The Internet makes everything convenient. You can shop online, order food online and even submit your press release online. But, before you click submit, you might want to consider that most journalists don’t like press releases that have originated from an online source. To improve your chances of getting attention, you should take the advice of this article.
By Louise Harris
In the last several years, using a service online to submit press releases has become prevalent. Many companies promising search engine optimization will tell you that you have to use these sites for distribution and to improve your search engine ranking. However, this avenue is not a good move if your goal is to get media attention, and, that is what press releases are designed to do, get you media attention. If you’re goal is for SEO, then, go ahead and waste your time and money. Here are some reasons why journalists shy away from online press release companies.
- Templates – Although press releases have a format that must be followed to ensure you have the best chance of acceptance, the online sites use templates that journalists reject. These templates do not follow Associated Press style and are not usually in the correct format for a press release. They are a type of template that makes it easier for the companies to sell the services to the buyers. These templates are geared for SEO, not capturing the attention of journalists. If you want to use an online source, try wire services. Most of them have been in the business for 50 years and their business model is to get your press release published in online and print publications. They have the same online and national presence as the other online companies and could get you both SEO and media attention. But even if you have a valuable press release, journalists hesitate to use a press release already published on other online news sites. If you want to get the attention of journalists, you can use Faselis distribution service, which targets your press release only to the journalists who may be interested in it.
- Computer-Generated Releases – Journalists prefer releases written by other journalists or at least public relations professionals who have been dealing with journalists for years. They also want P.R. representatives who have taken several classes in college similar to journalists so they understand what editors want in a release. However, many online services are not written by journalists. In some cases, they are not written by people at all but computer-generated. This feature might be great for movies, but it fails to connect with journalists. Computer-generated releases use keywords and algorithms to find out what is important, but people would spin a topic so that it is relevant to the journalist and publication. For example, say you are a fashion designer who has released a new line of clothing. A public relations representative would connect that clothing line to trends in fashion or put a local spin on it. A computer-generated release would talk about the keywords in the new clothing line, such as denim or plus sizes.
- No Newsworthiness – Along with what I mentioned previously, many releases written for SEO purposes are not newsworthy. Keywords do not necessarily mean news. I wrote for an SEO company that promised a press release every month to its clients. The company owners wanted the releases to incorporate keywords for dentists and to use information gleaned from their websites. I argued that these aren’t press releases. When I wrote about a dentist who was buying back thousands of pounds of Halloween candy and donating the candy to troops overseas, the television station in the dentist location wanted to do a story on it right away. The sheer volume of candy and the kindness of the dentist is what gave the story its newsworthiness appeal. But, writing a press release about a dentist offering dental implants is not newsworthy.
So, the next time you are asked to spend money on an online press release service, think twice. Ask, “Is it going to get me what I seek in the end?”
THE NEXT STEP:
Your press release may not have all the necessary information if you go through an online service. While pictures or videos are important to include with your print release, you should add them using credible services.
You can use Faselis to target your release and know that it is written correctly. You should check Faselis PR features on Faselis websites.