The Power of Press Releases: How to Leverage Publicity to Boost Your Business
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Do press releases still work in 2021? How to write press releases that actually get turned into articles? And what can they do for your website SEO? You’re about to find out!
Mickie Kennedy is the Founder and CEO of eReleases, a company that helps small businesses, startups, and authors get website traffic and better quality customers through coverage in the media. Mickie’s service provides small businesses with a press release service they can actually afford, giving them access to the media and to a national newswire — all with a personal touch.
He launched the company 22+ years ago as a way to help small businesses cut through the noise on the market. Prior to founding eReleases, he worked at a PR company where the idea for launching his own company was born. Mickie holds an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry from George Mason University. He loves listening to and participating in podcast shows, so we’re happy he’s finally our guest on the Think Business With Tyler podcast.
In this episode, we discuss all things press releases. How to create an effective strategy that actually gets turned into an article. Are news releases helpful for SEO? And how to write a press release for your company all by yourself.
💡 Name: Mickie Kennedy
💡 What he does: Mickie is the Founder and CEO of eReleases, a company designed to help small businesses authors and startups increase their visibility and credibility through press releases.
💡 Noteworthy: Mickie Kennedy founded eReleases 22+ years ago to help small businesses, authors, and startups increase their visibility and credibility through press releases.
💡 Key Quote: “I used to think it was really important that you have a polished perfect press release, and now I think it’s really what’s in the press release that matters.”
💡 Where to find Mickie: LinkedIn
Do press releases still work? Despite what many people think, press releases still very much work. As a matter of fact, Mickie’s clients are getting up to 16 articles for every press release that they issue which clearly means that press releases are here to stay. With that said, the world of press releases is certainly not the same as it used to be, but as long as you have a good press release strategy, it can provide considerable leverage for your business.
Mickie recounts a success story he recently had with a press release. “Millions of dollars in revenue was created and given to these restaurants from just a single press release, and that’s the real magic of leverage that can happen with a press release. I don’t care how good you are at Google ads or Facebook ads, you’re never going to pour two or $300 into something and get millions of dollars as a return.”
It’s not about having a perfectly polished press release, it’s what’s inside the press release that matters. Mickie selflessly shares his knowledge on how to write an effective press release. He even has a free masterclass where he explains how to conduct surveys, build out PR campaigns, and create press releases yourself. He says it’s always better to do it by yourself because nobody else understands your business better than you do.
After years of experience in the industry, Mickie has realized that a successful press release doesn’t have to look perfect, it just has to be meaningful. “Always focus on a really compelling quote. You want to make sure that what you say, that’s a quote, can’t be easily paraphrased, because a lot of times, the quotes get taken out just because you’re not saying anything that’s really beautiful, or really meaningful. So if you are creative, that’s the place to put a little flourish, and really hone your skills.”
How to use press releases for SEO? One thing’s for sure, SEO has evolved a lot over the years so writing press releases for SEO like we used to before doesn’t work anymore. However, it does add some link juice successfulness. Google can now recognize duplicate content so you should be strategic about your press releases. Here’s one of the ideas that Mickie shares with us in the show: “If the New York Times writes an article about you, and links to you, that’s a unique article, and that’s from a major news source and that’s really relevant, and will help your SEO.”
Split test your business as much as you can. Mickie shares his personal experience with split testing. It all started with website pages, but now he split tests everything. This strategy has shown to be quite effective and game-changing for his business so he recommends it to all fellow business owners. According to him, small changes can transform your business. “There are lots of opportunities to split-test things in your business. And over time, lots of these little incremental changes, a 10% lift here, 5% lift here can really be meaningful. I doubled and tripled my business by just lots of little incremental changes and little things that I do in my business.”
- “If you want your press release to be turned into an article and have someone write about you, you got to get it in front of a journalist.”
- “When I started, I thought it was 80% well-written press release, and now I realized that you can get by with a mediocre press release and do quite well. It’s the strategy behind it.”
- “Local media is the easiest to get, and it’s the easiest to get by you, and you can establish those relationships directly with a handful of journalists. And over time, as you give them ideas and interact with them, you’ll become top of mind so that when they are working on a story where you’d be a good person to plug in that will do that. And that’s one of the reasons you often see the same companies again and again in your local newspapers because they’re just accessible and all over the place and they’re the first company that comes to mind when a journalist is writing a story where they need someone to plug in.”
- “I really like the idea of people doing this themselves because you know your business better than anyone else, and you are really writing something in a third person that’s objective, and you don’t have to be a great writer or wordsmith to make it work. Actually, the best press releases are those that are just very simple and straightforward.”