Networked content: Tips for using content online

Press releases have long been stock-in-trade for public relations.  However, in today’s age of networked content, you can do a lot more with a simple press release – or other message -than you might have imagined.   Here are a few simple tips to turn your press releases into powerful online channels that drive traffic and generate visibility for your organization.

  • Link!  Content distributed via PR Newswire is syndicated across thousands of different web sites. Direct interested readers straight to relevant pages on your web site – and build backlinks (important from an SEO standpoint) for your organization too – by linking an important keyword or two to related web pages.   Be sure to link from keywords (not phrases like “click here” or “more information”) and put the links within the first paragraph.    One or two keyword links per press release is ideal.
  • Write with social media in mind. Encourage people to share your news with their networks by writing succinct, Twitter-friendly headlines.  Bloggers appreciate tight leads and focused first paragraphs – think about serving the “rip and read” crowd (even if ripping and reading is happening digitally anymore…)
  • And while you’re thinking about social media, think about how you can share the content you’re posting usefully within social networks.  One press release could give rise to a handful of tweets on different angles or data points in the story, for example.  Tweeting original content in a compelling way is a great way to interact with your followers.
  • Focus.  The digital domain – from search engines to the denizens of social networks – rewards focused content, because it’s highly relevant to related searches and personal interests.  Trying to appeal to all your vertical markets in one message can make it less appealing to your audiences – and dilute impact in search engines.

Following these easy steps will help you leverage search engines and social networks, and will boost the results your publicity campaigns generate – without adding a dime to your budget.  So next time you write a press release or other online content – remember that more than just a simple message – it’s networked content.

We’re rethinking content - how audiences consume it, how brands create it, how influencers curate it.  Are you?

Authored by Sarah Skerik, vice president, social media, PR Newswire

Image byciccioentneo, via Flickr Creative Commons.

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