Are Press Releases Important?

It seems to me that some web users are completely unaware of the importance and the power of a good press release.

I’ve read recently somewhere a user’s assertion that really scared me:

Press Releases have been devalued a lot by Google, so they’re no magic answer.

Who cares whether Google values or devalues a press release?

Press releases are not addressed to Google, but to the people! While online press releases might generate positive “secondary effects”, such as inbound links, this is not their main purpose.

You might be surprised to learn that press releases are really powerful online media tools. I am not talking just about immediate results, but also about results that can be seen in time, sometimes weeks, even months, after… releasing the news.

I am still amazed that people confuse advertising and publicity. Could it be because in the dictionaries these two terms are synonyms? Then I’ll not write “publicity” anymore, but public relations. Advertisers focus on the “now” and on the direct sales.

Public relations experts focus on the long-term relationships with the industry, clients, media and business partners. Public relations generate “credibility”. Sometimes PR experts present news about a company in the form of relevant press releases.

If online PR officers should focus on keyword optimization to ensure broader exposure, offline things are easier. But offline press releases don’t have such huge chances of coverage as it happens online! From my point of view, using the Web for certain public relations campaigns is far more worth than not using it.

Press releases are read by journalists online or offline, and if they decide a story is worth publishing, they might write an article or publish it as it is.

To make a long story short, an online press releases has the following purposes:

  • to give journalists information that is useful and accurate about a product, service, company and even a person
  • to gain public confidence and strengthen public image for a brad, company or product
  • to inform the market of a new or improved product or service

The purpose of a press release, I have to repeat that till it is clear, is not to make a sale, but to “announce” in a sober, neutral and realistic manner. The press release is not a story that should be published word for word. It’s just a tool to grab the attention of the editors.

And that… it’s something that really doesn’t concern Google!

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