Most people think of a press release as a tool that will bring attention to their product, service, or art. Few people consider how to get eyeballs on the press release itself. But just like a social media post, feature article, or promotional video, if people don’t see the press release, then what’s the point?
The problem is that websites, journalists, and editors are rarely excited about publishing press releases. Why? Because unless you’re J.K. Rowling announcing a new Harry Potter book, or Apple announcing a new iPhone, it’s likely not the kind of news their readers are interested in.
This presents an obvious problem. How do you get eyes on what you have to say, without breaking the bank?
Let’s face it: most press releases are making boring announcements. You may find it interesting, and maybe even your biggest fans, but will anyone else? So after writing standard press releases for years, we decided to experiment with different formats for our own.
We use our press releases to tell stories of the behind-the-scenes of the company, as opposed to just dishing out announcements. The end result is that the press releases on our website are just as popular as our blog posts; and our readers are actually more likely to share them than an article like this, giving free advice.
We have very few press releases without pictures and videos – and neither should you. Graphic content helps to grab people’s interest, and aids with telling our story. It also provides a break from all the text.
We sometimes also use social media updates that were made at the actual time of the incident/event to make things more interesting. We gain quite a few new followers this way.
As we said before, regular customers and the public at large don’t read many press releases. Customers are more likely to take advice from other customers; especially when it comes to purchasing decisions.
This is why customers prefer to check product reviews, as opposed to just product specs on the company website. Use social media to get the ball rolling. Share your press release on the social media platforms you use. If you’ve built up an engaged following, people will re-post it.
You should also include popular social media share buttons on your posts to make sharing as easy and convenient as possible.
Email Marketing or Newsletters
There will always be that family member, friend, or client who is really interested in the developments at your firm, but neither keep up with your blog posts or social media. These people may, however, check their email on a regular basis.
These are the people who will be most interested in signing up for your mailing list, to receive your news conveniently in their inbox. Many of the press releases on our blog, are also released via newsletters to our newsletter subscribers.
We only send out newsletters when we have something worthwhile to say, to reduce the feeling of being “spammed”, and appreciate when other brands do the same.
Your publicist will represent your best interests in the media, and attempt to gain as much media exposure for you, as possible. Though journalists and editors are not big fans of press releases, they do love having experts on hand to get a quote for articles, especially investigative pieces.
So rather than pitch your press release to the editors, a wise publicist pitches your expertise. Most journalists will then give you a short blurb, along with a link your page. For instance, the quote may be preceded by, “According to John Smith, CEO of Company X and longtime supporter of Z…”
Company X may then have a hyperlink to a landing page of your choice. An example of a landing page with a company announcement is our own. Rather than use text, we simply added a banner to the end of our home page. Check it out here.
Having a tough time getting people to read, share, and publish your press releases? Then shoot us an email to see how we can help.
About the Author
Alexis Chateau is the Founder and Managing Director at Alexis Chateau PR. She is an activist, writer, and explorer. Follow her stories of trial and triumph at www.alexischateau.com.