Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Press Release Lives On – Even In Web 2.0 World

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Contrary to what some have been saying, the press release is not dead! A recent article featured on the Search Engine Watch.com blog reaffirms the important role of this public relations tool and defends optimized press release usage within the public relations industry.

We have written a little about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in past posts, but I’d like to bring some readers up to speed on what exactly SEO is. According to Wikipedia, SEO “is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a Web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.”

“There are a variety of reasons why the Furia Rubel team utilizes the press release. The PR tool helps us to ensure that we have all accurate and relevant information from our clients, compiled it in one place with details and contacts. In this way, press releases are an invaluable resource when directly pitching media representatives because everything is clear, concise and together in one space. Also, with each release we write, our team specifically incorporates SEO language to increase online visibility for our clients,” said Leah Ludwig, Senior Account Manager at Furia Rubel.

The Search Engine Watch.com blog offers some interesting information from a 2010 PRweek/PR Newswire Media Survey, “Journalists use a variety of tools during the course of research for a story. Ninety-five percent use Google/search engines, 93 percent use the company web site, 47 percent use Wikipedia, 36 percent use the web site of a commercial newswire, 34 percent use the company blog, 33 percent use social networks, 32 percent use general blogs, and 19 percent use LexisNexis/Factiva.”

If journalists are using Google to research, an effective way for public relations professionals to get their news out there is through an optimized press release. A new challenge has presented itself however, because press releases are competing with news media for top search results. This does not mean that the press release is dead, just that it is important for SEO experts to stay abreast of the changing SEO terms and results.

(photo credit: webdesigngeek.info)

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