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Are You Doing PR Wrong?

Back in the day (ok, we’re only talking a few years ago or so) press releases were just that—a news release sent on to the press. A company’s marketing department would put together a document featuring a big announcement, maybe a new product or facility or an upcoming event, and if you were lucky, the local or national paper or television station would pick it up, and if you were really lucky, one of the larger media outlets might inquire further and turn it into an article. Marketer’s measured this success with actual rulers and column inches and by running airtime; then translated it into “earned media” (meaning, free marketing space acquired from the press release pick-up) on intricate spreadsheets. It was tedious.

Mikey Likes It.

Along came social media, which made the sharing of press releases so much easier. But, not only did social networks make it more simple and quicker to disseminate information, it also cast them out to a wider audience. Audiences were able to see golf news as it was happening, and companies were not dependent on media outlets picking up their press releases. However, with so many different channels distributing content, it started to become a nightmare to monitor success, or to even apply any metrics to determine earned media—or if these online shares even scored as a marketing measure—did a golf company’s press release reposted on Mikey’s personal golf blog “count?”

S E Oh No.

Technology evolved, and along with web analytics, press releases became easier to monitor through tracking services, and search engine optimized press releases began to dominate. Press releases became less about sharing new information and more about link building to drive website traffic and moving up in search rankings. Google quickly put the kibosh on these manipulative strategies, and penalizes users for implementing these sorts of tactics.

What’s Your Intent?

Today, the intent of the press release remains the same—to connect with the media—but it also has expanded (or in some cases, narrowed) its reach to include target-specific audiences (golfers, investors, etc.) to:

  • Raise awareness through shareable content—what have I learned, and is it easy for me to pass it along?

  • Provide community/customer benefit—what’s in it for me?

  • Connect with experts—position experts at your golf company as thought leaders in the industry

  • Generate actionable results—what response is your press release driving me to do?