Evolution of a Press Release

Press releases have long been used by businesses to communicate with their target audiences, and as tools for boosting brand reputation and awareness.

Prior to the advent of the Internet and online media, news about companies’ corporate events and important achievements were mainly conveyed to the public in textual format. Entrepreneurs sent letters to journalists, hoping to attract their attention and receive an invitation for an interview. At those meetings, they shared success stories and professional tips, and swapped information on newly launched products and notable contracts.

Back in the day, garnering an invitation and getting featured in the media was a rare and hard-won honor, due to the relatively small number of printed publications and the selective attitudes of journalists towards mass marketing.

The tech evolution of recent decades has made it much easier to find and share information, taking the press release to a new level. No more paper letters, envelopes, and stamps. Today it takes just a couple of clicks to pitch or post your news on the web.

The ease of posting a press release seems like a positive change, but some entrepreneurs doubt the effectiveness of press releases in the modern world. The mindset is that easily accessible things usually have lower value.

If this communication format requires little effort and everyone can use it without limitations, its value decreases while the competition becomes tougher. The increased accessibility of media makes it harder to clear a path through mounds of information noise and deliver your messages to your target audience.

So, keeping modern realities in mind, are press releases still effective for promoting your business?

Press Releases and SEO

Since most people use search engines to find goods and services, search engine optimization (SEO) has become a key aspect of successful promotion. All the content published by organizations on the web is tailored to search algorithms. The same applies to technical elements of branded websites.

An SEO press release can be used to show search engines that your online platform is reputable and trusted, since other resources refer to it. Use press release backlinks to boost your backlink profile and elevate your website in search.

While embedding links in your guest posts is a great idea, it is important not to overdo it. Both web users and search engines detest spam. If you advertise your brand in an intrusive and awkward way, it can cause irritation and bury your website in search.

Google has released the Penguin algorithm to combat unnatural links. It punishes both companies placing these spammy in guest content and sites allowing spam to remain on their pages.

Since it is nearly impossible for site owners to monitor everything users post in comments, guest posts and forum topics, many of them apply the rel=“nofollow” attribute, signaling search robots that some links should not be taken into account when scanning their pages.

Since it is nearly impossible for site owners to monitor everything users post in comments, guest posts and forum topics, many of them apply the rel=“nofollow” attribute, signaling search robots that some links should not be taken into account when scanning their pages.

The attribute has been used in this way for over 15 years. But this fall, Google has announced its modification. Here are the key points to know:

  • Previously, rel=“nofollow” removed links from the indexing, crawling, and ranking processes.
  • Since September 10, 2019, it began removing nofollow links from the indexing and crawling processes but, at the same time, using them selectively when compiling rankings. According to new rules, the attribute works as a hint rather than a directive for ranking purposes.
  • Beginning March 1, 2020, Google will use the attribute as a hint for all purposes: indexing, crawling, and ranking.
  • Also, the new rel=“sponsored” attribute has been introduced. Google recommends that site owners apply it to links from which they profit. Let’s say a certain brand asks a reputable newswire to publish their press release containing a link to the brand’s website. Such a link should be marked as sponsored, to make the business relationship between these two entities explicit. Google will appreciate their openness and not regard such link building as a shady practice, and refrain from imposing penalties.
  • The “nofollow” and “sponsored” attributes are perceived by search robots in similar ways in terms of crawling, ranking, and indexation.

Therefore, if you mark some of your sponsored links as nofollow, it will not worsen your SEO results.

Say “Yes” to Press Releases

If you respect Google’s rules and do not place spammy links across the web, informative and duly-written press releases can yield you immense benefits. Even though this format has undergone changes throughout recent decades, it still performs its key function – to help you build a large brand-centered community and boost your company’s reputation.

So, if you have some great news to share with the world, shout it from the rooftops with a press release. If you want people to find out about your brand and become its loyal followers, do your best to make a great first impression, reach them with your meaningful messages, awaken their curiosity and evoke positive emotions. This will help you boost your SEO results, project an image of expertise, grow an extensive clientele, and hit high sales.

Helpful Tips for Writing a Brilliant Press Release

Of course, you may need to read a few more detailed guides to fully master the art for writing excellent press releases. However, to help you take the first steps, we will outline the best practices to follow, as well as mistakes to avoid.

To write a good press release, you definitely should:

  1. Choose an interesting topic – some really meaningful event or achievement.
  2. Come up with an attention-grabbing title that your readers can’t resist.
  3. Write briefly and straightforwardly.
  4. Pitch your press release only to reputable contributor platforms.
  5. Measure results (number of comments, likes, clicks, etc.) and perfect your promotional tactics.

Things you definitely should not do:

  1. Don’t write about meaningless topics. People do not want to waste time reading about a new coffee machine in your office, the employee you recently fired or hired or your new hosting provider. Provide only the most important, vivid and exciting news in your press releases.
  2. Never contribute to unreputable and irrelevant platforms. There is no need to pitch your press releases to every newswire you come across. Better select the most authoritative sites that are relevant to your business, or that accommodate an audience within a certain location.
  3. Never post spam. If you regularly irritate editors by pitching low-quality content, their patience will run out. They will send your email to the spam folder, and you will have to work overtime to regain their trust.

In Conclusion

You should definitely say “Yes” to press releases. They haven’t lost their sparkle in today’s dynamic world, oversaturated with dull information. By broadcasting your news to the webspace and embedding natural-looking links in your texts, you can attract the attention of both prospective clients and search engines, build an image of expertise in your niche, and send your SEO metrics through the roof.