We’ve been using and teaching press release strategies in online marketing for two decades. In the beginning, it was the old fashioned way of doing press releases, which was sending your release directly to the local media: radio station, television, newspaper.
Then, when everything else went to the web, so did press release submission and syndication and we then followed. This has been an authentic way to submit news for years and the search engines have eaten it up.
The bad news is that spammers have followed and now the search engines are forced to take action. Google Panda has directly targeted one site, PR Newswire.com for permitting to use of this online marketing spam, and we have a feeling others will follow.
What is a press release? A press release is a news piece written in the 3rd person in which a person, place, or thing is described as being something significant or having a particular achievement. It is rich in news content, statistics, and newsworthy information for the consumer.
What it’s not? A short, keyword stuffed, “blurb” or sales pitch.
Yes, you can still do press releases, but here are the keys to keeping them successful.
PR Newswire has stated the following must be true to submit press release content
- Contain insightful analysis and original content (e.g. research, reporting or other interesting and useful information);
- Use of varied release formats, guarding against repeated use of template copy (except boilerplate);
- Press release length, guarding against issue of very short, unsubstantial messages that are mere vehicles for links;
- No Overuse of keywords and/or links within the message.
PR Newswire responds: “Google’s recent algorithm update is essentially a technology-based editorial guideline for content quality, and PR Newswire is aligning our processes with those standards to ensure that press releases distributed are high-quality, authenticated content,” noted Jason Edelboim, senior vice president of global product for PR Newswire. “Google’s recent action targeting low-quality content in the Panda 4.0 update affirms the importance of ensuring press releases and other content distributed via PR Newswire’s network are of real utility and interest to journalists and bloggers, as well as the general public.”
We teach press releases in The Ballen Method (our online marketing training system) and have used boilerplates that have an intro and outro paragraph at most; but have created such a large number of these, that they really have formed into more original content over the years. Based on the changes, however, we would suggest eliminating any use of reused content in your press releases, and take on the practice of creating new, original content for each release.
Here are our suggested best practices moving forward
- Be sure your press releases are no less than 400 words (more is better when you have sufficient statistical research)
- Include statistics, numbers, facts and reference sources
- Use quotes
- Beware of keyword use. Don’t “stuff” the press release with your keywords
- Make sure your press release is an actual notice of event or accomplishment – newsworthy!
- Keep links to a minimum
- Don’t reuse your press releases
Remember, when doing any kind of online marketing, you must think of the consumer before you think of the search engines. If it looks and feels “spammy”, then it probably is.
EXAMPLE BALLEN GROUP PRESS RELEASE:
The Ballen Group’s Las Vegas real estate agents have helped in another Las Vegas home sale in Cambria Hills. This Las Vegas home sale in Cambria Hills was sold for the owner’s asking price.
This Las Vegas home sale in Cambria Hills is located on Bow Creek Court. This home sold at its listing price of $149,000. The property was listed on February 21st 2014. This home measures 1,400 square feet and the property’s lot size is 3,919 square feet. This Las Vegas home has 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, and a half bathroom.
This 2 story Las Vegas home in Cambria Hills is located in the Cambria Hills Cluster subdivision of Las Vegas. This home is located in the zip code region of Las Vegas 89128.
The number of Las Vegas homes in 89128 for sale increased by 7.2% from the previous month. The median number of days active properties have been listed is 58. This is significantly shorter than the national average. The number of sales in May dropped by 87.5% from the previous month.
The median listing price for this Las Vegas home in Cambria Hills’ area is $161,220. There are currently 229 Las Vegas homes in 89128 for sale. 22.3% of these homes are Las Vegas short sales or foreclosures.
The percent of owner occupied Las Vegas homes in 89128 is 15.76% below the national average. The percent of rental Las Vegas homes in 89128 is 21.11% above the national average which is typical for urban areas.
There are 14,939 Las Vegas homes in 89128 with 5,098 of those being Las Vegas homes with children. The median age in this area of Las Vegas is 37. 27% of the residents in this area are married.
Median household income for Las Vegas homes in 89128 is $58,969 with 675 households earning between $35,000 to $40,000 annually. For the zip 89128, 14.54% of the people have completed a bachelor’s degree as their highest education level.
The Ballen Group’s Las Vegas real estate agent, Tom Wirt, represented the listing agent, Lori Ballen, in this Las Vegas home sale in Cambria Hills. The Ballen Group, who are located at the Las Vegas office of Keller Williams Realty Las Vegas, are a team of top Las Vegas real estate agents. Tom Wirt is the top producing Las Vegas real estate agent in his group and was thrilled to get this Las Vegas home in Cambria Hills sold.
The Ballen Group is a top producing Las Vegas real estate agent group in Las Vegas. Getting on average 103.8% more than the homeowner’s listing price for Las Vegas home sales. As one of Keller William’s Realty Las Vegas’s offices, The Ballen Group provides Las Vegas real estate agent specialists to their community.
Lori and Richard Ballen started and own the Ballen Group of Keller William’s Realty Las Vegas. They started in Las Vegas real estate in 2007and since then have built a team of top-notch Las Vegas real estate agents.