Get the Real Story: 5 Debunked Myths About Press Releases

Myths about press releases

The press release has remained a powerful tool in the public relations and marketing industries for decades. However, a lot has changed with regard to how they’re written, distributed and read. This has led to quite a few misconceptions. 

Unfortunately, many of the myths about press releases scare people away from using them, but they shouldn’t. Businesses stand to benefit from press release distribution in many ways, provided they’re well-written, formatted and strategically released to journalists and media outlets. 

So, if press releases are shrouded in mystery to you, keep reading. We’re debunking five of the most common myths. 

Myth 1: Press Releases Are Outdated 

The first press release was written by Ivy Lee, the godfather of modern PR, and published in the New York Times in 1906. It had a huge impact on media communications in the 20th century. 

However, many people today still associate press releases with newspapers and magazines. And because the internet has largely replaced these forms of print media, people feel the PR release has gone down with the ship. 

The truth is, the internet has transformed the use of the press release, adrenalizing this classic communications tool. Media websites, content syndication and social media sharing expose a story to more people than ever before, maximizing a business’s visibility. 

In addition to more exposure, online distribution can target a niche audience, increasing the likelihood of a press release reaching the eyes of interested readers. This can help a business reach its key demographic, which could generate leads and  boost brand recognition. 

Myth 2: You Have to Contact Reporters Directly to Get Coverage

Back in the day, getting media coverage for a press release was time-consuming and pretty difficult. You’d have to roll up your sleeves and fax reporters, make phone calls and do regular follow-up work. If you didn’t put in the time yourself or hire a public relations agency to do it for you, your release didn’t have much chance of getting coverage.

Things are much different today. But let’s be clear – getting qualified press release coverage still requires work. However, the process is highly automated, fast and efficient. 

Press release distribution services can easily get your story published on high-authority newswires, making it available for journalists to pick up and write about. They can also email your press release to a list of journalists working in applicable industries.

Doing this yourself requires expertise, PR technology and the right contacts. That’s why hiring a distribution service is a no-brainer if you want fast coverage without lifting a finger. 

Myth 3: Only Large Companies Benefit From Press Releases 

There are a few reasons for this misconception. One is that people feel nobody will care about what their small business has to say. The other is that they believe distributing a press release is too costly for businesses with a limited budget. 

The reality is, there’s an audience for every industry and niche out there. Modern PR distribution can target media outlets and journalists around the world that want to publish stories about businesses of all sizes. There’s a good chance many people will be interested in what you consider small news. 

Furthermore, many press release distribution services offer affordable packages for businesses on a budget. Sure, the more money you put into distribution, the wider your reach. However, you can certainly get your news in front of journalists and published on recognized websites for a reasonable price. 

 Myth 4: You’ll Get Penalized by Google for Sending Out Press Releases 

This common myth may be the one that generates the most fear. It’s the idea that press releases could result in Google penalization for duplicate content or “spammy” linking practices. 

The truth behind this myth comes with a caveat. No, you won’t get penalized by Google for syndicating a press release. However, there are some standard practices you must follow. 

As a rule, any PR story you release should be well-written and newsworthy. In fact, Google likes this type of content and ranks it higher in search results.

It’s also important to avoid stuffing your press release with links. Two or three back to your website or an authoritative source is fine. In addition, they should be useful links, such as within a call-to-action. 

Finally, when syndicating your story to multiple news sites, make sure the republished versions contain a canonical link back to the original source. This tells Google which page to give priority to. 

Myth 5: Press Releases Are Strictly for Journalist Use

This may be another lingering misconception from way back when. Yes, decades ago there was a good chance that journalists were the only ones who saw and used press releases. 

And while journalists and media outlets are integral to the success of press releases today, they’re only one piece of the process. 

Through targeted online syndication, your business’s press release can reach a wide audience. This includes the general public, customers, social media influencers, industry leaders and investors. 

Properly executed, a PR distribution campaign can boost your business’s visibility, generate leads, increase brand awareness and help you reach a whole new demographic.

Forget the Myths and Starting Spreading Your News

In 2023, a press release can be your link to a massive audience with an interest in your business’s story. Don’t let the myths discussed above make you miss out on that opportunity. 

If you’re new to press release distribution, let the team at PR Fire help you on your journey. Contact us today to learn more.