06 March 2014

By Ken Payne

Link building guru Ken McGraffin posted an excellent piece for Search Engine Watch about the mistakes PR folk make when posting and distributing press releases online. Things like undervaluing the press release as part of a link-building campaign and distributing news releases that aren’t really news sounded all too familiar.

But, what really caught my eye was the point he was making about distribution – getting your release into the hands of a journalist who actually writes about your news topic and wants to hear from you. As Ken points out, these could be journalists that have written about your company, organization, rock star, or team before, or a new journalist that writes about your industry, but you’ve yet to establish that critical professional relationship.

Our recent survey - in fact all the surveys we’ve done that include journalists - concur with Ken’s advice. In fact, more than 73% of journalists surveyed indicated they only what to receive news releases that interest them – and the more localized the better. Even more – a full 96% of journalists responding – said they prefer to receive the information via e-mail alert with only 1% indicating they prefer a phone call.

Combine these findings with the fact that 94% of journalists say they visit a company or organizations online newsroom with 97% saying they think it important to find news releases posted there, it becomes a no-brainer.

Ken makes a lot of great points in his piece – from news release structure to the importance of being ready for a journalist’s call. But to me, forgetting the importance of targeted distribution via the online newsroom is the biggest mistake an online PR pro can make.

What's on your list of online PR mistakes? Leave a comment and let us know!

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