PR ServicesAs you’ve started to research media outlets an PR, you’ve likely stumbled upon these websites that allow you to post your press release and promise you the world as far as exposure. I recently had a client ask me what I think of these websites and my answer was two-fold … and frankly, I thought you might all be interested in my experiences with it.

Years ago, when I didn’t quite know what I was doing, I posted a press release on one of these sites on behalf of a client, who had specifically asked me to. At that point, she had more experience in marketing than I did. After we posted it… you could hear the crickets. Yes, it was a flop.

Five years later, another client asked me to write her a press release. It was a rush job and we got it done. She posted it on one of these sites and reported that she got a number of hits to her site.

The difference?

It’s all about your goal. When it comes to PR, the first thing you have to do is decide what you want to have happen. And no, “more sales,” is not enough of an answer. Because we all want more sales. We all want more money. But what kind of media buzz do you want? How do you want people to react? What do you want them to do?

And that brings us back to the two cases above. The first press release showcased a retail location, in a very specific niche. For one of these PR websites, you kind of have to sit around waiting for someone to search key terms and hope they stumble upon you – and in this case, we also had to hope that they were either local shoppers or even better – local writers actually looking for a story.

Hope doesn’t make for much of a plan…

With the other case, the client was hosting a free, online event with a big name guest. The kind of big name that is searched hundreds… thousands?… of times per day. And all anyone had to do was hit the link to participate in the event and bring some eyes to the client’s site.

See the difference? One was poised for success on the site. The other was basically a gamble.

And that’s my answer. If broad distribution, with very easy follow through (like a click on a website) is all you want from the press release, then these sites are great. If you want to see your product featured in a magazine or your story told on a blog or in a newspaper … targeted distribution is key!