I talk with many business owners who hope that press release distribution services like PRWeb and PRNewsWire will land them fame and fortune on their own with no other work other than having published a well-written press release.
Let me break it to you gently after years of experimenting with all manners of PR work for over a decade and having sunk tens of thousands into PR agencies for my own company, SavingsAngel.com…
The success you reap from sending out a press release is directly correlated to how much time you invest in promoting your placement. Specifically, the individual work you do with influencers before and after you publish will make all the difference in getting your press release seen by as many eyes as possible.
Far too often, PR agencies will sell a client on how critical the language is in the press release – and that the secret combination of words will somehow make a client’s wildest dreams of fame come true. Without question, a well-written press release is essential. That said… a well-written release is not enough to bring the fame they seek.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Press Release?
Here are some two action-steps to help you make the most out of a press release placement:
STEP ONE: Celebrate your win!
When you send out a press release and it gets picked up by a media outlet, don’t rely solely on the audience of that source to jumpstart your sales. Sure… people may read it and be interested enough to look at your website, but it might not motivate them to buy one of your products or services. The exposure part of the equation is impacted by distribution, but it doesn’t always turn into immediate sales.
The greatest value is created by how you use the press release, moreso how you use the authority you just gained from the placement. Whether you paid to be placed or it was done organically, one of the best byproducts of a published press release, is a boost in authority. You must share this new-found authority with everyone you can if you want to create a great ROI from your press release.
Take a second to think about the people who are going to be most interested in your success of having a placed press release. When you were a kid and did something great, like maybe getting your name in the school paper or winning a spelling bee award, it was your parents who were most excited for you. Your followers, or “tribe” as I like to call them, are just like your parents. They are already rooting for you to do well and they will be absolutely ecstatic when they see what you’ve done, so show them!
Share everything on social media!
Now it’s time to initiate full-on promotion mode. Tell your faithful Twitter, Facebook and blog audience your press release was shown on Yahoo News and add the link so they can see for themselves how much exposure you are getting. They’ll be like proud parents and they may even share or retweet your placement. When they see a company they already like is being featured in a magazine or a reputable media site, their confidence in your company grows and there is bound to be an increase of sales to follow.
Not only do your social media followers need to see your big news, but your email subscribers need to know as well. If they previously weren’t purchasing your goods and services, the exposure from your press release may be the tipping point from curious observer to client. Compare this to a media audience who came across your press release – who doesn’t yet ‘know you from Adam.’ They are JUST beginning the relationship with you – whereas your existing audience has already gotten to know, like, and trust you.
Here’s a press release ninja tip: one of the most critical components to your sharing process is your excitement. Treat it like a surprise and share your excitement. Let your audience know you can’t believe the Orlando Business Journal has picked up your press release or you are being featured on an NBC affiliate in Topeka, Kansas. Give your audience the chance to celebrate in your success along with you. Even if it’s in the form of a press release, you can excitedly share all the places that are ‘picking up’ your news release beyond just the distribution service’s site. These outlets may or may not be guaranteed when you pay to distribute. Regardless, celebrate all your wins!
Here is one experience a client of mine encountered with press releases. SpineAlign.com recently put out a press release and although their sales didn’t increase substantially from the release & distribution itself, they had quite a bit of new people checking out their site and even joining their email list. In addition, those who were already familiar with the SpineAlign pillow saw their coverage and were impressed with over 200 media pickups. By blasting their success out to their email subscribers and social media followers, their exposure and confidence within their own audience grew like crazy. All of this added a dozen or more sales that, in turn, more than covered the price of the press release.
STEP TWO: Work with influencers and other journalists.
Concurrently with sharing your success on all of your social media and with your email subscribers, use your placement to start doing individual work with influencers who care about your topic. When you can send them to a link of your press release on a site like Yahoo News instead of any old article on your blog, it comes from a much higher point of authority.
Let’s say you’ve reached out to 20-30 new influencers / journalists with a tweet or a personal email, using good pitching technique and you are able to send them to a link of your published press release on a high-authority news website. They are more likely to see you as a ‘real player’ in the business game. When you show influencers you paid to have a press release put out, they will see you are serious about your business.
Most influencers don’t appreciate being spammed with every article you’ve written on your blog, but with placement there is a bit of leeway when you say you have massive pickup beyond what you expected – particularly those in the news business.
What are you asking for from the influencer? That’s up to you. Depending on your relationship, you might just use it as a relationship-building effort. i.e. “Hey – you might be interested in the pickup we’re getting on this topic!”
With your non-journalist influencer, you might ask if they’d like to collaborate on a piece relevant to what you distributed. Tread cautiously here. With our clients, I always recommend we err on the side of relationship-building first – and stay as far away from ‘selling’ to influencers as possible.
With a journalist, you might have a bit more freedom to send them some bullet-points on a pitch relevant to their audience. Don’t rely on the release itself. Each media outlet works differently and a pitch should be very targeted to their platform and audience.
Anytime you get picked up by media, don’t forget to include their logos on your website and in your media kit. If you were featured in Business Journal, put their logo on our home page so your current and future audience knows just how much authority you have and where you’ve been spotted in the media. With every high-authority logo you add, you may be able to increase your sales conversion rate by .5%. Add ten high-profile logos and you could significantly increase your sales over the next twelve months.
Press releases are a great way to create much needed exposure and build authority, but it takes a lot more than relying on distribution alone. If you want to make an impact and be seen by influencers, it takes sharing your success in placement and promoting your press release to your loyal tribe. Media credibility grows with each placement you get. Keep on climbing that media ladder and, soon enough, you’ll be featured on national media outlets telling your story to millions!
Hard work now can result in a serious sales gains later. Send, share, show and repeat. Yes. Press releases work – but only if you and your team works them. Please share the information above with your PR team. I hope they may find value in these ideas – and we may be able to collaborate on future PR work.
If you are planning to hire a PR firm, we can take massive action on your behalf with any of the above. Attend an upcoming workshop where I reveal how we turn digital entrepreneurs into media celebrities. You can also review our services if you are in need.