Tag Archives: discovery

3 Keys to Writing Press Releases that Drive Discovery Over Time


One of the most popular press releases on PRNewswire.com right now is an item that was released in March.  How is that even possible?

This particular press release, issued by the American Academy of Neurology, and titled “AAN Issues Updated Sports Concussion Guideline: Athletes with Suspected Concussion Should Be Removed from Play” outlines the organization’s sports concussion guidelines and specifically states that athletes with concussions should be immediately removed from play.

The issue of brain injuries in athletics has been a hot topic for a while, and certainly, it’s no surprise that an announcement like this one, from a leading authority in the space, would garner news coverage.

Yesterday's mention of the AAN press release on the NFL.com site.

Yesterday’s mention of the AAN press release on the NFL.com site.

But why does this press release continue to be among the most-emailed on our web site, months after issue?  There are a few different reasons.

  1. Longevity:  This particular press release was built to deliver long-term visibility.   The headline is clear and succinct, and the press release itself more than delivers on the promise of the headline.   In addition to being timely and topical, the headline (and the rest of the content) also reflect common vernacular.  The meaning isn’t obscured by impenetrable jargon.
  2. Utility:  This press release contains more than an academic discussion of the AAN’s updated concussion guidelines.   The authors, in a series of bullet points, summarized key research findings that underpin the new guidelines.  In addition, a short list of concussion symptoms is also included.   This is the sort of useful information that inspires journalists and other readers to print, bookmark, share and otherwise save content for future reference.  It’s no surprise that this release continues to be picked up and referenced five months after it was issued.
  3. Authority:  This press release has clearly gathered authority over time.  In fact, just yesterday, it was mentioned on the NFL.com site.  As more people share content in social networks and link to it in articles and on other credible web sites, the content will grow in authority – and visibility.

We’ve mentioned the increasing life spans of press releases, as search engines make it easier for searchers to find granular information.   In closing, I’ll leave you with another tip:  watch your press release measurement reports.  We know that press releases continue to accrue results over time, and if you stop tallying those results shortly after your releases are issued, you’ll leave quantifiable results on the table.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of the e-book “Unlocking Social Media for PR.”  Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik

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The 3 Cornerstones of Driving Message Discovery


Over the last two days, we’ve talked about how PR Newswire optimizes press releases, and about press release tactics authors can employ to generate better search results.   There’s one more piece to the puzzle, and that is discovery.  Discovery is a vital component to generating visibility for your organization’s messages.  

The mechanics of discovery 

Before we dive in, let’s think about how people find information:

  • Through search engines
  • By querying peers
  • By word-of-mouth (often via social networks)


Search engines rank the content that has proven most popular highest in their search results.  The “proof” of popularity the search engines look for includes things like the amount of traffic a web page receives, the amount of time visitors spend on that page and the subsequent actions the page visitors take, such as clicking on an embedded link or sharing the page with their social networks. And those actions visitors take are the backbone of peer-to-peer communications, which drive word-of-mouth discovery.  Point is,  they’re all connected.

Set your content up for success – distribute it to people who care

If a piece of content is going to have a shot at generating quality traffic and interactions, it needs to be seen by people who are likely to be interested in it.  This is where distribution comes in – in order for a message to be discovered, it needs to be distributed to the people who are most likely to care about it.

Distribution can be achieved a variety of ways.  Content can be published on a blog, and shared via social networks.  And, to give it an additional boost, it can be distributed via PR Newswire.

When a press release is distributed via PR Newswire, a number of things happen.  As previously discussed, the release is hosted on our search-optimized web site.    But that’s just the beginning.

PR Newswire syndicates content to thousands of web sites which republish it for their own readers.  In this way, we’re able to immediately drive the discovery of messages.   In many cases, these third party web sites maintain the links our clients embed in press releases, creating portals from the press release directly to the client web site.

Additionally, many web sites (including PR Newswire’s) embed social sharing tools within the press releases, enabling readers to immediately share the content with their friends and followers.    This distribution gives the message a boost, and creating an initial opportunity for the content to connect with the audience.  Ultimately, the audience will determine whether or not the content is useful or interesting – and if that’s the case, chances are good that the campaign will be a winner, and will start to gather steam as more people amplify the message by reading it and sharing it.  This is the sort of social media success that can translate into lasting search engine visibility, creating a continuous visibility loop for the brand.

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The 3 Components of Message Discovery 

As you can see from this week’s series of posts on SEO and press release visibility, a number of factors work together to deliver visibility for the messages your organization issues:

  1. Hosting on an optimized web site, such as PRNewswire.com.   Check  and compare the page rank and traffic volumes of the vendors who will be hosting your brand’s content, and stay on top of search engine trends so you can recognize the best advice.
  2. Creating content your audience finds useful.   All the optimization in the world achieves nothing if the audience doesn’t readily consume and share the content.  Make readership and social sharing a goal for all the content your organization produces.
  3. Driving discovery by distributing the content.  Develop and utilize a variety of channels to distribute your content to relevant audiences, in order to drive the discovery of your message by the people who are most likely to care about, read and interact with the content you publish.

Stay up to date with what we’re thinking about the interplay of SEO, PR and content marketing: http://blog.prnewswire.com/tag/seo/

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of the e-book “Unlocking Social Media for PR.”  Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik