Tailoring a Press Release
Press releases need to be tailored based on the media outlet being used to reach the public of choice. For instance, “social media releases are designed to reach nontraditional journalists, such as bloggers and podcasters” (Seitel, 2011, p. 317). For example, they would use technological tools such as video, audio, or links to “mash up their own multimedia news stories” (Seitel, 2011, p. 317). Also, old school journalists are very savvy at searching the Internet for any kind of news release. Search engine optimization can play a great role in getting the press release viewed by appropriate journalists. A press release for a traditional media outlet may be very formal and straightforward with copy but an Internet or social media news release may have tags (important for SEO), sharing and bookmarking, RSS Subscriptions, or video links. Being short, sweet, and to the point is critical for an online press release but a traditional press release should not only have content but style appropriate to immediately be released in the newspaper.
Creativity versus SEO
When having to contend with search engine optimization, a writer may have to incorporate certain words more than they like and add tags that they otherwise would not have. Many blogs I reviewed stressed that many companies are not taking advantage of SEO in their press releases. “What they don’t understand is that press releases can be part of your SEO efforts, and can be used to gain presence in the editorial results of the search engines, even if it’s not a direct presence for your actual domain” (Jackson, 2008). One of the main ways to use SEO to your benefit is in the creation of the press release. A few things that are important are: having a catchy headline, keywords within the first paragraph, have keyword-rich anchor text in links (“great value in having links on other Web sites linking to you, using keywords that you’d like to rank for within the anchor text of the link” (Jackson, 2008)), and tag the release with keywords. This can seem like a hindrance to some, but by following these steps, it does not necessarily hinder creativity but rather ensures that the company is maximizing their SEO.
Jackson, M. (2008, July 29). Press Releases and Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Watch. Retrieved from http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2065188/Press-Releases-and-Search-Engine-Optimization
Seitel, F. (2011). The practice of public relations. (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.