I’ve talked with quite a few clients about Press Releases and articles lately and wanted to share with them some information I’ve found about press release effectiveness.
- Why do we write press releases?
- How are they going to help us make sales on our eCommerce Website?
- Are they really worth the time you have to invest?
These are a few questions I’ve had myself regarding the press release concept. Below is an interesting case study I found aobut the power of an effective press release.
Millions of people use news search engines to find articles and press releases from the past 30 days. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, Yahoo News had a unique audience of 21.6 million visitors in March 2004 and Google News had a unique audience of 4.9 million visitors that month.
News search engines have also become an indispensable tool for journalists. According to a Middleberg/Ross Survey, 98% of journalists go online daily, 92% for article research, 81% to do searching, 76% to find new sources or experts, and 73% to find press releases.
Savvy marketers are harnessing this phenomenon.
On February 12, 2004, Southwest Airlines issued a press release that announced, “Southwest Airlines Offers Low Fares to Philadelphia; Airfare to Philadelphia as Low as $29 to $99 One-Way. Southwest PR Department used SEO-PR to optimize the press release so it would appear when prospects or the press searched for relevant terms on Google News or Yahoo News.
Using unique tracking codes in links embedded in the press release and customized landing pages on its site, Southwest found that this one release generated more than $80,000 in advanced ticket sales. In other words, potential passengers read the press release on one of the major news search engines, clicked on a link in the release, went to http://www.southwest.com/cities/philadelphia.html, and ordered over $80,000 worth of tickets months before Southwest service to Philadelphia started on May 9.
In addition to the ticket sales, the press release also generated publicity. The New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Dallas Morning News, St. Petersburg Times, Philadelphia Business Journal, and half a dozen other media picked up the Philadelphia story. (source)
How would that be? Are you a bit more motivated now to write a press release?
If you’re like me, time is money. I do refer clients to places like www.elance.com or www.getafreelancer.com. These are websites that offer services from free lancers all over the world. They will give you bids on how much they’ll write a press release or article for.
Where do I post my Press Release?
Great question! Thanks to Newspapergrl, a fellow blogger and colleague, I found a great press release article by Ponn Sabra that should help. It’s a detailed list of Press Release directories that’s in order of page rank. It also gives pricing options – yes, some of them do cost money.
Hope this helps. What are your thoughts or successes with Press Releases?