Recently, dozens of bloggers – both PR and content marketing experts – have been claiming that the press release no longer has any value. So is that true? Should we all stop creating press releases? I think it depends on your purpose.
Press Releases for Gaining Earned Media
Journalists get volumes of these releases every day, and often just delete them without even reading them. If you want media coverage, you have to do it the old fashioned way – the leg work that top PR professionals do every day. Find the journalists and bloggers who write about your topic, get to know what they cover, contact them and pitch your stories aligned with their objectives, and then send the press release as background.
Press Releases for Demonstrating Progress in Your Company
Press releases on your news page can be an important validator in the complex B2B sales process – especially for financial technology providers. Buyers who are considering your firm often look at your news page to see what other clients are using your products. Generally, these releases hold very little meaningful content, and I think that most firms could do a LOT more to tell stories and turn this medium into vehicle for demonstrating their value proposition.
Press Releases for Amplifying Your Content Marketing
I’ve found that using wire services to publish press releases actually helps amplify our content strategy and facilitate content discovery. For example, when we issue a case study, we use the press release to tell an abridged story, linking the release to the case study. Then we put the release out via wire service to finance and technology corridors, selecting the least expensive distribution route from one of the major wire services. This approach gets your release up on hundreds of sites where people can discover the content. But I don’t look at this as a PR strategy. I consider it paid advertising.
So should you use press releases? Yes – but they need to be aligned with your overall content marketing, they need to tell a story that is interesting, and they should be used to demonstrate your value proposition and amplify your content strategy.
For more information on how to use press releases as part of your content strategy, check out these posts: