Not that this practice is new…

Posted 21 May 2009 by

A blog post on the Minnesota Public Radio website shows what can happen when an industry-financed press release is sent from a third-party. Publicity happens.

At least one news source called it properly in that particular case.

This isn’t a new practice, though. In the past, though, you actually had to send the release on paper, with a real stamp on the envelope. If you wanted to pedal a picture, you probably needed to take it in.

Now there are services that will distribute your press releases and pictures electronically. I know from experience local news outlets will take these stories.

I will let the MPR website point out what should be good journalistic practices. I’ll point out what should be your response if involved with publicity.

Whether it is right or wrong, take advantage of it. Or, you snooze, you lose.

Evidence is that having “the” website isn’t the path to publicity today. It may be part of a strategy, but it is not “the” strategy. You want Google to find your object-of-publicity mentioned around the web. Press release distribution services can place your story in more than one place on the web. Google ranks you according to these links.

Google ranks a link to your website. Links from these distributed releases probably rank lower than other sources. Even so, a low rank from one of these sites is better than no rank at all from not playing the game.

To more links to your website from whatever source, the higher your website ranks in search results. Use words favored by search engines (search engine optimization), and you will do better.

An hour or two weekly sending out press releases through a distribution service will pay off in Google in the long run. It is better to have a mediocre website that is being fed traffic from Google than having a beautiful website without traffic.

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