It reminds me of the evolution from getting search results and rankings in Google, to a focus on web site traffic and conversion. From what I’ve seen PR professionals are gradually changing perspective. It’s a tough transition because their clients seem to value seeing their name in print over the incremental benefits of traffic and sales.
The difference in perspective between PR and marketing:
- Want to get their clients on the news and value exposure in traditional media.
- The value is in making the client look good in the right circles.
- Professional image is important.
- Usually distributed directly to the press.
- Success is measured by calls from reporters and response from traditional media and high profile blogs.
Marketers and small business owners
- Measure a press release’s success by the increased traffic to their web site.
- Concerned with building quality backlinks to their site (for SEO purposes).
- Press releases are a sales tool and way to reach customers or bloggers directly.
- A compelling story is more important than building corporate image.
- Usually distributed online (as in PRWeb).
- Success is measured by how many people see the press release and how many times other sites pick up the press release.
“73% indicated that it is “important to very important” to reach traditional media via their online press releases while 67.7% indicated that it is “important to very important” to reach bloggers and new media outlets.”
I’m completely biased towards online PR from a marketer’s perspective. It’s difficult for me to write the polished corporate-speak kind of press release or one aimed at getting media attention.
Here’s my issue with getting a write-up in a media outlet online — they control the links. And as an online marketer, the links and the link text are what matter most. You usually won’t get a good link if you’re story is picked up by The New York Times online. What I mean is you’ll likely get a link on the name of your business to the home page. Your online press release however can have a specific link to a specific page (or more than one).
Ideally, it’s not mutually exclusive and the story gets both both good SEO value AND media coverage for my clients. PR professionals: Is your focus more online or traditional media focused? How about your client’s expectations and requests?