There are thousands of press releases issued every day, and most of them get almost no coverage and generate almost no awareness. Yet the press release is still the number one tactic in the PR arsenal.
Most practitioners, it would seem, have at least realized that press releases are now more than just one-way announcements to the media, and are really just Internet content. Still, they do little with their releases except send them out to the media and hope for pickup -- the old "spray and pray" tactic.
What if there was a way to guarantee unfiltered pickup of your release by major media like Newsweek.com or latimes.com? Where a link to your release appeared right on the home page of one of these major media outlets, each of which get tens of thousands of unique visitors per day.
That's the promise of Newsforce Ad Network, a new service that aims to do just that.
Here's the deal: they buy display ads on these major media sites, which they fill with your press release. They even help you optimize your headline and content so that it will generate the most interest among visitors to the 283 media sites currently in their network.
Dana Todd, CMO of Newsforce, says the company is making progress explaining the concept to digital marketers, but that PR people have been slow to see the value of this distribution method. They're a bit scared off by the price ($995 and up) and they're mostly stuck in the old PR model of seeking "earned media."
Memo to my PR colleagues: take a look at the demo of Newsforce here. Tell me if you can really tell the difference between the Newsforce links and an "earned media" story. It's not as great as you think and it's getting less important every day.