Upcoming Event: Best Practices for Online Press Releases

January 3, 2011

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Start the new year right — sign up for our upcoming webinar, “A Successful Online Press Release: From Start to Finish.”

Join Market Motive Online PR Professor Greg Jarboe and Business Wire Product Manager Joseph Miller to learn cutting-edge practices for the modern optimized press release. This workshop will cover current best practices of the online PR process: creation, distribution, and measurement. You’ll learn headline creation techniques, SEO, strategy, and multimedia best practices. Then you’ll be shown step-by step wire distribution processes and timing, and finally explore how you can measure success of your online PR campaigns. Online press releases are a powerful and often-misunderstood marketing channel for getting the word out and the links in. Join us on January 11th to learn more and keep your skills up to date.

The hourlong webinar will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 11am ET/8am PT. Go here to register.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


PR Peeps Poll: 43 Percent Cite Driving Traffic as Primary Objective in Optimizing Press Releases

November 3, 2010

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media

When it comes to optimizing press releases for search engines, most PR Peeps do it to drive traffic to their websites, the October PR Peeps Poll found.  Of 240 polled, 103–that is, 43%–cited driving traffic as their primary goal in applying search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to their press releases.

Standard SEO techniques for press releases include working keywords into the headline and lead, providing deep links to your web site, adding multimedia such as logos, photos, or video, and keeping the headline under 70 characters so it is most likely to be indexed by Google news.

The poll results are not surprising given that the objective of most press releases is to tell the story of the issuer.  One of the best ways to do that is to lure people to your website so they can hear your organization’s story in your organization’s words–full text, unedited, unfiltered by journalists, bloggers or others.

The second most common reason cited for optimizing press release for search engines was to “influence Google search engine results” with 69 votes, or 29%.   Shortly behind was “manage reputation” with 36 votes, or 15%, followed by 25 respondents who don’t optimize their press releases for search engines (10%) and 7 respondents pegging “generate link clicks” as their main objective in applying SEO tactics to press releases.

The poll was conducted throughout the month of October through Twitter, Facebook, email and Business Wire’s webinars.   Details below:

What is your primary objective in optimizing your press release for search engines?

103, or 43%–Drive traffic to our website

69, or 29%–Influence Google search engine results

36, or 15%–Manage our brand and reputation

25, or 10%–I don’t optimize my press releases for search engines

7, or 3%   —  Generate link clicks

To those who participated, thanks for taking the PR Peeps Poll.   How about helping us with the next one?  The November poll launches today.   What is your company’s preferred form of social media outreach?

Thanks for the help.

240 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  October 1 – 31, 2010.


A Look At EON From An SEM Pro’s Perspective

March 17, 2010

Ben Plomion heads up SEM Valet, a Search Engine Marketing firm that builds pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns for its clients, so he’s a guy you can trust to know his stuff.  Following a recent meeting, Ben took a look at EON: Enhanced Online News for its possible value in building backlinks to clients’ websites and being part of an online marketing or PR campaign.  Take a look at Ben’s thoughts and let him — and us! — know about your successes with EON.


Five Tips for More Search Friendly Headlines

October 29, 2009

by Joseph Miller, EON: Enhanced Online News Product Manager, Business Wire San Antonio

I recently wrote a post that covered some key search engine ranking factors and how they apply to your press releases.  Today I thought I would dive into one of those key factors: the page title.  In the context of press releases, your headline serves double duty as your page title and is thus the most important signpost for steering searchers and readers towards your content.

Using these simple tips can help you get the most out of your headlines and reap benefits for your organization.

1.  Give ’Em What They Want
When crafting your headline and release, it’s important to think like a searcher.  Look at past release reports or your web analytics to see what keywords tend to bring readers to your unique content and build on that.  If you don’t have access to your company’s web analytics, try to request a report from your web team with top search referral terms.

2.  Emphasize Your Most Important Keywords
Once you have some quality keywords to choose from, pick one or two that are most important to you and focus your headline on those.  You don’t have a lot of room to work with, so don’t try to work too many keywords into your headline just for the sake of it.

3.  Keep It Brief
Speaking of room to work with, Google generally displays only the first 63 characters (letters and spaces) of release headlines in search results, so make sure to get your key information across as concisely as possible.  If you are going to go beyond the limit, always make sure that your headline reads well when truncated.  That’s how searchers will encounter your news. If it doesn’t make sense, they are much less likely to click through and read the rest what you have to say.

