Jul 18, 2011

Tracking Online Press Release Distribution Results

I’m going to take a little time out from talking about various aspects of search and social media today to talk a little about press release measurement, and specifically about a convenient feature in PR Newswire’s popular ReleaseWatch report.

If you’ve ever used PR Newswire, you’ve probably received a ReleaseWatch report.  Delivered via email, ReleaseWatch reports show you a sample of the web sites on which your press release appeared as a result of PR Newswire’s online press release distribution network.   Today, it’s not unusual for the number of links contained in the report to count in the multiple hundreds, reflecting a sample of the thousands of different media and information sites syndicating PR Newswire press releases.

It’s gratifying to see your release on hundreds of sites, but let’s be frank – the list can be a little unwieldy.   However, viewing the online version of your ReleaseWatch report enables you to sort the links by media type (e.g. news service, trade publication, television station) and country, allowing you to quickly isolate key sites.

To access the web version of your ReleaseWatch report, simply click on the link in the ReleaseWatch email you receive after your press release clears the wire:

The ReleaseWatch email alert, with the link to the full-featured web version of the report.

Once you have accessed the web version, simply check the boxes next to the media type you wish to see.  The page will update dynamically – simply scroll down to see your selections.

Sorting press release links by site media type, and country.

The web version of the report includes thumbnails of each site logo, a link to your story on that site, average site visitor data and media type.

A snapshot of the web version of a ReleaseWatch report.

Seeing where your press release appeared online – even if it’s just a sample of the sites carrying your copy – is useful from an influence (and measurement) standpoint for a few reasons.  First and foremost, the syndicated press releases do expand the audience for your copy, appearing across a wide network of news and information web sites, services and portals.  Secondly, the syndicated press releases provide a call-to-action for readers – especially if you’ve embedded anchor text in your press release.   You can track the number of clicks to the URL you embedded, revealing the number of qualified prospects (whether they’re potential customers or media considering writing a story) your message attracted.   Finally, syndication plays an important role in driving online visibility and encouraging the social sharing of your content.  ReleaseWatch is one way PR Newswire helps you track and tabulate the results your press releases generate.

Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media.

 

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