Michelle M. Wicmandy interviewed me for an article on online press releases in the May 2010 issue of Website magazine.
I gave her this list of questions you should ask anyone who you’re hiring:
- Does your price include keyword research?
- What is the fee for writing, and is there a separate fee for online distribution?
- Is there an additional fee for sending the release to targeted media outlets and bloggers?
- How many revisions does the price include?
- What’s your turnaround time?
- What clients have hired you to write press releases and what are their phone numbers?
- Can you tell me about the success stories those clients have had as a result of releases you wrote for them? (If they tell you, call those clients yourself and ask for a reference. Were they satisfied with the release? If not, why not? If yes, what happened as a result of the release?)
- What is the fee? (Most reliable services charge $150 and higher for writing a press release.)
You should also ask any company how it judges the success of a release.
The best answer is to measure how many people did something specific that the release tells them to do. In other words, every release should have a call to action. You can create a unique landing page specifically for that release and then see how much traffic you get, and how many people do something like order tickets, or download a free White Paper, or give you their name and email address in exchange for a tips list.
You can also create a Google Alert for the headline on your press release and see how many news outlets, bloggers and websites pick up the release.
If you’re looking for reputable companies to write your press releases, check out the publicity resources section at my website. If you’d rather write them yourself, sign up for my free tutorial, 89 Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases.