Press Release Failure - Where did I go wrong?

14 replies
Hey guys,

So I did a press release yesterday with PrWeb and to be quite honest, the results were very disappointing. I checked online and there were only two websites which placed the press release on their site......

I got about 15,000 headline impressions yesterday but only about 250 full page reads. Today, that number is significantly lower.

It's definitely a disappointment and a failure on my part, since I spent over $100 on the press release.

Any suggestions for how I can improve for the next one? Please be honest with me and let me know.

Here is the press release link: High Cholesterol Levels Associated With an Increase in Muscle Size and Strength - Study Suggests

#failure #press #release #wrong
  • Profile picture of the author OrangeBull
    Press releases tend to do better when you target them to reporters whom you have built relationships with in the past.

    Just my two cents, but if you want to use free media, you must cultivate relationships with people in the media.

    Begin dialogues with people reporting on your subject of interest, and then when you have something important to say about the subject via a press release, send it to the reporters who know you.

    2 pickups on a blind press release is not bad.

    If you spent a couple of months building relationships with a hundred bloggers, newspaper reporters, podcasters, radio people, and television people and then sent out the press release, the odds of it being picked up by 50 of those hundred people will improve dramatically.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    A study published at suggests that scientists at Texas A&M University have come to the conclusion that higher cholesterol levels are associated with an increase in muscle size and strength.
    There seems to be a conflict in your summary statement. I
    would expect that such a study would be published by the
    primary researcher rather than a third party. So the PR
    seems to be about Texas A&M University rather than your
    website. I don't know if this was a factor in your results,
    but it would seem so to me.

    -Ray Edwards
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author TimGross
    Originally Posted by npakergy16 View Post

    I got about 15,000 headline impressions yesterday but only about 250 full page reads. Today, that number is significantly lower.

    It's definitely a disappointment and a failure on my part, since I spent over $100 on the press release.
    Running an online press release follows the same basic rules as any other promotional method: Headline/link is crucial, keep it interesting and readable, end with a strong call to action.

    If by "only got about 250 full page reads" you mean you got 250 people to click through the headline/subject link, you spent $100 to get 250 readers = 2.5 cents per person. That could be considered great if you were set to monetize those views aggressively.

    Problem #1: Your headline could be a lot better:

    "Having High Cholesterol Increases Muscle Size And Strength?"

    ^ That would have gotten you more clicks/views.

    Problem #2: The body of the press release is longer than it needs to be, and not overly interesting.

    Problem #3: The link to your website page is too passive, and nothing about the press release suggests that it's important for the reader to click the link. At the very least, something like:

    "For more unusual muscle-building tricks, visit your site: http:// "

    ...And obviously, your website funnel has to "seal the deal" to take advantage of the traffic. Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    Tim gave some nice advice. Your press release is a bit boring as it stands. Just because everyone else is doing clinical, facts-only reporting doesn't mean you have to. And it's the more interesting, fresh releases that get the most attention. You should be writing this more like a magazine article or blog post rather than a senior year dissertation.

    Create intrigue, curiosity and most of all, really sell your link at the end so you get those clickthroughs.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I didn't find it boring at all. I didn't find one enticement to go to your website, either though. The article, while appearing to be news and not advertisement, has to focus on your business. How is this finding relevant to your business and what makes you different from any other phys. fit. site on the net? Do you have some way that you can channel that cholesterol that others don't use? Do you give more state of the art nutritional advice than other sites? Why should I go to your site just because cholesterol isn't the monster people thought it was?

    Ya wrote a good article - you just missed the boat on the point of the press release.

    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author NewRiseDigital
    A tip from my days as a radio & press journalist.

    Press releases are read by journalists that are looking for stories they can effectively use as close to 'as is' as possible. When writing press releases you need to put yourself in a journalists shoes. They want a story with an angle that stands out (think quirky, odd and eye catching) and they also want the story 99.9% written for them (yes journalists want you to write the story in your press release for them you heard right!).

