May 18, 2023
Overcoming Key Press Release Challenges: Effective Strategies for Companies
Cofounder of Newsworthy.ai
Let’s dive into the world of press releases and newswires, exploring the challenges companies often face. For starters, writing an effective press release can be quite a daunting task. The cost of distributing these press releases over newswires can be quite steep. There’s no guarantee of coverage, leaving companies with limited exposure. And to top it off, it’s difficult to determine how many people actually read the release, or if the release drives significant traffic to a company’s website.
A press release is an official statement delivered to members of the news media for the purpose of providing information or creating an official statement.
A newswire is a service that facilitates the distribution of the press release to major search engines, media, news outlets, and in some cases, journalists.
Publicly traded companies are required to issue press releases for financial disclosures but most companies use press releases to announce:
- new products
- business growth
- event participation
- speaking engagements
- awards they’ve won
- new hires and executive appointments
- issuance of content (e.g., book, white paper, market research, etc.)
The magic of the press release as a marketing document is the format. The news format and style bring credibility that is hard to achieve with other marketing assets.
Press releases, if well written, have more credibility than a blog post or other self-promoting content. But even the best press release will fail if nobody sees it. Posting your release on your website and distributing it over a newswire is a good START, but results will be limited without news marketing. Think of news marketing as an important part of your content marketing strategy. News marketing drives eyeballs to your news with press releases, assets, and media around your company news. In short, news marketing is a disciplined approach to driving traffic to news content and delivering measurable marketing outcomes.
Challenges That Companies Have With Press Releases and Newswires
I've spoken with thousands of companies about press releases, and the following four challenges are most widely shared.
- Press releases are difficult to write.
- Distribution over newswires is expensive.
- Few press releases result in media coverage.
- Difficult to know how many people read the release, and releases don’t drive much traffic to a company’s website.
Let’s look at how Newsworthy.ai uses AI, blockchain, and news marketing to solve each of these problems/challenges.
Incidentally, one challenge that Newsworthy.ai cannot solve is getting PR and marketing to work more closely. Many companies issue a release and that’s it — they don’t market the news. In my opinion, this is because at most companies, press release distribution is left to the PR or communications department and they have limited contact with marketing. They won’t even walk down the hall or call marketing for decent images for the release. Takeaway: get your marketing team involved with your news marketing.
Challenge 1: Press releases are difficult to write.
Solution: Newsworthy.ai is fully integrated with OpenAI’s latest generative pre-trained Transformer (GPT) model and uses AI to:
- Help companies create compelling and eye-catching press releases in minutes.
- Provide recommended improvements to existing press releases, including alternative headlines optimized for search.
- Create social media messages with recommended hashtags for promoting the release.
- Create video news shorts of the press release formatted for social media channels and all major video platforms.
- Create journalist outreach emails for pitching the release to the media.
- Generates a custom blog/article based on a press release for use in a company’s content marketing campaigns.
Challenge 2: Distribution over newswires is expensive.
Most newswires are press release ‘distribution’ platforms that buy the same distribution points from the same few suppliers that control press release distribution — and the cost for this distribution can be significant. A newswire may brag that they get your release into Big Major Site, but the reality is that the press release is buried in that site — far away from editorial content. Most of these press release distribution points are not found organically on searches so it’s unlikely anyone will come across the release.
Solution: Newsworthy.ai is priced lower than most major newswires because we are not paying for placement on some high-priced media sites (that few people see). Press releases distributed through Newsworthy.ai get placement on hundreds of websites and are indexed by Google News and Bing. We also have many niche industry sites and local business sites that pick up our feeds. So we check the distribution box and have a colorful clipping report of all the sites that picked up the press release.
Challenge 3: Few press releases result in media coverage.
Again, most companies use press releases to get media coverage and/or get people — preferably their target audience — to see the news. The problem is that a press release alone will not get you media coverage. This is because traditional ‘newswire’ distribution is essentially a throw-it-over-the-wall and hope-that-someone picks it-up strategy. The reality is that journalists won’t likely cover your news unless you are publicly traded or a well-known/global brand.
Solution: Use ‘news marketing’ to promote your press release.
It’s what you do AFTER your release is distributed that matters. Newsworthy.ai’s news marketing features have one goal — to get more of the right people to see your press releases. Newsworthy.ai’s news marketing features include:
- Influencer marketplace: After distributing a press release on Newsworthy.ai, you can hire ‘influencers’ relevant to your press release to share the release with their networks, further amplifying and extending the life of the news.
- Advocacy: Keep your key internal and external stakeholders in the loop and make it easy for them to help you promote your news. Newsworthy.ai automates this.
- News DB: This Newsworthy.ai feature allows you to build Media pitch lists and compose outreach emails using AI.
- Video News Shorts: AI-generated video news releases provide more ways for people to see/engage with your news.
- Articles/Blogs: For each press release submitted to Newsworthy.ai, we create an article/blog that you can use to bring more attention to your news.
Challenge 4: Difficult to know how many people read the release and releases don’t drive much traffic to a company’s website
Solution: Blockchain/Self-Hosting: Self-hosting of press releases is a free service provided by Newsworthy.ai, using our WordPress Plugin. Self-hosting is made possible because Newsworthy pushes the validation process to the blockchain and the blockchain serves as the “source of truth” for these press releases. This also means that you benefit from increased website traffic and you have control over the customer journey.
Value in press release distribution no longer is measured on distribution but on what happens AFTER the distribution. Distribution is a commodity because most newswires distribute to the same sites, and few people organically discover press releases on these sites. Companies that use AI to create more newsworthy press releases, use ‘news marketing’ to promote the content, and take advantage of blockchain technologies to self-host their releases will find that press releases are a valuable part of their marketing, and provide marketing juice far into the future.