Both online and traditional press releases do the same job: they spread the word about newsworthy information. Take a look at the similarities and differences, pros and cons of both traditional and online press releases.
Often used to disseminate larger news stories (new company building or initiative, retiring CEO, etc.), traditional press releases are written by public relations professionals and usually submitted to journalists or other news media outlets. PR pros dedicate effort and time to making connections and networking with journalists and media representatives to increase the likelihood of their stories getting picked up. But ultimately, whether or not a news story gets publicized is often up to a news editor.
Due to the time and effort that goes into writing and networking, companies focus on churning out press releases that are extremely timely and newsworthy.
Here’s how a typical traditional press release is formatted:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amy A. LeFebre/ firstname.lastname@example.org / 616.776.1111, ext. 117 / 616.450.4292
MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry Honored with Two Business Awards
Firm earns spots on “101 Best & Brightest” and “Michigan Economic Bright Spots” lists
Grand Rapids, Mich., April 26, 2011 – MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry was named one of the 2011 “101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” in West Michigan. The firm is also being honored with Corp! magazine’s “Michigan Economic Bright Spots Award” for 2011.
Corp! magazine named MINDSCAPE a “Michigan Economic Bright Spot” in recognition of its achievements as a Michigan-based company that is “growing and thriving” despite challenging economic times. Winners will be honored on June 14 at the Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy.
According to Corp! editors, “Honorees have a willingness to innovate and look for new opportunities even in a down market, make an effort to diversify and adapt their business models even while cutting costs, and share a love and desire to do business in Michigan, even while recognizing the state’s flaws.”
The national “101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” competition looks for best practices and celebrates those companies that are making the lives of their employees—as well as their communities as a whole—better. West Michigan honorees will be recognized on May 5 at The Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville.
MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry is a web success company that creates powerful websites, custom programming, and managed web marketing programs to provide consistent investment return for over 500 clients. Mindscape applies SEO/SEM; custom web, business and mobile app development; packaged web design on the proprietary webTRAIN® platform; branded content development and social media to help companies understand and effectively engage target audiences. With award-winning service, state-of-the-industry technology, and reliable, measurable results, the firm and its platform enjoy a 99 percent client retention rate. MINDSCAPE is the interactive division of Hanon McKendry/Integrated Brand Connections, a multi-platform branding firm that helps clients weave all their customer interactions together into one seamless brand experience. Services are scalable, based on client needs, through distinct specialty teams: IRON (Brand Positioning), DESIGN CULTURE STUDIOS (Brand Design) and MINDSCAPE (Brand Engagement). www.mindscape-hm.com / www.hanon-mckendry.com
Due to the wide variety of information and ease of sharing that the Internet brings, online press releases are written for many types of news stories – big and small. Once the press release is written (the same format as above can be used, but will be submitted in separate sections. Or, the writer can simply draft in any format and follow instructions during submission), the writer submits it to an online press release submission site. The site will then distribute the news to many qualified news websites. Greater exposure and visibility for your organization is gained by simply publishing the press release online. Once a press release has been submitted, it is available to the public via the submission site. Companies and organizations can now directly appeal to their audience members instead of relying on journalists to filter which information is newsworthy enough to be shared with the public.
Links can be placed throughout the content of an online press release. By using keyword-rich links, companies can provide the reader more information – and take them directly to their website or to a specific landing page – with a simple click of the mouse. Whether linking to a page that has more information about an event that the press release is covering or linking to a specific product page on the company website, writers can use links to boost their website traffic and help the reader gain a better understanding of the story, act on the news or even learn more about the company’s products.
By creating links that contain keywords relevant to your business or product, you’re helping to augment your company’s SEO efforts. When a reader types a keyword phrase into a search engine (companies should research common keyword phrases to better their chances of showing up in search results), the search engine will recognize that phrase in the press release. By keyword linking, the press release will gain more visibility, show up higher in search engine rankings and drive more traffic to the website.
**Please note: online press releases have greater success with helping search engine rankings than sharing news. While the submission site will help distribute the news according to its news outlets, a user may have to click deep into that particular site (say, CNN) in order to find your release.
PRWeb does a great job with online press release distribution.
After reading about differences between the two types of press releases, are you ready to try your hand at writing an online press release? I personally have submitted many successful press releases via online submission sites and have witnessed great results. Although some companies may find that traditional press releases are still their preferred news outlet, I encourage writers to try an online press release as well, even if only to experiment. Go ahead and research keywords for your press release, submit and let us know how online press releases impact your bottom line!