    Journalists trawl through hundreds of press releases but the only ones that make it to the 'presses' or 'on air' are those that have a value to their audience, and can be read verbatim or copied and pasted to make their lives easier, they don't want to rewrite your release they want to take your words and use them as their own. Your job when writing a press release is to write a story for the journalist to 'swipe and run'.

    Some people are indignant that they shouldn't have to write a story for the journalist and that it's the journalist's job to construct a story from the facts in their release. Take it from someone who has worked in the media as a journalist, it doesn't work like that and never will!

    If you want a press release to do well, be the journalist, write the story as they would, then hand it to them on a plate for publication. Your PR story will likely be printed nearly word for word...
    Interviews With The Top Digital Marketing Experts - Get The New Book "Essential Digital Marketing For Small Business
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  • Profile picture of the author airpr23
    There has been some really great advice given here already, and I would just add to it. First, what package did you buy from PRWeb? Instead of going with PRWeb, I would distribute my press release to PR Newswire, they are more expensive but they actually distribute to journalists.

    Next, you've only sent out one press release. Online and offline marketing is something that must be done on a consistent basis. I would make sure I had newsworthy content on my site every week and then send out a press release on a weekly basis. Once media outlets, journalists, etc. get used to seeing your website, you'll start getting picked up more often. Granted there are some cases where people get picked up instantly but it's not the norm. If you can't afford weekly, then send one out every 2 weeks or every month but you can't send out a single press release and expect a miracle.
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    • Profile picture of the author npakergy16
      Thanks for the advice everyone. If anyone has any additional feedback to add let me know.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    For a good syndicated press release through PRWeb, you should be spending about $375, not $100. The lower plans don't bring much visibility.

    As with any form of advertising, repetition is key. You wouldn't just run one radio ad and then say "nobody called, radio doesn't work" ... people have to keep hearing your message in order for it to stick. The Internet, for the most part, is no different.

    You should also work at least one or two of your primary keywords into your press release. For about $3,000 a year you can get an account with PRWeb that will let you send multiple press releases per month and better syndication options, this is the best value with their service.

    Ron Rule

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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    I'm NOT A PR EXPERT. (In fact, I'm a deranged loon when it comes to public relations).

    But, I found a few things you might improve.

    First, I don't really like the headline.

    High Cholesterol Levels Associated With an Increase in Muscle Size and Strength - Study Suggests

    It's too damn long.

    Journalism 101 dictates that headlines should be very compact.

    I would make the headline

    "High cholesterol linked to muscle mass"


    "High Cholesterol linked to muscle loss"

    Also, you mention your URL way too many times.

    Mention it once just at the end.

    More ninjalike.

    Just my $.02.
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  • Profile picture of the author cbpayne
    As soon as I read this in the subheadline:
    "A study published at"
    I was not going to read the rest of it, let alone click on any links. If I see a press release on a topic like this, I expect to see it from some place of authority!
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  • Profile picture of the author BudaBrit
    Headline and subheadline - just nope. Especially the latter. They're too wordy and conflicting.

    The perfect headline and subheadline need to get the information across, catch the reader's attention and lure them into the body.

    About: who are you? Surely you need an "About xxx" section so if someone does read through and didn't know who you are, they know now.

    Where's the story? It's a bit dry and the quotes seem mixed up to me. Who said what? As mentioned already, this needs to link back to your company.

    The story isn't currently about your business at all. What links it to your site? Find that link and make it your story, then re-write the release.

    BTW, the $100, spent on just getting it sent out or on the writing too?
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  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    get a better pr writer.

    Internet Marketing: 20% Internet - 80% Marketing!
    You Won't See The Light Until You Open Your Eyes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Tan
    You may want to try syndication with MarketersMedia. Similar distribution with a huge distribution report, give you an idea where you PR goes and a lot more affordable than PRWeb's $369 package (you get the same for only $139 with MarketersMedia).
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