What Press Releases Aren’t



Note: This post was originally published at NakedPR.com / SocialRealist.com and was moved to BizAmmo upon that blog’s retirement.

There’s one thing in particular that drives me crazy in working with webmasters on press release writing and distribution. Far too many honestly believe that “press releases” and “articles” are the same thing. I stumbled upon a job posting where someone was looking for a press release writer this evening. Here are a few of the ridiculous comments:

“Each month, the contracted freelancer will write 4 SEO PRESS RELEASES (must be genuine, not cut/paste work) and submit to 50 press release sites, I will need to see and approve the list as well as the articles before the submission begins. I must see 200 backlinks every month as a result of this.”

Problem: First, like I said, press releases aren’t articles. Also, you can’t judge the effectiveness of press releases by your number of backlinks (frankly, one or two backlinks from quality, relevant news sources or authority sites is more valuable in the long run than 200 crap backlinks from unrelated PR sites and scraper sites). And then there’s the “50 press release sites” thing. I’m sorry, but that’s just pathetically stupid, and shows the poster doesn’t know the first thing about effective press release distribution. So here’s a quick note to webmasters: learn what a tool is before you jump into using it just because everyone else is. Otherwise, you just waste your time, waste your money, and end up not achieving the results you’re hoping for, all while making yourself look like an idiot.

“Next month you can submit to the same article sites but will have to write new articles which I need to approve of first.”

Problem: This is something else I see far too often… people wanting to submit press releases to article directories. If you can’t see the problem with that, then, I’m really not sure what to tell you….

Let’s summarize: If you don’t know what a press release is for in the first place, you shouldn’t be using them until you learn. That’s why the Web is so littered with crap “news,” and why social media press releases won’t come close to solving the underlying press release problem. Don’t hire article writers to write your press releases. Don’t submit press releases to article directories. Don’t submit press releases to hoards of press release distribution sites unless you have lots of time to kill for absolutely nothing. Just don’t….

I really don’t understand why so many people these days (probably because anyone and their brother can start a business online without batting an eyelash) can’t be bothered to learn the basics of business. No one wants to deal with business planning. No one wants to deal with marketing plans. They want everything handed to them on a silver platter, and they want to pay next to nothing, all while expecting the world in return. It just doesn’t work that way… you can’t just jump into tactics that you’ve heard have worked for others. Every market and audience is different. The press release issue is really just a tiny part of a much bigger problem… people are idiots. I’ve hit on a pet peeve today; can you tell?

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