I’m sure you would’ve come across several online marketing folks who would insist to do a Press Release every couple of months (sometimes even every week) and gladly spent thousands of dollars on it. Little do they know that Press Releases are a waste of time, if you don’t use them the right way. And sending one every month for every little thing that nobody cared for tells that you are indeed doing it wrong!
Let’s get the facts right.
Press Releases are good. They are meant for a purpose. Of letting the world know of very important events from important entities. If you cannot package value into the whole equation, you’re just blowing up your money.
Why are Press Releases not working anymore?
1. Press Release is not a link building tool
The popular reason for people sending out press releases so often is that they expect backlinks from the articles. Which is true, they indeed get backlinks. But all the major press release services available today are likely to be in the Google radar. Even though press releases might give you backlinks, they are not going to help you build your reputation or authority.
2. Press Releases are as good as scraped/duplicate content
Unless you’re on an exceptionally good news portal with unique content, all you’re doing is letting your press release copy be copy-pasted to thousands of websites in a couple of minutes, making them instantly deprecated for their extremely low value. Assuming that more than 80% of these “press release channels” are dedicated press release websites, all that they have on the website is copy-paste/duplicate content, which in Google’s eyes are as good as nothing at all.
3. Without any perceivable value, nobody really cares for your PR
If you look at the average internet user behavior quotient, the value people see in any piece of content has to be noticeably high for it go places or be read. Which is the reason why top brands invest more money than ever in getting a front page Digg or a Reddit top post. They’ve realized today that Social Media can give them hundred times more mileage than an average Press Release. But to get traction on Social Media, you have to package high quality content in. So, people go for Press Releases, when they cannot do it and are lazy.
4. Zero Authority passing through
When your Press Release gets copy pasted to many websites at once, there is no contextual linking patterns or social signals that are triggering any notable recommendation to your site. Its like having a thousand local channels nobody even know existed, scroll your feed during their soaps.
5. Press Release websites are as good as Link Farms
If you argue that Press Releases can give you backlinks, you should also be arguing that link farms can do the same. They do the same thing sans the content. Devoid of social signals, authority, traffic, or any remote triggers of organic traction, press releases are as good as link farms.
Essentially, the point is that if you have an amazing story (read value) or something really interesting to say, there is nothing like a quick Press Release service that can help you. It is very efficient in getting the attention (and sometimes backlinks). But when you don’t have anything interesting to say or offer, Press Releases are just a waste of time, more likely an ego-satisfier. If you have the money, go ahead for it!
But today’s web audience and search engines have gone far ahead of the “Press Release” era. Metrics and signals have evolved, authority and influence have taken new meanings. Press Releases are a thing of the past.