January 29, 2016
Recently, I wrote a blog post answering one of the questions that we receive almost every week from clients: “should we issue a press release?” Once a client reviews our press release check list and determines that their news is in fact press release worthy, the next set of questions we receive typically includes: “who should we send this to?” and then, “should we issue this over the wire?” (‘the wire’ refers to a press release distribution service, such as BusinessWire or PRNewsWire).
This is another one of those times where our answer is actually another question: what is your goal of issuing the release in the first place? Let’s review some of the common reasons that companies issue press releases, and the best distribution method to accomplish each goal:
- To drive general awareness/improve your Google search ranking/SEO and drive web traffic: If this is your primary goal for issuing a press release, then distributing the release over the wire is the way to go as this method guarantees online coverage of your announcement. Though keep in mind, Google issued a set of rules in 2013 that basically states that verbatim press releases will not rank as highly as unique editorial content. That said, to avoid getting dinged by Google, just make sure that your release contains original content and does not read like a laundry list of buzzwords and miscellaneous links.
- To secure in-depth coverage of your company’s news: If you are issuing a press release in the hopes that journalists will see your news and write about it, then consider initiating a two-pronged distribution strategy: distribute your release over the wire and to a targeted media list (more on this in a future post). If you are announcing really big news (such as a major new partnership or acquisition) a wire distribution may be enough to get journalists’ attention as they often do monitor wire content and will write directly from press releases. But, even so, we would always recommend conducting targeted outreach to your highest-priority media targets
- To support sales: If you are issuing a press release simply to give your sales team a piece of collateral to use, then consider just posting the release to your website, and not issuing it via the wire or to a targeted media list.
There is one more factor to consider before deciding which press release distribution method to pursue —your budget. Most reputable wire services do come with a pretty hefty fee. A typical one-page press release issued nationally in the U.S. could cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000+, depending on the service you select.
As you have read, considering whether or not to issue a press release and whether or not to issue the release over the wire is not a black and white issue, and sometimes it is worth getting a third-party perspective on the issue. If you have any questions about your company’s press release strategy and would like some expert advice, please feel free to reach out to us at any time at email@example.com.
Be sure to visit our blog again soon for more PR tips. Next month, we will answer another burning PR question: how do we measure the success of a PR program? And later, we will also revisit the topic broached earlier in this post: how to create a media list that reaches your target audience.