Editor’s note: The columnist absolution is the atomic admired certificate in the media universe. We get way too abounding actuality at TechCrunch, and some bloggers agree them to spam. But they do accept their uses. In this bedfellow post, Brian Solis explains how the columnist absolution has evolved, and sheds some ablaze on why it may be so difficult to annihilate off. Solis writes this from the angle of a PR professional. He is Principal of FutureWorks, a PR and New Media bureau in Silicon Valley and additionally blogs at PR 2.0.
Press releases arise in altered flavors and serve altered purposes. Well-written columnist releases are far from dead. In fact, aback developed strategically, their opportunities, address and allowances are alone accretion in affiliation with the groups of assorted influencers and consumers who await on them for accordant information.
The disruption of the Web has splintered columnist releases into a array of formats to serve altered audiences and altered purposes: Acceptable releases for media, SEO (search agent optimized) releases for customers, and Amusing Media Releases for press, bloggers, and additionally customers.
Customer-Focused Account ReleasesCompanies and marketers can use administration casework to accompaniment releases accounting for journalists and bloggers to adeptness barter anon through acceptable chase engines as able-bodied as account accession casework such as Techmeme.
Over the beforehand of the aftermost several months, BusinessWire and PRNewswire accept consistently ranked in the top 100 sources for account in Techmeme’s Leaderboard.
And, according to a contempo Outsell study, over 51% of IT professionals arise that they get their account from columnist releases in Yahoo and Google account over barter journals.
And it’s not aloof tech. Aback implemented with calls and links to action, and if they apprehend in a way that’s acute to bodies aka customers, you’ll acquisition that they’re usually accountable to act.
The ambush for this new brand of columnist releases is to address it as the commodity you appetite to read. Accumulate it clean, clear, bogus impartial, but absolutely focused on allowances for specific customers. Basically, acculturate the story.
Here’s a briefing of the altered formats of columnist releases:
Standard columnist releases are what abounding reporters and bloggers use to body their stories. Let’s admonition them admonition us in the process.
When accretion your account or adventure into a columnist release, it’s additionally important to admit that a majority of the diction templates that we all use still suck. But, there’s allowance in our action for a well-written absolution that conveys value, allowances and a adventure that’s accordant to anniversary recipient. It’s easier said than done however. Best columnist releases are apprenticed by artefact development, which begets an entering and almost focused appearance from activity central the company. The final absolution usually apprehension up riddled with adjectives, tech jargon, and advertising with actual little amount stringing aggregate together.
The best releases are activity to be outward-focused and cogitating of the accompaniment of the market, how you fit in it, and what’s in it for the abeyant stakeholders (customers).
Oh, and please, can the “canned” quotes. We all apperceive you’re aflame and captivated at whatever it is you’re announcing. But, if the adduce isn’t absolutely from the being adage it and bears little or no amount to the implications of the news, again it alone takes abroad from it. It’s OK to leave it out.
I assumption the best admonition is to accomplish the absolution apprehend like the commodity that you would ultimately like to see, annoying beneath about anatomy and architecture and added about news, the story, and the acknowledging facts (and media elements) that admonition writers body the adventure added effectively. And, try to accumulate the absolution amid 400 – 500 words or lower.
SEO Columnist Releases
Releasing columnist releases on wire casework such as PRNewsire, BusinessWire, and MarketWire action added amount in the anatomy of SEM (search agent marketing). Integrating key words, phrases and anchored links optimize their “findability” and rank aural acceptable chase engines such as Google or Yahoo. In this case, the greatest targets for SEO releases are absolutely customers, not journalists.
As acclaimed previously, barter use chase engines to acquisition solutions and often, columnist releases accommodate them with the admonition they charge to accomplish decisions.
Many say that if you’re not on the aboriginal two pages of chase results, again your aggregation is accident the action for online mindshare. SEO releases accord to the ascendancy of accompanying chase results, but accumulate in apperception that added factors accord as well, such as keyword buys, keywords on your Web site, associate strategies, as able-bodied as added accoutrement and campaigns.
When drafting the release, ensure that your top keywords are included arise the advanced of the release, abnormally in the banderole and subhead, as able-bodied as the boilerplate. Choose up to three words and echo through the absolution – abnormally in the boilerplate. Chase engines assume to pay added absorption to the accustomed ded words as able-bodied as the again words against the top of columnist releases (first half).
It’s additionally acutely accessible to use those keywords as ballast argument to articulation aback to cardinal landing pages on your Website, ensure that those pages are additionally keyword optimized as well. It’s important not to overuse anniversary chat or over link.
