What Are Online Press Releases? A Guide

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online press releases

The term “free advertising” might conjure up the image of a famous brand making the headlines in the newspapers.

Perhaps it’s a new flavor for a signature soft beverage or the long-awaited release of an expensive phone that has customers waiting in line for hours.

Wouldn’t it be great if your business could get that sort of “free advertising?”

That’s not as complicated as you might expect, and it’s not the sole domain of the big multinationals either.

PR marketing is highly effective for any business as long as you know how to do it properly. So here is our essential guide to using online press releases.

What is a Press Release?

You might associate press releases with statements from celebrities or perhaps the launch of a big-budget movie. But they have long been used by corporations to help launch products or create brand awareness.

Press releases are simply short, factual statements issued to a news distribution network on behalf of a company.

When a news outlet thinks the release is newsworthy and interesting to its readers, it’ll use the information in the press release as part of an article.

The Main Benefits

Is PR right for you? Here you’ll find some of the main reasons why businesses love using PR:

Raise the Profile of Your Brand

Compare and contrast launching a business on your social media channel with a launch via the press.

The reach and authority that comes from being featured in the press mean people will get to know your company brand, and they’ll take you seriously.

Become an Authority in Your Niche

As well as showcasing your brand to the world, you could also become a trusted authority on a topic.

As an example, imagine a consultancy releasing a white paper on the economy.

Suppose the information is exceptional and it’s distributed widely in the press. In that case, chances are journalists will return to that consultancy later for their expert opinion on a related topic.

Reach a Big Audience

The most compelling reason to use PR is that it offers unrivaled audience numbers. Even getting your press released featured in a small news outlet will reach thousands.

A top platform like the New York Times or the BBC could help you reach millions. Imagine the cost of connecting with that sort of audience via pay-per-click advertising.

Potential to Go Viral

Viral marketing is never a guarantee. Often it comes down to luck. But you can increase your chances with a good PR release. People are likely to share a topical and newsworthy story with friends and followers.

It’s Cost-Effective

Choosing a distribution channel means sending press releases is more affordable than ever before.

Our packages start from as little as $299. Our packages start from as little as $299. PR offers a fantastic return-on-investment compared to other marketing channels, considering the size of the potential audience.

How to Get Started

If you haven’t tried press releases before, it might seem a little daunting. But there are a few simple steps to getting started:

Press Release Format

Press releases have a unique format, and the more you can adhere to that format, the more likely it is that news outlets will pick it up.

Keep your release factual. Omit opinions and sales phrases. Try and answer the most obvious questions. Use a who, what, why, when, where, and how for your structure if you need an extra prompt.

Your press release will need a title, subtitle, and a quote, followed by the core information. Keep it succinct, engaging, and highly informative.

If in doubt, hire one of our experienced writers who can create the press release on your behalf. Or take a browse through our press release examples to get an idea of how to structure yours.

Timing

The success of your press release will often depend on great timing.

Finding information that links to a topical news story is an excellent way to take advantage of PR. That might be a new product launch or new research. The main feature is that it is highly newsworthy.

Avoid times when your press release could get lost in a news cycle heavily dominated by a single topic that will out-compete yours.

Mornings during the early part of the week (ideally Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday) are the optimal times to send a press release out for distribution.

Distribution

It’s always best to distribute your press release via a PR distribution network that includes the major media outlets, which we offer at e-Releases.

That way, you’ll get the best reach for your press release and maximize the chance your business will grab the attention of a news organization.

Common Questions

Perhaps you still have some burning questions about a press release. Here you can find the answers to two of the most frequently asked queries people have before they use PR for the first time:

Do I Need an Agent?

Traditional PR has meant hiring a PR agent responsible for contacting the media on your behalf. That agent would typically have existing media contacts.

However, the internet has made information distribution accessible to everyone.

That means you can release your news via a distribution network and get it published on top-ranking news sites without the need for an agent or established media contacts.

Is It a Good SEO Strategy?

Press releases are an excellent way to boost your domain ranking (DR) because you have the chance to get your website links published on top news sites, which often have a high DR.

Those backlinks will score you credibility points as far as Google is concerned and help your SEO efforts.

It’s worth remembering to make sure your content and links are relevant and keyword-friendly if you want to maximize SEO opportunities.

Are You Ready to Try Online Press Releases?

A thriving, innovative company deserves excellent press. But don’t wait for journalists to find you. Be proactive and use tried-and-tested online press releases to get your brand name out into the wider world.

We designed our distribution model to be an easy, accessible, and affordable way for any business, however small, to reap the benefits of PR. Choose from one of our three packages now, and get started with press releases today.

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