But let’s call it the news release since we’re now in the 21st century.
Born out of the train wreck on October 28, 1906, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania Railroad’s public relations agent invented the press release as a tactic to provide press journalists the official version of the accident that killed 50 people – averting any damaging speculation.
Today, the news release lives on proudly and authoritatively in directing media attention to newsworthy stories and announcements.
But fast forward more than 110 years, the traditional press release has grown up. Journalists and editors are no longer the only ones receiving them; no more are they the gatekeepers of news.
Thanks to our online world, your news release can now be read unfiltered and directly by millions of people all over the world.
Certainly, journalists must remain a primary target in any news release strategy. However, don’t neglect the fact that you can now speak to your customers directly. And you can tailor what you want to say to your different audiences. Because your news release can be found through a variety of channels other than your website.
The times and technology may have changed, but the power of what a news release can accomplish remains.
Five powerful ways to use your news release
1. Tell your story the way you want to
Write tailored news releases that appeal to your customers, compelling them to engage with you.
2. Optimise with keywords
Use selected keywords for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to help your website rank higher and get found more easily.
3. Drive buyers into the sales process
Add links to drive traffic to landing pages or product specific information.
4. Link to website content
Public relations is content driven. Use links to guide readers to a selection of useful website resources such as videos, blog posts and case studies.
5. Publish often
Readers love to see that you’re busy with something new or making improvements. It doesn’t always have to be big news. Just write regularly and often to connect with your customers and prospects. Your news releases should form part of the content your readers can subscribe to.