We try to be open and honest here at PRUnderground, and we are known for actually telling clients and prospective clients NOT to use our service for news releases in some cases. Here is a rundown on when to distribute your press release on PRUndeground.com, and when to use another more expensive service (or hire a connected publicist!)
Let’s start out on when NOT to use PRUnderground
- Really Big National News: If you have an announcement so big that you could realistically see the major papers and tv stations jumping on it, then you probably should try direct exclusive outreach to your primary press or media target. Let them run with it exclusively for a day, and then put out a release on BusinessWire or PRNewswire to maximize reach. It may cost 10x more ($299+ per release) than PRUnderground.com, but this is for a huge national story so it may be worth it.
- Breaking News: If you have news so time sensitive and/or secret that it must be released at an exact minute, you are likely better off again using one of the big newswires who specialize in embargoes.
- Specific Coverage: If you are looking for a specific publication (ex. The New York Times, Vogue, Wired Magazine, your local paper, a niche blog) to write a story about or mention your business, your best chance by far is direct and personal outreach to a specific writer or editor that knows you (or knows your publicist or PR firm). It is very unlikely you will get this type of coverage through a press release alone, even with the most expensive wire services.
- Trying to Immediately Drive Sales: If your goal is strictly to immediately drive sales (product sales, book sales, etc), press releases are typically not the best way to do this. Press releases are better at getting your news out there, showing your company is active and growing, and getting your brand out into the public. Use it to build buzz about something, but I would not expect immediate sales (although it does work in some product categories).
And now let’s look at when to use PRUnderground:
- Product or service announcements: It’s good to show that your company is evolving with new product and service announcements over time. Try to do a news release at least once per quarter per product. Because it is not breaking news, PRUnderground is a great affordable way to get these announcements out without breaking the budget. It will get into Google News, out to social media, and to 100+ online news sites.
- Company News: Hitting company milestones shows your customers, prospects, employees and investors that your business is successful. Whether it is an announcement of quarterly revenues, record level website traffic, a new office opening, product sales records, an award won, attendance for an event, or community service your business is involved in, this all shows success and momentum.
- New Hires: Some companies put out a press release for every new management hire. It makes the new employees feel important and gets their name out in Google and the web. What a great way to start them out at your company. It also shows your business ecosystem that your are hiring good people.
- For SEO: Yes you can still use a press release for SEO, both in terms of getting your release into Google News (a search engine of itself) as well as in Google (your release almost always gets indexed into regular Google search.
- New Partnerships: Announcing new strategic partnerships again shows momentum and success for your business. It also is a way to show your new partner that you are a proactive company and they will likely be happy to see themselves mentioned on the web.
- Research or Analytics Reports: The press, media, and your customers love statistics and analytics. If your business allows you to analyze an industry or market, these can make some powerful press releases. In one of my past companies, we issued a quarterly real estate sales and foreclosure report. It was one of our most popular reports and we got coverage in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, CNBC, and industry blogs among others. Issuing a press release to announce the report can be a quite effective component of marketing your report. But pick one writer and give them the exclusive before it hits the wire!
- Reputation Management: Bad reviews, posts from disgruntled ex-employees or competitors, and even online forum questions (Ex. “Is XYZ Company a scam”) can shoot to the top of search engines, and be extremely detrimental to your business. You can’t always get the negative content taken down, but you can issue press releases to counter and respond to some of these issues and hope they balance out or displace the negative search results.
- Events: If you host events or conferences, a press release can be useful to build buzz around the event. Announce speakers, the program schedule, topics, and more starting months before the event.
- For Social Media: As part of every PRUnderground press release distribution, we send the headline and link to the release out to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Del.ici.ous, Google+, and more. You don’t even need to have a profile on these services!
Because PRUnderground is affordable, you can keep the news releases flowing (aim for at least 1/month) without breaking the bank. And since you can hire someone to write your release for as little as $5, you can easily have press releases be one component of your marketing plan.