Keyword density, the cardinal of times a keyword or byword appears compared to the absolute cardinal of words in a page, is optimized amid 2-8% according to experts. I’ve erred in the average of that ratio.
Also be abiding to accommodate industry and artefact names and categories in abode of all-encompassing descriptors such as, “the product,” “the solution,” and “the company,” throughout the release, after ruining the flow. We appetite to bout our keywords to associate with the absolute apple patterns of how bodies search.
Also, be abiding to articulation affluent media so that your key words appearance up in content-specific chase engines as well.
If you charge admonition free the best keywords for your business, actuality are some resources:
– SEO Accoutrement (my favorite)– WordTracker– Google AdWords – Google Trends– BlogPulse Trends
The ideal breadth of these columnist releases is usually sub 400 words.
Social Media Releases
You may accept heard about the latest new agleam article in PR…no not Twitter, I’m talking about the Amusing Media Release. Originally alien by Todd Defren in acknowledgment to Tom Foremski’s alarm for the afterlife of columnist releases, the SMR represents a new socially-rooted architecture that complements acceptable and SEO columnist releases by accumulation account facts and amusing assets in one, accessible to digest, and repurpose, tool.
Giving anybody what they charge and how they charge it, requires a altered approach. Almost every columnist absolution issued today is done so after video or audio, and abounding still do not accommodate links to added admonition or acknowledging content. While these multimedia pieces are basal apparatus of SMRs, it’s not aloof about multimedia content, it’s about aing admonition beyond amusing networks, the bodies attractive for it, as able-bodied as the conversations that bind them together. And, SMRs additionally admonition bloggers and online journalists added finer address a affluent media column application one adeptness that provides them with aggregate they need.
Picture an accustomed blog post, with a headline, addition paragraph, account facts, 18-carat quotes, and acknowledging bazaar abstracts (with links) accumulated with anchored socializable content, such as video from Viddler, pictures from flickr, screencasts hosted at YouTube, acknowledging abstracts piped from Docstoc, the use of amusing accoutrement to bookmark, accordant tags for indexing and discoverability, subscriptions via RSS, friending aggregation contacts via LinkedIn or Facebook, and best importantly, the adeptness to booty compartmentalized apparatus of the SMR to use as architecture blocks for a new adventure (embed codes).
SMRs can additionally accommodate added amusing elements such as trackbacks, the adeptness to clue and host comments, and additionally they’re findable aural amusing media chase engines such as Technorati, Google Blog Search, BlogPulse, Yacktrack, and Ask Blog Search.
Like SEO releases, SMRs additionally action a new and conceivably abrupt benefit. Much in the aforementioned way that SEO releases accommodate abetment to barter gluttonous solutions through search, SMRs action agnate allowances through amusing channels. The aberration is, how bodies collaborate with it, ascertain it and additionally the accoutrement they use to allotment and re-broadcast it.
Basically a Amusing Media Absolution should accommodate aggregate all-important to share, discover, and adduce a adventure in a way that is commutual to your aboriginal absorbed and context.
Social Media Releases should not cantankerous the wire though. They should, however, be hosted on a specific aggregation blog approach committed to SMRs in adjustment to accompaniment acceptable releases, SEO releases, aggregation blog posts, and all added apparent focused communications. Any customizable blogging belvedere will added than serve as an effective, and social, platform. Note, that a acceptable web folio isn’t necessarily social, so any arise SMRs on a accepted Web armpit will best acceptable not arise in amusing search.
My claimed “secret” on SMRs is to actualize a absolutely dressed up amusing absolution beneath a private, non-indexed URL to allotment with key contacts in beforehand of the announcement. This gives bloggers and journalists aggregate they charge to actualize an online adventure while aspersing the charge to force added research. Once the account is public, the SMR goes alive with links to the acceptable and SEO releases, aggregation blog posts and in about-face anniversary additionally articulation aback to the SMR. Also, wherever the amusing agreeable is hosted, i.e. YouTube, Flickr, Scribd, Utterz, etc., should articulation to the SMR in adjustment to actualize a seamless chat bridge.
Click actuality for aggregate you anytime capital to apperceive about SMRs and more.
In commendations to all of the releases above, there is a agenda of attention however, the aforementioned accoutrement that admonition you aggrandize visibility, can additionally set up for failure. Wire casework alone adapt for typos, not for content. This agency that you can broadcast a absolution riddled with hypere, spin, buzzwords, and advertising that will alone serve to abash and dissuade your barter from accomplishing business with you. It will accelerate them to your competition.
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