefully will create a Wow! when those readers see it.  If you try to create content that will work for those editors, then you are much more likely to be given space and have your message presented in an eye-catching way.  By all means personalize it for the particular contact who already knows you.  Even so it has got to be something they are delighted to receive.



#21 glyn

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 01:13 PM

Who you are changes the feedback you get from wherever!

#22 TheAlex

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 05:26 PM

If you have news to share that people outside your company is interested in, then I see value in press releases - it's just about getting them in front of the right audience. The only experience I have directly with press releases is with a couple I created for a band I played in. I didn't submit them to any press release websites, but sent them with personal messages to relevant journalists/editors/writers and got some success from them. That was a few years ago and we're so saturated with new music these days that even that might not work as well.

 

As of a year ago, online press releases could still help you rank for an obscure keyword: http://searchenginel...releases-158350


Edited by TheAlex, 03 June 2014 - 05:26 PM.


#23 earlpearl

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:05 PM

A long time ago...  (before the internet and even before fax machines and desktop computers (anybody remember the Mag Card Selectric?))... I worked at a government agency.   Occasionally we had news that we wanted to communicate.  We would write press releases and send them (by snail mail) to all of the newspapers, radio stations, tv stations, relevant government agencies, a few relevant university departments located in our state plus anybody else who asked to be on our press release list.  For the media we would usually include a high quality relevant photo.

 

Sending out a press release was a lot of work, printing photos (B&W of course), folding papers, stuffing envelopes and running them through a PB machine.  Cost a lot of money too.

 

The press releases would almost always be published in several newspapers and result in phone calls or visits from reporters who wanted more information. 

 

Like I said, this was a long time ago before you posted stuff on your website, so informing the media was the only way to get information out to a lot of people. 

 

In those days, this was how press releases were supposed to be done.  And, yes, even then there were a few people who sent spam press releases.  They were guys who liked to do a little chest thumpin', but most people who received this crap got on to them after a few BS releases and tossed them in the trash. 

 

When people had to do a lot of work to produce a press release and produced them infrequently with substantive content, they were quite effective.   Today, press releases are waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy out of hand.  People publish press releases when nuthun' happened and spam has grown into an industry.   Probably because it is so easy to send them out.

I'm friendly with somebody who used to work for PRWeb sometime ago.  In fact we had met and he tried to sell me.  Long ago.  In his current professional life he is part of a smart and effective seo team.  They are good.   He knows PRWeb pretty well and still knows some players.

 

In his current incarnation he found one value:   The contact list of PR contacts and sources.  Its a big big expensive and time consuming job to get, make and establish those contacts and then keep in touch and current with them so that they might respond to real stories and real opportunities.  Even if you have the contacts...time suggests significant changes.   The contact you knew from the past might be covering different topics now.  

 

But this fellow really valued the contacts.   Once he left PRWeb did he value them for their other services???    NOPE.





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