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Press Release Distribution: I’ve Got My Release…Now What??

People who know me and/or my blog know I write. A lot. About press releases. It’s hard being such a marketing and PR geek. But as much as I write about them, I realize I still haven’t told you the whole story. So today, class, I want to talk about press release distribution.

There are two primary ways to get your release to the masses:

1. Online distribution

2. Send directly to the media

Online

There are dozens of press release distribution sites out there, but one of the better known ones is PRWeb. You upload your press release using their system, and PRWeb (or whichever sites you use) sends it to dozens of news and niche sites. So, your release will appear in Google News, MSN, and on industry sites. If you’re in healthcare, you’d select “healthcare” as one of the channels you want your release to go to, and any website that subscribes to the RSS feed from PRWeb for that category would list your release.

Pros

  • This method is great for SEO. The more place your website is listed, the better your ranking in search engines.
  • Great for keywords. If you want to be found in a search for “seattle pet hotel,” for example, your release should contain those keywords.

Cons

  • If you’re looking to get in magazines, this ain’t the way.
  • There is some cost involved (PRWeb starts at $80), so if budget is an issue, this may not be for you either.

Sending to Media

The other option is to send your release directly to editors and bloggers who would find it of interest. I recently learned from a social media contact that if it even smells of promotion, an editor won’t publish it. So look to provide benefit to your readers. Make your release more about giving than getting. Then carefully target who’s getting the release. Make sure their readers are a good fit for your news.

Pros

  • Better chance of getting in major news sources.
  • Can skyrocket some companies to success.
  • Free publicity.

Cons

  • Chance of getting published is slimmer than online.
  • Media types get thousands of releases every day. How do you stand out?
  • Time-intensive.

 

What’s My ROI?

As a marketing professional, one of the top questions I get asked is:

What will my ROI be with this plan?


It’s frustrating, because some things are difficult to measure. Like my being on Twitter all day. I can’t give you an ROI because the goal is to establish myself in social media as someone who knows what she’s talking about. I get numerous interviews out of it, but ROI? Well, that’s tricky.

Marketers and clients or bosses look at things differently.

Marketers want to build your brand. Let people know it’s out there. Create a buzz. They do marketing.

Clients want sales. Today. Right now if possible. They want promotions.

Promotions do not equal marketing. Let me repeat: they’re different.

And understandably, they want to justify shelling out money on marketing. I get that. But I have to beg and plead for even three months to let Egg build the brand enough to let something happen. Social media and marketing in general is not an overnight success.

David Meerman Scott, in his newest book (I’m working on finishing it to do a bigger review) World Wide Rave, does a pretty darn good job of explaining why leads are not what you should be looking for in creating a world wide rave:

To create a World Wide Rave, forget about sales leads and ignore mainstream media. Instead, focus on spreading your ideas. Make your information totally free, with no registration required.

Here are some questions to ask that can help you measure a World Wide Rave:

1. How many people are exposed to your ideas?

2. How many people are downloading your stuff?

3. How often are bloggers writing about you and your ideas?

4. (And what are those bloggers saying?)

5. Where are you appearing in search results for important phrases?

6. How many people are engaging with you and are making the choice to speak to you about your offerings?

What do you think? Is it possible to get clients and bosses to shift their understanding of ROI in favor of social media and new marketing efforts?

Why Free Sells

Do you give anything away on your website? You should.

By offering something for free, you are building confidence in your brand and product.


Think about it. At the grocery store, a nice little old lady hands out cheese spread on a cracker. Mm! That’s good. You buy a jar. At conventions, companies give away tschotschkes in the hopes you’ll   stop and find out what they’re all about (I actually have mastered the art of taking schwag and running before they even see me. Call me Schwag Ninja).

So why shouldn’t you give something away?

It might be a free ebook, which could be a collection of your best blog posts, like the one I gave away at Christmas. Or a special report. Or a bonus when someone buys something from you.

David Meerman Scott, in his new book World Wide Rave, says you shouldn’t ask for anything in return. I was always of the mind that you should get an email address in return for something free, but he has a point. It will spread faster (much like the world wide rave he discusses in his book; look for my review soon) if you give it away with no strings attached.

Freebies help you:

  • Establish yourself as an expert
  • Educate potential clients on the benefits of your product or service
  • Create confidence in you and your brand
  • Make new sales

So think about what you could give away. You may have to develop something, such as an ebook (and if you’re not a writer, hire Egg to write it for you). There may be a little cost involved, but consider the free product marketing and build it into your marketing budget.

Once you decide what you’re giving away, post it in the comments here so we can help spread the love!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Public Speaking, or: Why Spanish Presentations Aren’t for Me

Earlier this year I decided to add public speaking to my methods of establishing myself as an expert (well, Eggspert. whatever).   If you have read even one post on my site, you know I’m really big on that. Why?

Establishing yourself as an expert in your field is what separates you from everyone else.

So back to the public speaking. My first opportunity arose about a month ago when Orlando’s Hispanic Business Initiative Fund asked me to speak at the Hispanic Business Expo. In Spanish.

I speak Spanish well enough, so I agreed to do it, figuring it would be a great challenge. Indeed. So I spent a good month translating a presentation and memorizing it. Come time for my presentation I was paralyzed, and there was a pit of fear in my stomach.

Now, I know that’s normal for public speaking. But I’ve done it before. It was the Spanish part that threw me off. My fear of shriveling up and dying when the question and answer time came was making me uptight and snappy to my family (sorry family).

Long story short, I did ok. It was clear I was nervous, and during the Q&A, they asked questions in English and I responded. Whew. The next session they asked me to do in English. I really don’t want to delve into the reasons. Either it was because my Spanish sucks much more than I knew or it was so obvious I was uncomfortable. We’ll go with the latter.

And I survived. It felt good, especially because if I could do this in Spanish, then I damn sure could do it in English. Backwards. With my eyes closed. Naked, in front of thousands.

But I learned a few things I wanted to share with you. If you’re considering public speaking, keep these tips in mind:

Do

  • Reach out to local organizations to get started. Get your feet wet before moving on to bigger and better opportunities.
  • Film yourself speaking. You can critique what you did right and wrong for next time.
  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Speak on a topic you’re very comfortable with. One you could talk without notes for hours on.
  • Introduce your products or services and make them available at the back of the room for purchase after your presentation.
  • Bring backup of your presentation. USB, disc, email. You never know what will go wrong.

Don’t

  • Go too far outside your comfort zone (Spanish). It will show.
  • Be too pushy in  your sales. You’re there to educate, not make money (if it’s a side effect, great)
  • Be late.
  • Forget your presentation.
  • Forget to thank the people who asked you to speak. They may need you again.

Now if you will excuse me. I am going to be a hermit for a while until I feel normal again.