Lee Odden

Why Use Social Media With Your Press Release?

Social Media News Release – Separating Fact From Fiction

Of the many motivating factors for the use of social media press releases, there are two driving forces that stand out: The changing needs of the end consumer and increasing ease of use for the media.

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Due to the increasingly social and sharing nature of the web and the increasing importance of press releases as direct to consumer communication tools, it is important for marketers and public relations professionals to adjust their message format and delivery to correspond with the needs of today’s web savvy audience.

Lee Odden

Online Public Relations and Blogs

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Later today I’ll be presenting here at DMA-06 on a panel called, Blogs, RSS and Podcasting with Amanda Watlington from Searching for Profit and Stephan Spencer from Netconcepts. Basically, my presentation will cover how blogs can be used as public relations tools in the context of “Push and Pull PR”. The presentation is broken up into:

  • Opportunity
  • Push and Pull PR
  • Blog Optimization & PR
  • Blogger Relations
  • Case Study

The “opportunity” section explains how many journalists are ignoring the noise of getting pitched by so many PR firms and company PR staff. Whether it’s a pitch by phone or email, many members of the media go online (98%) to find news sources (76%), story ideas (92%), experts and to research press releases (73%). The percentages come from a study done by Middleburg/Ross.

Lee Odden

Business Wire to License PRWeb Platform

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David McInnis of PRWeb dropped me a quick note this a.m. about a new strategic partnership between PRWeb parent, Vocus Communications and Business Wire that includes the licensing of a private label version of PRWeb for use by Business Wire clients.

“Vocus will create and host for Business Wire a co-branded version of the PRWeb direct-to-consumer and SEO service. Business Wire members may disseminate press releases so they will be indexed by major search engines, distributed to thousands of news sites, including Google News and Yahoo News, and delivered through more than 20,000 RSS feeds that collectively reach tens of millions of consumers and thousands of journalists daily.”

Lee Odden

Press Release Optimization and Blogger Relations

This session moderated by Andrew Goodman of Page Zero Media, is near and dear as press release optimization and online PR are big pieces of TopRank’s internet marketing consulting practice. This session included: Greg Jarboe from SEO PR, Sally Falkow of Expansion Plus, and Nan Dawkins of Red Boots Consulting.

First up is Greg Jarboe of SEO-PR who starts off by relating a metaphor for press release optimization as a shortcut. People initially looked at news search SEO as a shortcut tactic into search results. But the search engines have devalued links within press releases. However, there are opportunities and they are not shortcuts.

Classic model of communications was Pavlovian. “Who says what in what channel to whom with what effect?”

Lee Odden

Newsforce Press Release Optimization Tools

A new set of tools for press release optimization was announced today called Newsforce. The toolset is a combined effort of SEO-PR, SiteLab International and Primero Systems. Newsforce has partnered with Business Wire to offer the press release optimization tools to Business Wire members.

I ran through a demo of Newsforce with Greg Jarboe last week and can share the following screenshots:

Keyword Research

Optimize the Release

Add links to the Release

Preview and Export


The tool allows redundant tasks to become more efficient and is intended to allow anyone that is not savvy technically to research keywords, analyze a press release and add links. It also allows the release to be exported directly to your Business Wire account or as a text document.

Lee Odden

PRWeb Tags it Up

PRWeb is at it again with a new announcement on the addition of Technorati and PRWeb tags to the PRWeb news wire and press release distribution service. The press release, “Holy SHIFT! PRWeb Plays Tag with Social Media” comments that the new features will make it easy to add Technorati and PRWeb specific tags to your press releases.

The SHIFT Communications’ social media release was in part a motivator for the new services as the release from PRWeb states:

“If you spend the time to create a press release following the template
outlined by SHIFT Communications, all you have is an electronic
document unless you have a distribution platform that supports its
features. PRWeb is that platform,” said David McInnis, CEO and Founder
of PRWeb.

Lee Odden

PRWeb Launches SEO Wizard

PRWeb has announced today the launch of their SEO Wizard toolset to help users create and distribute optimized press releases.

“The SEO Wizard will guide members in structuring their press releases in a way that will give them optimal results within news and search engines. The idea of search engine optimization, or increasing a company’s value in search engines by using specific keywords, has gained popularity in recent years. PRWeb’s SEO Wizard quantifies keyword traffic, so users can focus on the keywords that are popular search terms and valuable to their PR and marketing campaigns.”

