It’s getting harder and harder to prove the ROI of press releases. They can be expensive to write and somehow just as expensive to quantify. How do you interpret the metrics you get back from PR distribution companies? Who is verifying the nature of the reports and whether or not you’re gaining from the publications?
With the rise of social media and various other free or low-cost ways to get earned media, the press release seems harder and harder to justify, at least in an easily quantifiable way.
That is, until you leave the marketing bubble and realize how many companies are still utilizing the press release to keep their audiences on top of key information. They’re just being selective about how they do it, and they’re using a lot of overlap with different tactics. That said, it is hard to beat the established efficacy of press release distribution in making your most noteworthy news is being taken note of.
Even with high-profile companies with highly trafficked websites, social media pages, and tons of earned media coverage, press releases are still the best way to get relevant, accurate, and controlled news about your company to hundreds or thousands of outlets simultaneously.
When there’s a better way to do all of those things simultaneously, let us know. For now, we will keep doing what we do at PRDistribution.com and, yes, we do use our own service. Our strategy has evolved with our industry and we have picked up some important considerations in strategy from our clients.
What we know is that press releases are not going anywhere, rather they are evolving with the age of digital media. They still provide breadth and speed in ways no other method can for organizations of all levels.
So, why has PR taken a hit to its reputation?
Our theory, based on what we have seen from clients, and feedback from repeat customers, is that there often is an education gap. Press releases are, in some ways, quite different from what they used to be. This is necessarily the case, as readership has shifted to online news.
Old methods of reaching out are genuinely not as effective. The use of email has also changed. Journalists are bombarded by pitches. Many have also migrated to Twitter. These changes happened very quickly, and it upended a lot of how PR was done.
Enter press release distribution services with vast networks of journalists and contacts. Yes, they provide unparalleled access to broad swathes of publications of all sizes. Your news will be pitched to major media outlets, as well as blogs, niche publications, and regional and local outlets.
But, this was, and is not a silver bullet. Marketing teams and PR professionals still have to put in legwork, maybe via different channels, to make sure the right messaging is getting across to the right people. It is very easy for your press pieces to take on a spam-like appearance, thereby doing future damage to your brand.
Valuable Content Always Wins
So, if we haven’t made it clear, PR is here to stay, but you need to know to know to make it work. It always starts from the content. Sending press releases is no different from any other aspect of marketing, as long as you understand the steps that are taking place.
When you select a distribution package at PR Distribution, for example–depending on the level you choose– your press release gets target to different outlets that vary greatly in nature. It is incumbent on you and your team how you want to present yourselves to those outlets. Followup can be invaluable, as you do research on where your news is going and who reads those publications.
How you present your news is highly important. We recommend using our free and built-in multimedia functionality to add visuals to your reporting. Of course, being truly informative is important. However, a good writer will make sure a piece is informative while also being relevant in a way that hooks an audience.
While PR Distribution offers some of the most competitively priced options on the press release services market, it is imperative that you make sure you are getting proper ROI on your investment. Which brings us to our next point.
As your news is picked up by different outlets, our software collects this data. This comes to you and your team as a report. We highly recommend that you dive into the different metrics, such as views, clicks, engagement, impressions, and, most importantly, who published your news.
We will discuss in further articles what options you can take from there, but that report is the starting point for determining how effective your campaign may or may not have been.
What you discover can affect how future content is produced, what types of news you actually deem newsworthy, what publications you want to work with (or want to work with you), and may even influence your overall messaging. Our clients have gained unexpected insights from merely clicking through and reading their own articles side by side with competitor articles, or general industry interest pieces.
The short of it is that PR is only part of your arsenal, and should be treated that way. Audience attention is more fragmented in this day and age than ever before. That can actually make PR more valuable, because you know that the audience for your news has actually sought it out. It becomes an incredibly valuable opportunity to establish yourself as a reliable voice in the industry.