Why the Press Release is Alive and Well

I just read, RIP, the Press Release (1906 – 2010)—and Long Live the Tweet, in which Simon Dumenco discusses why he feels the press release has been replaced by tweets. The article is especially timely since I have two press releases to write today. Perhaps in the celebrity world press releases should be retired. After all, I don’t need to read 300 words on a celebrity’s recent escapades if it can be shared in 180 characters. But, I definitely don’t think the press release is dead for the rest of the world; here’s why:

Regulatory filings: Let’s get this one out of the way. It’s a gimme. As long as it is required for public companies to publish a press release about regulatory filings, press releases will continue to exist.

Reporters and the media: Yes, reporters and bloggers have turned to Twitter to find stories and sources, but they still want a single document with the facts.

Information seekers: Looking at site traffic, people still go to newsrooms looking for information about the company and to read press releases. If people are looking for it, then there must still be some value.

SEO and organic search: Posting a press release on a website adds content to the site, which is crawled by the search engines. This can help with search rankings. Additionally, distributing press releases on a wire, such as PRNewswire, can lend to externally sites linking back to your site, which helps a lot for SEO. If you’re looking for more information on SEO, check out Integrating Public Relations with SEO Strategies by Sarah Skerik of PRNewswire. The article has great tips for how to optimize your content, including press releases, to help with rankings.

While the press release isn’t going away, it is changing. It’s shorter (or should be). There is less space for and time spent on crafting perfect quotes for executives. Overall, I’d say that press releases are evolving with a continued focus on clear, concise writing with a focus on getting the facts out.

Has your company moved away from press releases? Do you still use them? How would you like to see them change?

Considering Customer Service Before You Buy

Someone recently told me that a person who has a bad customer service experience will repeat the story five times. Meanwhile, if they have a positive experience, they only repeat the story once. There are lots of experts, blogs and books on word-of-mouth marketing on how to get customer talking about a positive experience.

But, how do you get prospects to think about customer service before they make a decision?

ReadyTalk’s audio and web conferencing is supported by some of the best customer service in the industry. We make it really easy to connect with a real, live person:

  • 800-number answered by a live person (no automated systems) within 60 seconds
  • Live chat (IM) between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET
  • Email with a response guaranteed within 24 hours
  • Online form with a 24 hour response time
  • Account managers assigned to every account

 

There are lots of things to consider when buying audio and web conferencing services—features, reliability, compatibility, price. While all of these elements are important, what happens when you have a question about recording five minutes before the webinar begins? Being able to ask someone quickly and having questions answered in real time can be crucial and is what ReadyTalk’s Customer Care team strives to do.

How do you encourage prospective customers to also consider customer service and future support? What’s the best way to market customer service to an audience that may not yet appreciate its value?

Resources from Leveraging Social Media to Make Your Webinars a Success

We posted this blog a couple of months ago, but during today's webinar with the American Marketing Association, we heard many of the same questions. Hopefully, these resources are helpful. We know that we've forgotten some of your favorites; please share them!

The expert speakers on Leveraging Social Media to Make Your Webinars a Success were Melanie Turek, principal analyst from Frost and Sullivan; Mike McKinnon, lead generation manager for ReadyTalk; and Elaine Ellis, social media and marketing manager for Trada.

Elaine, Mike and Alli mentioned lots of great tools for leverage social media before, during and after an event. Here’s a list of the tools mentioned:

For registering hashtags:
Twapperkeeper (http://twapperkeeper.com)
Twubs (http://twubs.com/)

For analytics:
Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/)
AddThis (http://www.addthis.com/)

For finding conversations:
Del.icio.us (http://delicious.com/)
Stumble Upon (http://www.stumbleupon.com)
Google Blogs Search (http://blogsearch.google.com)
Twitter Search (http://search.twitter.com)
Favstar (http://favstar.fm/)

For monitoring Twitter:
TweetDeck (http://www.tweetdeck.com/)
HootSuite (http://hootsuite.com/)

For monitoring conversations across social media:
Radian6 (http://www.radian6.com/)
Jive (http://www.jivesoftware.com/solutions/market-engagement)
Alterian (http://socialmedia.alterian.com/)
BackType (http://www.backtype.com/) – In Beta
Spot Influence (http://www.spotinfluence.com/) – In Beta

Are there tools we missed or other social media best practices? Share in the comments below or tweet about it with the hashtag #smFullCircle.