Are press releases or a PR team worth your time and money when you have the internet and social media?
For the last few years, the new roles of PR and the internet press release have been debated by various experts in the field of online marketing along with whether one should Buy Instagram views at the cheapest prices on the market or not.
If you speak with a person in PR, they will often tell you that it is more important than ever to have a PR team, while others in marketing believe it is not worth the money, especially when anyone can submit a press release and contact reporters using the internet.
To make a more informed decision, let’s do a quick analysis and include the data from this infographic on internet press releases and sharing on social media, made by PR Newswire and Crowd Factory, and gain perspective on how the internet has changed PR.
Almost every PR campaign starts with writing a press release. Once complete, the press release is distributed to news organizations around the world using a free or paid press release service on the internet.
Writing a press release is an art in itself. A compelling press release can make a huge difference in the number of reporters that cover your story.
To learn how to write a compelling press release, do a little research and make sure to check out these resources:
- How to Write a Press Release that Gets Attention
Once your press release is ready, you’ll need to distribute it to as many reporters and news outlets as possible. By using an online service, your press release can be distributed to hundreds to tens of thousands of reporters and news outlets with the click of a button.
Paid internet press release services have the benefit of wider distribution, less spam, and a better chance of being covered by a reporter or news outlet. Two of the more popular paid internet press release services are PR Web and PR Newswire. Both of these services post your press release to their website and send it to tens of thousands of reporters.
Another option is to go with a free internet press release service. The more popular free press release services on the internet are PR.com, 24-7 Press Release, Newswire Today and PR Log. Most of these services post press releases to their website. They also offer paid upgrades that can increase the visibility and distribution or your press release.
Unfortunately, most free services are often full of spam and do not email press releases to reporters or news outlets. As a consequence of the spam, very few reporters actually monitor or subscribe to free press release services online.
If your press release is newsworthy, and it is important to get it picked up by major news outlets, it is probably worth spending the money on a paid internet press release service.
Most of the paid services only charge a couple of hundred dollars to post your press release and distribute it to a large number of reporters and news outlets. This will give you a better chance of having your press release noticed and covered by reporters.
Sharing your press release on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be very effective. According to the below infographic on internet press releases and sharing, Facebook drives more sharing of press releases than any other social media site. Despite having less sharing, Twitter generates more traffic for press releases than Facebook, with 2.2 views per share average to Facebook’s 1.7 average.
When people see something shared by a friend, they are more likely to take action. This also improves the chances that one of their friends will become a fan, follower or like your Facebook page. In some instances, it can even influence purchasing decisions and brand loyalty.
Irrespective of choosing a paid or free PR service, taking the time to email and call reporters is an easy way to improve your chances of getting covered. Some news sites list contact information for all of their reporters. If individual reporters are not listed, almost all news sites provide an email address for press releases. Once you have found a few journalists, give them a call and pitch them your story. Hopefully, a couple will be interested and your story will get covered.
Now that we have covered the basics of internet press releases, let’s discuss the positives and negatives of hiring a PR company.
If you have the money to hire a PR company, it can save you a lot of time and frustration. This is especially true if you’re not a strong copywriter and struggle to make a compelling pitch.
If you need to save money, already possess strong copywriting skills, and can make a compelling pitch, hiring a PR company might not be worth it. Ultimately, you know your organization, product, and service better than any PR company.
- Lots of practice with writing press releases and pitching journalists
- Will already know lots of reporters and have direct access to pitch them
- Not clear how effective they will be
- Takes time to find the right company
- Don’t get to develop as many direct relationships with reporters
If you have the money to hire a PR company, it is worth considering — especially when you look at the amount of time and energy that it can take to get your press release covered.
If you do not have the money to hire someone, don’t be discouraged. Just follow the tips highlighted in this article. Make sure you have a compelling press release and use an internet press release service. Share your press release on social media websites and take the time to pitch reporters by phone and email. Remember, this is the same thing most PR companies would be doing for you anyway.