Gary V on Why Press Releases Suck!

Die-Press-ReleaseHow much time and money are you spending on press releases?

Are you getting any ROI?

Gary Vaynerchuk talks about why story telling, not press releases, is the better way to market in today’s “social marketing” economy:

What are your thoughts on Press Releases?

Are they still worth the time and money it takes to create them?

Personally, for my dance bags website, I’ve NEVER written nor will I ever write a press release – I’d rather be Blogging!

How To Use Press Releases for Effective Online Marketing

Janet Meiners - Newspapergrl.comJanet Meiners, professional blogger at and online press release extraordinaire shares tips on making your online PR strategy effective.

Why is online PR so important to the effective marketing of an eCommerce business?

If you have any business you want to get the word out.  You need to think of ways to publicize what you’re doing. Online PR is all about the distribution.  Use a distribution service online like PRWEb and other sites for amplification of what you’re doing.

Who are some of the clients you’ve helped with online PR?

ShoeMoney – Jeremy Schoemaker – Janet volunteered to write a professional press release for ShoeMoney and succeeded with an editorial score of 5 out of 5! Because of this press release Jeremy was interviewed by newspapers and radio stations all over the place.  Janet has also received many responses and leads because of this service she provided.

Who else does Janet write for?

Andy Beal at
5 Tips for Effective Online Press Releases

  1. Find a good newsworth story: one of the biggest mistakes clients make is that they don’t have a story – they try to manufacture something.  Press releases like this get less response and less exposure.  In order to be effective with online press releases you need a compelling story. Find something new in your business that is helping your target audience, maybe a trend, or something interesting.
  2. Tie your story in to a larger story
  3. Use keyword phrases strategically: Don’t just use  Instead use keyword phrases within the content that link to specific pages on your site. Don’t be afraid to source other websites too – it adds credibility.  Keywords in the title of your press release – this will help readers know what the content is about. Using keyword phrases in the first sentence can be very helpul too.
  4. Attend the seminar: ask questions, test, and re-test, watch statistics and “do more of what makes you more”.
  5. Warning – Don’t overdo it: writing a press release every 10 days is probably too much. Shoot for 1 press release per month and provide good quality content.

Any other recommendations?

Just because you write a press release doesn’t mean you’re going to get a great response right away. Reach out to others in your industry. Ask others in the industry to write about what you are sharing. Submit to social media sites, put your information on forums, and use keywords to get people to your sites.

Are there any sites besides PRweb that you recommend?, – Janet likes PRWeb because they allow users to add logos, pictures, images, social media pieces, etc.  There are lots of PR sites for just links too.  The $200 PRWeb option is better for distribution and linking.  Users can add a direct link in every 100 words of content. In Janet’s testing it’s paid off a lot more to do the $200 option.

Other fun facts

Per Press Release Janet Meiners averages 60,000 impressions, 1,000 readers, and her professional press release is is online forever!

Creative Advertising, Are You Doing It?

I talk to clients all the time about internet marketing, search engine optimization, and a variety other things to help them see results with their online businesses. However, when it comes right down to it, it’s all about making sales. Whether you go out and cold call, talk to friends and family, rely on SEO and SMO strategies, or just generate sales over time, the sale has to be made.

Promotions and creative ads can really help you increase sales. I had a client recently who did a “Free Product Promotion” and saw amazing results. Remember, there are two main things I want to happen with a promotion:

  1. Make a sale! Obviously this is the best thing because hopefully, by making a sale, you’ll also make money – duh.
  2. Get information from the client. Getting names, emails, and contact information of any sort can be almost as good as making the sale. Generally if a visitor does something on your site like give you information, it means they are somewhat interested in what you are offering. Generating leads is actually a business some people focus on. By getting good leads, you can remind them about your business over and over again and eventually they could turn in to a big revenue for your company.

The story below is a perfect example of how this works. It’s also a good example of a well-written press release.

