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The Pros and Cons of Press Releases: Part 2
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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So, we’ve recently looked at how good press releases can rock your organization. Let’s briefly examine some drawbacks of press releases.

1. Press releases, by themselves, do not help your SEO. Say what? I thought SEO is supposed to benefit from publishing press releases. According to recent studies, this is not usually the case. A good press release, packed with keywords that search engines can pick up on, will temporarily help your SEO, but not in the long term. Because most press releases are “finite,” don’t count on them as your sole means of generating buzz. Good press releases, as noted above, can help generate other editorial content that can help your SEO and SERPs.

2. By themselves, press releases do not improve your communication with your target audiences. This is why the information in your press release should be pushed to blogs, organization websites, and any other means of getting the message out to your target audience as effectively as possible.

3. Press releases are hard to measure. It’s difficult to say how effective your press release is. If a good release generates a lot of referrals, it could be said it was effective, but this is not an easy thing to measure consistently. In my own personal B2B PR experience, a successful pitch and placement in a trade media outlet does not always result in immediate reader response.

4. Press releases and their campaigns are not cost-effective. Let’s face it: Press releases and their campaigns are not cheap in terms of man-hours or consulting fees (if you use an agency). As Sprung noted, press releases “have become a bit outdated as public relations relies more on building relationships with the media instead of sending out hundreds of emails with press releases to journalists you may not even know.” This all goes back to working on building relationships and trust with the media and your customers. She ended her column by commenting that marketers and flacks should “spend time meeting with journalists, figuring out what they look for before writing a story, and finding out what beat they write about. Building these relationships with the media will end up paying off much more than having a strategy where you simply post press releases onto the wire."

I agree! Class dismissed.

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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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