While I do appreciate a tweet debate from time to time, every once in a while it's worthy enough to share the conversation here and discuss it further. The example I'm providing today started with a press release that we worked with Dittoe PR on to announce their new website.
PRDude… a self-proclaimed defender of the public relations industry who is cloaked in anonymity (a great social strategy), took the press release to task because it didn't fit his vision of what a press release should be utilized for… news. I'll let you read the conversation:
The irony is that one of the reasons we enjoy working so much with Dittoe PR is that they realize that their public relations efforts are one part of an overall marketing strategy. We've worked on a number of clients and had exceptional results by leveraging press releases with a robust search and social engagement strategy. This particular press release is a single step in an overall strategy of us communicating that out to the masses.
It's disappointing that old-school PR types like PRDude don't understand inbound marketing, conversion optimization, landing page strategies, branding, awareness, search engine optimization… and sometimes they don't even realize all of the advantages of a great content strategy. One of the largest PR firms in our city recently closed… the industry is changing and they couldn't keep up. I guess that's what PRDude is defending.
By tweeting about this – despite the trolling – PRDude has provided the very evidence that our press release was a success. I love the fact that he acknowledges that he found the release in great placement on Google News. That's awesome! We've obviously reached an audience that we hadn't before – a goal of our PR distribution. (Interestingly enough, it appears our local distribution has somehow gone national on some sites.) We've received dozens of tweets and website mentions from the release.
Press releases aren't simply about writing “news” anymore. The PR industry has evolved… but it's leaving some of its PR professionals behind. Consumers and businesses are seeking information through search engines, so having an organic search presence is necessary. Consumers and businesses are engaging socially, so having a social strategy is necessary. However, many businesses and media resources still rely on news distribution services to find the information they're looking for – so press releases work well.
A well-optimized press release with great distribution will provide backlinks from sites that have high authority and relevance in your industry. We've seen much traction on press releases from our clients, seen their ranking improve, and gotten many leads by leveraging them.
I'll continue to work with a progressive public relations firm that continues to find me and my clients incredible opportunities in the industry, including articles in the New York Times, Cult of Mac, Wired Magazine, iMedia Connection, VentureBeat, Mashable, etc. And best of all, they're transparent about their work… brave enough to share their names and their firm online.
So… PRDude may not agree with me (he's now accusing me above of having fake followers, too). That's fine, I really don't care. He's not my target audience and hasn't a clue about the effectiveness of the overall marketing we're doing. While he's trolling press releases in anonymity, we're getting results for our clients and growing their businesses. I hope someday he's able to trade in his typewriter and really take a look at how online has evolved the way we communicate with one another.