One of the most basic tools of marketing and communications is the press release, a tool that is a carryover from days long before the advent of the Internet and online content sharing tools. The elements of a good press release have not changed: tell target audiences about the most recent news at a company, offer quotes for potential news articles, and connect people to more resources about the business.
Many organizations have questioned the relevance of the press release for online exposure because Google had devalued press release links in search engine results. Now there is news that Google has removed some of the barriers to good press releases earning good search engine optimization (SEO) ranking.
The change, first reported by Reuters, allows press releases to outrank media articles reporting the same news. Google now includes press releases in the “In the News” section within general search results.
Anyone who issues a well-developed press release should now experience better exposure on Google. However, keep these quality indicators in mind:
- Newsworthy: News is a new product, a revolutionary update to an existing product, an announcement with another vendor such as a strategic alliance or joint development, etc. Ask yourself, “Why would people care about this information?” If you can’t answer that question, then you don’t have a press release.
- Quotes: A press release must include at least one quote and, preferably, a couple of quotes for the journalist to pick and choose from. Quotes help convey the information in a press release in a less formal manner and add a human element to the information.
- Inform, don’t sell: Share information, facts, and statistics. Selling is the goal of your ad copy.
- Great writing: A press release is a formal communication and information sharing tool. Use AP Style or another standard news style. Research and use the relevant keywords that will position your news properly among other online content.
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