This afternoon I had the pleasure to listen to a webinar hosted by Marketing Profs and given by David Meerman Scott entitled The New Rules of PR: How to Use Press Releases to Reach Buyers Directly.

The main elements of the webinar focused on the changes in how Press Releases should be written for today’s online dominated news services. David made clear that the days when a Press Release should be composed with editors and journalists in mind in order to get it published have most certainly gone – now we should be creating and distributing Press Releases with our potential readers (and, let’s face it, buyers!) in mind.

Cutting it down to its bare bones, we should look at our Press Releases as crafted, keyword rich articles which we distribute through specialist channels on the internet and aim at a specific audience. In this respect, I see a lot of parallels here with how Business Blogs in their most basic form should be written and publicised, and indeed with the distribution of articles which are submitted to “article sites”.

A Press Release is distributed through its own channels such as PR Web or Business Wire and will be available on service such as Google News; an article might go to Ezine Articles or Article Alley which will be flagged up in the main Google Search; and blogs will appear in Technorati, Bloglines and Ice Rocket before also showing up in the main Search Engines.

However, they all have the common thread of keyword focused content designed for a target audience. We then add to them: we inject humour and personality or additional details and information which make us, the target audience, want to read them. The links that they contain can then guide us back to the relevant site or blog as well as providing additional ammunition for the link development element of our Search Engine Optimisation.

Press Releases are a means to an end and if you have a clear idea of what you want that “end” to be, then you have an additional powerful online marketing tool at your disposal.

Clearly my potted, and subjective, summary could never attempt to do justice to all the ideas raised and I will be looking to write more fully on the subject later. However, in the meantime, take the opportunity to read the proper version! David provides a complimentary ebook on this subject on his blog Web Ink Now, which is the perfect read for anyone interested in this area.

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