This is a tool that PRWeb staff have been using and now is being made available to all PRWeb users. Here are a few screen shots:

PR Web SEO Wizard

Lee Odden

Interview with CEO of PRWeb David McInnis

Spotlight on Search – Interview with David McInnis of PRWeb.

Undoubtedly one of the companies that has had a major impact on the convergence of public relations and search engine optimization is PRWeb. David McInnis and his talented team have created more innovations surrounding press release distribution than any other wire service.

While I’ve used PRWeb in one way or another since 1999, it wasn’t until 2003 that my company implemented press release optimization for both our SEO and public relations clients. In the past 2 years PRWeb has grown immensely and has led the way as a Web 2.0 wire service. Many new online wire service companies have sprung up trying to emulate the services of PRWeb and a good number of “old school” wire services have added the kinds of services to their mix that were originally pioneered by PRWeb.

Lee Odden

Do Optimized Press Releases Work?

My co-worker and public relations goddess Karen Sams has posted a nice list of press release optimization tactics over at Media Relations Blog. She covers:

  • Keywords
  • Headlines
  • Text links
  • Landing pages
  • RSS feeds

A question that often comes up when I talk to public and media relations professionals about optimizing press releases, is whether or not an “optimized” release can actually perform double duty as an effective communicication tool with journalists as well as search engines.

My response is that a really good writer can optimize a press release that does TRIPLE duty. What I mean by that is, a release can use keywords in the right places and frequency and form on a press release in a way that is engaging and effective for the journalists and bloggers that will receive them in their inbox or find them as they search for story ideas.

Lee Odden

Catalog Conference Chicago

Next week is ACCM, the Annual Conference for Catalog, Internet and Multichannel Merchants at the enourmous McCormick Place in Chicago. I’ll be speaking on a panel called 15 Sizzling Hot Search Ideas for Merchants along with Lisa Papageras of What on Earth and Patricia Hursh from SmartSearch Marketing with moderation duties handled by Heather Lloyd-Martin of SuccessWorks.

As I am prone to do, my presentation will incorporate SEO into blog marketing and press release optimization as part of an overall ecommerce SEO program. This will be my first time speaking at ACCM so it should be fun. I know I’ll be looking forward to hitting at least one Chicago steak house with my RSS guru pal from accross the pond, Rok Hrastnik. Maybe Gibson’s, Morton’s or Ruth’s Chris.
Last time I was in Chicago for SES in December, Andy Atkins-Kruger and I hit up Gene and Georgetti’s (classic) and Harry Caray’s (so so). If you have suggestions for some great Chicago steak houses, leave a comment.

Lee Odden

Pubcon Boston Day 2

Lots of great sessions on Wednesday here at WebmasterWorld Boston Pubcon. Unfortunatley, I was only able to attend two of them (one as a speaker) due to a teleconference I did with Bulldog Reporter.

I thought the Public Relations panel in the morning went well. Robin, Lawrence and David all made strong presentations. What I liked best about the session and this is corroborated by feedback I received from attendees, was the diversity of perspectives offered.

Lawrence Coburn offered a small company’s inside perspective of what he called “dumb luck PR” and how to take advantage of that and snowball it. Very cool story actually. Television personality and CNN maven 🙂 Robin Liss shared her perspective on getting TV coverage. David McInnis gave a rundown on press release optimization and some of the new features available at PRWeb. My presentation covered the notion of applying search engine optimization principles to blog and press release optimization.

Lee Odden

Tips for Online PR

[TopRank is a full service provider of digital public relations services]

I did an interview recently and thought some of the Q/A would be useful for Online Marketing Blog readers:

What’s the difference between online PR and offline PR?

Basically, online PR invlolves activities geared towards influencing media, communities and audiences that exist solely on the Internet using online channles. That includes search engines, blogs, news search, forums, discussion threads, social networks and other online communication tools. Brand reputation monitoring and management is also a focus area for online PR.

Offline PR deals with the same things except with print, radio TV, conferences/events and other “real life” venues. One difference between online and offline PR is in pitching. For example, before pitching a print journalist, the publication’s editorial calendar is researched to see if there are any planned story opportunities. The subsequent pitch is specific to the upcoming story.