One of my clients recently engaged a PR firm to assist them with content distribution and to build relationships with media so that we can get more exposure for their great products and services.  As a part of their search engine optimization strategy, I’ve been writing optimized press releases, case studies, and blog posts for them for about six months. We’ve been seeing great traction and improved lead generation from the blog posts and case studies.  Given the success, the time was right to expand the reach by including a PR firm who has solid contacts and relationships with the media.

In spite of what some naysayers think, an optimized press release is still a valuable search engine optimization tool.

The new relationship is proving to be a great experience for all of us.  I’m learning how to do an even better job when it comes to writing press releases from the gals at the PR agency and I’m passing along valuable SEO tips to my client and the agency.

One of the very interesting things that I learned is that it’s important to have a News Room on your website if you want to get the most traction possible from your press releases.  When someone from the media is determining whether or not to pick up and promote a press release they often go to the website to evaluate the credibility of the source as well as the newsworthiness of the announcement.

The key components a News Room are:

  • Company background – a 10 sentence overview that describes how a company was formed and what they offer.  It’s important to avoid marketing lingo, exaggerated adjectives, and industry jargon.
  • Press Releases – html or .pdf versions of company press release, organized by product offering if appropriate (this introduces a duplicate content conundrum which I’ll discuss in my next post).
  • Press Mentions – post links to any news your company has been mentioned in.
  • Product Resources – a library of product literature such as, whitepapers, case studies, and data sheets – this is a great opportunity to produce some keyword rich and very valuable content for your visitors.  Also include product screen shots and videos (optimized for SEO) in your library.
  • Corporate management – team bios with downloadable head shots in high and low resolution formats.
  • FAQ’s – the top 8 – 10 questions the press would ask about the product.  Avoid marketing lingo, be honest, and be clear about how you describe your product.
  • PR Contacts – who should the media call if they want additional information.

In a nutshell, it’s important to make your press room as easy to find and use as possible.  Don’t make editors jump through hoops to find the information they’re looking for.

Although it’s great to have the information in one tidy location for the media, it’s important to remember that if you’re posting exact copies of your press releases on your website, it’s likely that you’re causing a duplicate content headache.  In my next post, I’ll review options and solutions that will enable you to get the word out without having adverse affects.