Here’s an example. This is how the headline of this release from 977music.com reads on EON: Enhanced Online News:
977image1
And here’s how the title reads, as displayed in Google search results.  Note that the headline’s been shortened, but it still conveys key information:
977image2
4.  Choose: Descriptive or Catchy
It can be very difficult to be both descriptive and catchy at the same time, and both techniques have their benefits.  Descriptive headlines may be more relevant to more people and tend to work in more keywords for SEO, but catchy headlines might be better ‘linkbait’ and more likely to be shared via social networks or blogs.

5.  Keep At It
Search engines like Google and Bing are here to stay and securing your place in search results is an ongoing effort.  Incorporating press release SEO techniques can provide both short term benefits and serve as part of a long term strategy to build your presence in search.

For more press release optimization tips, visit EON: Enhanced Online News.


Should my Small Business use Press Releases?

August 28, 2009

While it’s true that we count some very large companies among our clients, we are also mindful of the needs of startups and small businesses and provide press release distribution tools and services that can fit almost any budget.

EON: Enhanced Online News, one of our press release platforms, facilitates your news being discovered in a number of ways:

-An optimization tool which we call the Press Release Builder that helps you create or optimize your release for search engine performance,
-Distribution in Google News, targeted RSS feeds, and Docstoc.com
-Social sharing links that facilitate your release getting into the social sphere
-Multimedia galleries providing assets such as photos and video in multiple formats to interested journalists, bloggers, and consumers for easy redistribution.

Beyond that, EON enables you to embed images within your release, include active hyperlinks with anchor text of your choosing, and a website preview window with any website of your choosing embedded.

EON starts from $295 for lifetime release hosting.  Multimedia assets are $100 for the first and $50 for each additional.  Here’s two examples of EON releases which really get the most out of the platform:

Candle Lovers’ Dream Come True

Bluetooth Technology Gets Faster with Bluetooth 3.0

…and here’s a coupon for $100 off your first release.  EON releases can be ordered directly from our website.  Simply create an account at http://eon.businesswire.com .

Our metro wire circuits are also very affordable, starting at only $210 for a release under 400 words.  Take a look at your options and get in touch with a Business Wire representative near you (we have over 20 offices) if you have any questions or would like to get started.

Of course the world doesn’t revolve around Business Wire, and there are some great low cost or no cost ways of driving traffic to your site or blog include everything from actively twittering, participating in blogger communities such as BlogCatalog.com, writing guest posts through services like Bloggerlinkup.com, searching for PR opportunities on HARO (or our ExpertSource service), and studying up on everything SEO on sites and forums such as SEOMoz.org to name a few!


SmartBrief reviews EON: Enhanced Online News

August 4, 2009

SmartBrief, the media company most well known for their vast network of excellent industry newsletters (disclosure: we have a partnership with SmartBrief), recently reviewed EON: Enhanced Online News after conducting an experiment with word-of-mouth and other promotions for their free viral marketing webinar.smartbrief_logo

Here’s an excerpt we’re particularly fond of:

We liked that EON does a lot of the painful stuff for you: Distributing the press release via RSS feeds for news hounds, consumers, and journalists. When you create the release, the Enhanced Online News service prompts you to tag it by industry, subject, geography and keywords so it can target your announcement to the most relevant readers possible.

You can read the entire review at SmartBlog.com or take a look at SmartBrief’s press release for more details.


How to Build Your Online Newsstand with RSS

May 14, 2009

Some day, RSS will be to our online life what catalytic converters are to cars and no one will care what it is or how it works–we’ll just be glad it does.

But that day of understanding and acceptance has not arrived–yet.rss2  At our presentations and webinars, “What is RSS?”  continues to be a frequently asked question.

That’s why Business Wire account executive Malcolm Atherton out of our Phoenix office, and San Antonio-based Joseph Miller, our EON: Enhanced Online News Product Manager, have assembled an 11-minute video on How to Build Your Personal Newsstand with RSS (Really Simple Syndication).

As always, the approach is accessible and easy-to-understand.  Please take a look.  And if you want Business Wire or EON content as part of your online newsstand, please sign up for one of our customized feeds.


