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Putting the Public Back in PR: Five Ways Your Digital Press Releases Can Attract

Gone are the days where attracting online visitors to your digital press release means including exact-matched, highly optimized anchor text within your article. Google has continually disavowed this tactic so that public relations practitioners no longer can rely on this old-school-SEO approach to garnering awareness about their company’s news, services and products.

As Google has made this shift, we’ve seen them encourage practitioners to put the focus back on the real purpose of press releases: content discovery. Press releases have always intended to share newsworthy content with target audiences. Online public relations strategies should be no different.

Digital press releases should reach journalists, engage prospective customers and gain influencers.  Successful online campaigns create more visibility for these press releases by driving them deep within target audiences where larger brand awareness, recognition and loyalty are generated.

How can we as marketers attract more attention to our digital press releases? Consider these five tactics:

1.       Optimize your press releases naturally.
Include relevant keywords in the title, headline and body as well as supporting pictures, videos and non-anchor text links. Construct your press releases in such a way that they are organically optimized for your industry and target audience prior to promoting them. Consider user experience in your organization and layout. What should a user see and read first? Last?

2.       Share your press releases on social media.
Journalists, publications and news outlets are incorporating social media into their outreach efforts. From covering beats, gaining news tips and identifying industry leaders, media personnel have set up social media accounts that make sharing and pitching newsworthy content with them easier than ever. Tagging features, the use of hashtags and even liking and following these people can help put your content right in front of them. And don’t forget to promote the content on your own networks as well!

3.       Use press releases to demonstrate your expertise.
Hundreds of conversations take place every day that are relevant to any given industry. Blogs, forums and social media channels push these discussions into the public realm. As an industry leader, it’s your responsibility to monitor these conversations and engage in them when appropriate. Allow your press releases to serve as talking points for these discussions, and when appropriate, consider sharing a link to a published release to demonstrate your company’s knowledge and industry involvement.
 
4.       Add press releases to your own site.
Many websites have great news sections that quickly become outdated. Don’t forget to publish your press releases on your own site so that they remain front and center to customers who visit your website. With their optimized content, these articles not only add SEO value to your domain, but they also position you to be viewed as an expert and resource within your industry.

5.       Track the questions that your press releases generate.
Your press releases are sure to provoke questions from customers and media personnel. Use these questions to identify potential gaps in the content provided on your website. Are there topics you haven’t covered? Are there frequently occurring questions that might lend themselves to a FAQ section? Many times, these questions can highlight on-site content needs that, once addressed, may improve user experience.

Gone are the days where press releases are haphazardly emailed and then forgotten. Utilizing press releases as a component of a larger, overarching online strategy can help you build relationships, engage prospects and ultimately keep the public in your PR.

Interested in learning more about our online public relations services? Please contact us.