In fact, why even bother with press releases? Can’t blog posts serve the same function?
That’s what law firm marketing expert Kevin O’Keefe asked at Real Lawyers Have Blogs.
He will be releasing a report later this week on the use of blogs by large American law firms, and he asked:
“My question is who do I send the press release to? Don’t I accomplish the same thing by posting a blog post with the report as I always have? As a courtesy to reporters and editors, couldn’t I just email them a link to my blog post? How does a press release help them?
“Some law firms and companies use press release services such as PR Newswire or PRWeb for press releases, many in large part for Search Engine Optimization. Getting links from such sites to your company website or blog using keywords describing your offering causes your website or blog to rank higher on such keyword searches. But that feels a bit like a sham and I’m not looking for SEO.”
Write a release and a blog post
Press releases are written much like a newspaper article would be written with “just the facts.” And, of course, you can link directly to the report and anything else you wish.
One of the big advantages of press releases is that journalists, bloggers and others can simply cut and paste from the press release and add what you’ve written to their own copy. Blogs, on the other hand, are written in a more informal, personal style that make wholesale copying difficult.
A blog also serves as a great platform to comment on various aspects of the report, in one or more blog posts. So while that press releases is pulling traffic at PRWeb, your post is pulling traffic at your blog.
How to publicize an industry report
I gave Kevin seven ideas for publicizing his report:
- Write a press release and post it to PRWeb. Journalists and others can also search the PRWeb site by topic. I found eight RSS feeds at PRWeb just for legal news. So if the only place that somebody can find info on the report is at Kevin’s blog, they’ll miss it if they’re at the PRWeb site.
- Let your Twitter followers, Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections know about the release. Just give an enticing headline and link to it at PRWeb. (See 11 Ways to Avoid Missed Opportunities on Facebook.)
- Write a blog post that ties into the press release. Why was the report written? Are the results surprising? Can you offer a behind-the-scenes look at the benefit of blogging for big law firms, something the press release doesn’t explain?
- Post the same press release at your website, in your online press room. You want to do this so that people who come to your website can find recent information about what you’re doing.
- If you wish, you can now pitch the story to a select group of journalists and bloggers. These can be people whose names you have collected and put into a database. I’d create individual pitches for each journalists or blogger, customized for their audience, and then include a link where they can see the press release.
- What about people on Twitter who “tweet” about law-related topics? Don’t forget about them. Sometimes you can get far more traction on Twitter than you can in traditional media, simply because of the retweets.
- How do you find people who would be interested in the report and are most likely to retweet? Go to Search.Twitter.com and search for #law, #lawyers, #legal and other related words, using hash tags. Twitter will return a list of tweets written by people who have used those keywords in their posts. You can then go to each person’s Twitter page and decide if they’re worth following. If so, follow them. They might follow you back. You can then send them a direct message and let them know about your report, and link to the press release on PRWeb.
- Finally, how about creating a short video, about two and a half minutes, discussing the report? You can do this with an inexpensive Flip video camera and upload the video to YouTube, which can pull more traffic to your blog or website.
Kevin might also consider a subscription to Expertclick, the Online Yearbook of Experts. A subscription puts you in their experts directory and lets you post up to 52 press releases per year. You can then link to these releases from your blog or the online press room at your website. That’s what I do. Learn more at Expertclick.com.
How do you use press releases in conjunction with your blog?