Aristotle on Twitter, Mom Knows Best, and Other Lessons from SXSWi 2009

March 23, 2009
Is Aristotle on Twitter

If Aristotle were on Twitter, he'd be a big retweeter.

Getting attention in a cluttered content universe was just one hot topic at South by Southwest Interactive this year, and the question, “Do you give good URL?” aimed to address the point in a delightful panel of  University of Texas at Austin academics.

Maybe my background as an American Studies graduate from UT predisposed me to this panel, but I found it was one of my favorites in the five-day new media conference of more than 6,000 attendees.

The discussion, “Is Aristotle on Twitter?” revisited the great philosopher and addressed the struggle many of us face online–deciphering style from substance. Giving good URL–that is, supplying readers with useful, relevant content via helpful links–indicates BOTH, say the academics.

Generous, appropriate Link Love not only shows your style, but reflects your judgement.  You wouldn’t knowingly pass along something you didn’t find valuable–would you?

While last year Twitter was oft discussed in the context of the horrendous Sarah Lacy/Mark Zuckerberg interview, in 2009 Twitter tips were ubiquitous, as attendees filled conference halls, laptops opened, Tweetdeck loaded.    Example: Retweeting may be the sincerest form of flattery and is strongly encouraged, say the academics.   “Retweeting creates judgement, while tweeting creates familiarity.” 

Other great takeaways:

1. Every cell phone is a media outlet.
2. Retweeting makes readers see through you; tweeting makes readers see you. Both are important.
3. Social media will provide the data helping determine the five things you SHOULD be doing rather than the 50 things you COULD be doing.
4. “Being better is its own word-of-mouth,” Kathy Sierra.
5. Distinguish the urgent from the important, as in don’t respond to “urgent” emails at the expense of those that are important.
6.  The humble “telephone is one of the best branding tools out there, despite being low-tech,” Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappo’s.
7.  The organization chart of the future will have customers at the top, CEOs at the bottom.
8.  When it comes to social media, it’s just as important to be interested as it is to be interesting.
9.  When hiring, chemistry is MORE IMPORTANT than skills.
10.  When you find yourself in the echo chamber, call your mom for a reality check on ideas. Mom frequently DOES know best.

As a mom, I concur.


Free Webinars by Business Wire Specialists Offer How-To Press Release Tips

July 8, 2008
Free press release tips available through Business Wire webinars

Free press release tips are available through Business Wire

Interested in press release tips from those who handle thousands of press releases every single workday–a collection of how-to nuggets on optimizing press releases for search and simple lessons on the social web?

Then join us for Business Wire’s free webinar series, attended by thousands of communicators.   New media specialists Malcolm Atherton, Monika Maeckle, Michael Toner, and Maria Van Wambeke will share their collective wisdom in three online events this month.

The free webinars focus on using new and social media tools to turn press releases into cost effective and interactive marketing tools. To learn how to Be An SEO Hero, find your way if you’re Lost in MySpace, or figure out why Your Text Needs a Partner, register for one of these free webinars.

To view archived webinars, check out the Business Wire resource page.


The Knot Makes Case for Hybrid Media At Business Wire Event

June 26, 2008

More than 150 professional communicators gathered at the 3 West Club in Manhattan earlier this week for Business Wire’s panel discussion, “A Social Media Conversation: How PR, IR & Marketing Professionals Can Engage and Participate in the Social Web.”

Peter Himler, President of Publicity Club of New York and founder of Flatiron Communications moderated the panel which included Melissa Bauer, Senior PR Manager of The Knot, Ryan Block, Editor-in-Chief, Engadget, Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager for Google News, Peter Hershberg, Managing Partner, Reprise Media, Rob Key, CEO & Founder, Converseon, and Jim Nail, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, TNS/Cymfony.  PRNewswer did a nice recap and you can also listen to the webcast.

The Knot\'s Interactive Press Releases Deliver Hits and Views

The Knot’s case study in utilizing many of the new tools and strategies discussed seemed to strike a chord with attendees. Bauer’s slidedeck demonstrated in detail how the company uses ALL types of media–from Facebook, video-on-demand and interactive press releases to traditional media pitches and hard copy national and local magazines.

Let’s hear it for hybrid media.


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