A press release is one of the promotion methods that (almost) survived the web 2.0 evolution. The only thing that changed is the focus: while earlier the main aim of the press release was to get links from various news sites re-publishing one and the same content, today it is more about making the news viral.
If more people understand that, I am sure they will learn how to make the most of their press release: just give it more thought and you will see you link numbers sky-rocking.
I am not a professional press release writer and when I need a good news article written I’d rather turn to the copywriter. But I’ve dealt with quite a few press releases to constantly come across the 3 most common mistakes that are sure to doom the effort to failure:
No (“worthy”) news at all
I see no point in publishing a press release if you have nothing newsworthy to share. Sometimes people mistaken a press release for some advanced article distribution service and they promote their a no-news-at-all content at all:
Good news-types topics (that should go viral) may include:
- A new tool launched by the service;
- A new serious move in the company taken (going green is a good idea which will be almost sure to generate you some solid links and awareness);
- A new survey / research completed and made public;
- A contest or awards event announced (“Top ten blogs” in a niche awards, for example);
- A new book published or a new completely new product developed.
In other words, to make the news spread it should contain some useful, tightly targeted information that will make the readers want to republish it (I do not mean automatic scrapers here – they will come no matter what the press release is about; what I mean are real people who will respond to your news and promote it further).
Too much / Too little detail in the title
Like the web page title in general, the title of the press release is crucial for click-through, rankings and viral effect. Shockingly, most press releases I’ve seen lack a thoroughly thought-of title: it is either to long (removing the need to even click-through to learn more) or too general (which makes it sound too dry to encourage an action):
(Who is it actually about?)
Too much focus on the link building
Again, a press release is more about getting the idea viral than stuffing it with multiple links: