Are Press Releases Losing Their Value?

Are Press Releases Losing Their Value?

In the past, a press release was a pretty powerful tool. It gave your intermediary audience (reporters) the breaking news and basic information to spread your story to your primary audience (investors, customers, prospects, etc)

Companies now have a variety of ways to reach their prime audience. They can reach them through blogs, social media, email newsletters, webinars, and more. The publisher role is a part of a PR professional as they now own multiple platforms through which they can communicate directly with key constituencies.

Google banishes optimized press release links

There was a time when  publishing platforms shook the viability of the press release. However, the press release remained victorious because of its search engine optimization (SEO) value. Press releases helped companies get found online.

This is slowly changing too. Google has labeled the optimized links in press releases as “link schemes,” This means that the anchor text in your news announcements will no longer help your SEO. The excess links could hamper your  SEO efforts. This will discourage content that creates  “unnatural” links. However, for those who actually distribute new content, there are still unanswered questions.

Is Google responsible for the demise of press releases?

No, it is not. News announcements are still very much a part of market education, and continue to contribute to online visibility via social networks and other channels. Saying that, it is also true that companies cannot rely on press release alone. New age content strategies demand engaging, relevant and original storytelling.

What a press release is limited by:

Email inboxes are crowded with news. The editorial staff cannot devote their attention to figure out which one appeals to individuals. Personalization requires more time and effort than simply sending a generalized press release, but the outcome it provides are often much better.

The former audience was limited to reporters and editors, but now, thanks to social media, corporate websites and blogs, the audience includes just about any group your company wants to reach. Without smart optimization and distribution, it is unlikely that your press release will get read.

Did you distribute the release include relevant hashtags? Did you follow Google’s new rules about anchor text (including in press releases)? Ask and try to answer all of these questions in order to drive traffic to their news.

The news announcement is only one among the various aspects of PR and marketing pros can access brand stories. Press releases along with newer modes of outreach, such as e-books, infographics, etc are tactical tools that are just a part of the overall comprehensive PR and marketing programs. The press release is evolving with time as other communications tools change and mature.