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March 3, 2010

How You Can Use News Releases and Announcements to Promote Your Business

Press releases are no longer just for the press. Here is how you can use Press Releases to promote your business and web site.

Press releases and news announcements serve many different functions in addition to being source material for journalists to write about.  Yes, it is good to have BIG news that will motivate a writer, editor or journalist to write about your company, product or service, but that is no longer the only reason to create a press release. You don’t need big news just a good hook.

Whether or not you use a Public Relations Agency or do it yourself, here are three good reasons why you should try to write and distribute at least one press release every month.

1. Its Good SEO (Search Engine Optimization & Press Release Optimization) – One of the most important components to getting top Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., search page results – appearing high up or number one when someone searches for your product or services is the number of external web sites that link to your web site.

Your news release appearing on an online or industry news site, at a social networking site, on a newswire such as BusinessWire or PR NewsWire, or even at a directory of press releases, helps improve your site’s overall SEO. In addition to that posting and SEO results, many other sites and blogs may pick up that release and print it on their pages as well, further increasing the Search Engine results for your web site and business.

A good news announcement could show up on hundreds or thousands of different sites!

You need to post new releases on a regular (monthly) basis. As most major news sites only keep their press releases online for about a month or so, you need to keep posting new press releases and news announcements every month to maintain your SEO rating and web page search results positions.

By SEO optimizing your new release and by embedding hotlinks in it that link to specific landing pages on your site, you can further increase how high up your web site will appear in the search results.

You should also make sure your press release also gets posted on your own web site. (You will be amazed by how many businesses neglect this obvious step).  By posting your press releases on your own site, you increase the amount and quality of content on your site. As you probably know, most search engines heavily weigh the amount and quality of content on a site when assigning search results.  For most search engines, the two of the most important factors towards getting a high search page result is the amount of quality links pointing to your web site and the amount of quality content you have on your site. News announcements can fulfill both.

2. Your news announcements and press releases can inform potential customers about your company, its products, services and areas of expertise. No longer targetted to just the press and media, good press releases and news releases also function as marketing documents for your organization.

Most people and businesses now rely on a web search as an integral part of their search for products, and services. Seeing your news announcements all over the web – at the magazines they read, at various blogs, and as a result of web searches, can greatly help boost your company’s brand and product awareness in their mind. It is also useful to have news announcements that inform current and past customers of what is new and that you are still successfully in business.

3. Press may be interested in your “small” news and may want to include it as a standalone announcement or as part of a trend article or column. They may be doing an industry overview or product round up. Also, it is also useful to occasionally inform press that you are an expert in your industry area and are available for comment as needed.    If they don’t see press releases from you or your company on a regular basis, you will drop off their radar screen. You need to show ongoing, consistent news and growth or the press will forget about you.

Better Search Engine results and great SEO, direct out reach to your customers and potential partners, and ongoing contact to the media are the three main reasons why you and your company need to develop and distribute an ongoing series of press releases. They don’t have to be big news. Small news is fine. A new hire, updated web site, and upgrade to your software, new partnership, maybe speaking at a conference or industry event.

Mark Shapiro is a professional writer with over 17 years experience in public relations and media relations. Mark Shapiro has worked with hundreds of companies throughout the world, promoting their products and services. He has written thousands of press releases and news announcements. He has hundreds of articles published covering a wide range of subjects including media relations, public speaking, internet marketing, web video, digital imaging, etc.  SRS Tech Public Relations provides a wide range of public relations functions, from big picture strategy planning to writing, distributing and following up on press releases and contributed articles, pitching products, services and solutions, and setting up and hosting show/phone briefings with editors and analysts