Feb 20, 2014

26% of Press Releases Aren’t Optimized for the Digital Environment

PRN-Pulse-Poll_Release-Change_Feb2014Despite the explosion of digital media and the importance of online readership and search engine visibility, more than a quarter of respondents to an informal poll by PR Newswire report they have not changed their press release tactics.

The majority of respondents indicate they are updating their approach to how they write and structure their news release content.  The most popular tactics employed are embedding links that enable readers to either hop straight to a selected web page or encourage social engagement.

Incorporating visuals – the most effective means of driving press release visibility – is also an increasing popular tactic employed by PR teams.  As social networks and search engines continue to increase their emphasis on visual content, using visuals will continue to be an important and effective tactic.

Search optimization tactics continue to stymie press release writers, largely because the rapid pace of change employed by the search engines makes keeping pace with best practices a challenge.  (Related: 4 Keys to Creating Search Friendly Content.)

Learn New Tactics to Improve Press Release Results 

If you’d like to update your press release tactics, view our free, on-demand webinar titled “Tactics for Maximizing Press Release Results.”

Learn how to create press releases that can compete with the best of the web’s content for audience attention. This webinar will dive deep into press release tactics, including:

  • Writing headlines that do more than just grabbing attention – they inspire action
  • How to construct your news release copy to channel the interest of your readers
  • Strategies for optimizing content for maximum search engine benefit for your brand

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of  the ebook  New School Press Release TacticsFollow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.

5 Comments on Blog Post Title

Elizabeth 19:13 EST on Feb 20, 2014

Hey Sarah, just a tip, but your team should stop referring to news releases as “press” releases. Today it’s all about multimedia…not the old school (printing) press. You usually give such helpful advice (thank you for that); I just thought I’d give back.

Sarah Skerik 15:23 EST on Feb 21, 2014

Thanks Elizabeth! We do vary the terminology – press release, news release, content distribution, etc. However, only about 15% of releases actually incorporate multimedia (a figure which is way too low) so unfortunately, we can’t refer to the multimedia aspect as much as we’d like to.

Julie Watts 06:51 EST on Feb 25, 2014

I think it varies from release to release depending purely on the audience. We find that older audience members will tolerate a more long-winded style of release whereas the the younger generation want clear, to the point releases that appear more interesting and are ‘easier’ to read. It’s a tough one really as the audience is not always known. When we last done a publication we got good feedback from it but kept it concise using bullet pointed ordered lists breaking the release down as much as possible.

Sarah Skerik 08:17 EST on Feb 25, 2014

That’s a good point, Julie, and I’d also say that in addition to audience, the format should also vary according to the goals you have for the release, too. But either way, using bullet points and concise writing will absolutely help acquire readers and pull them more deeply into your message.

juliagprguru 22:16 EST on Feb 25, 2014

Reblogged this on Social Media PR Guru and commented: If you are taking the Writing for PR course at Ryerson this article was the main topic of our last class.

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