Free Health Drinks Attract Thousands of New Customers to was offering free health drink samples until they were overwhelmed by thousands of requests from thirsty customers. Daily traffic was steady at about twenty-five visitors a day when store operators suddenly tracked over 2,000 visitors in less than 24 hours.

As the mad dash continued, operators of grew uneasy about the costs associated with the promotion. Jane Wakefield, a store owner, said, “We couldn’t believe our eyes as the requests poured in, from one every five minutes, to two or three per minute”. They were forced to discontinue the free health drink promotion.

Smith and Wakefield posted a note on mentioning their surprise at the thousands of people who wanted free health drinks. They encouraged visitors to look around the store, use a special code and receive 20% off any purchase. They also offered free health podcasts and articles.

Obviously, this is powerful advertising for a new Internet health food store, but can they afford to send free health drink samples to so many people and stay in business? How many of those people will ever buy anything from Wakefield answers this question by saying, “It is encouraging that many of the requests reveal a genuine desire for higher quality health products than what is being sold in stores or advertised on TV”. Whether or not there will be enough buyers to keep them in business remains to be seen. For now, though, offers all natural, low carb, high fiber foods and health drinks not found at the retail level.

So, as you can see, by doing a creative advertising strategy, this new website business got so much attention they weren’t really sure how to handle it. The important thing is, they’ve learned how effective a creative ad can be to get traffic and build a database to market to now and in the future. I’ve encouraged them to learn from this and make it even more profitable next time. Recording the details of the campaign and then not repeating the mistakes (or repeating the things that really worked) are key to the success of any business.

Now, how are YOU going to implement these ideas with your business plan?

Why should I write a Press Release?

I’ve talked with quite a few clients about Press Releases and articles lately and wanted to share with them some information I’ve found about press release effectiveness.

  • Why do we write press releases?
  • How are they going to help us make sales on our eCommerce Website?
  • Are they really worth the time you have to invest?

These are a few questions I’ve had myself regarding the press release concept. Below is an interesting case study I found aobut the power of an effective press release.

Millions of people use news search engines to find articles and press releases from the past 30 days. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, Yahoo News had a unique audience of 21.6 million visitors in March 2004 and Google News had a unique audience of 4.9 million visitors that month.

News search engines have also become an indispensable tool for journalists. According to a Middleberg/Ross Survey, 98% of journalists go online daily, 92% for article research, 81% to do searching, 76% to find new sources or experts, and 73% to find press releases.

Savvy marketers are harnessing this phenomenon.

On February 12, 2004, Southwest Airlines issued a press release that announced, “Southwest Airlines Offers Low Fares to Philadelphia; Airfare to Philadelphia as Low as $29 to $99 One-Way. Southwest PR Department used SEO-PR to optimize the press release so it would appear when prospects or the press searched for relevant terms on Google News or Yahoo News.

Using unique tracking codes in links embedded in the press release and customized landing pages on its site, Southwest found that this one release generated more than $80,000 in advanced ticket sales. In other words, potential passengers read the press release on one of the major news search engines, clicked on a link in the release, went to, and ordered over $80,000 worth of tickets months before Southwest service to Philadelphia started on May 9.

In addition to the ticket sales, the press release also generated publicity. The New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Dallas Morning News, St. Petersburg Times, Philadelphia Business Journal, and half a dozen other media picked up the Philadelphia story. (source)

How would that be? Are you a bit more motivated now to write a press release?

If you’re like me, time is money. I do refer clients to places like or These are websites that offer services from free lancers all over the world. They will give you bids on how much they’ll write a press release or article for.

Where do I post my Press Release?

Great question! Thanks to Newspapergrl, a fellow blogger and colleague, I found a great press release article by Ponn Sabra that should help. It’s a detailed list of Press Release directories that’s in order of page rank. It also gives pricing options – yes, some of them do cost money.

Hope this helps. What are your thoughts or successes with Press Releases?