Every second of every day, more and more people connect to the internet. In 2015, the net is fully living up to its billing as ‘the worldwide web’. The numbers across the board are staggering, with literally billions of individuals from nearly every country, speaking hundreds of languages, all discovering content, conducting business, spending money, and sharing about their favorite brands online. Web technology continues to improve, which means this is no passing trend. Today the internet is of crucial importance to anyone looking to market a brand. In most cases, simply creating a presence on the web isn’t enough. There are just too many eyeballs in play, and too much money to be made and spent in the incredibly competitive online world. In order to break through the noise, you’ve got to employ a myriad of web-centric tools as part of an effective marketing strategy. So, should your toolbox include both blog posts and press releases, or are they one in the same?
It’s completely understandable if you don’t have a ready answer to this question. After all, blogs are omnipresent in the online universe. A dynamic post by an entertaining writer, that taps into relevant trends can bring a huge amount of visibility to your brand. If you can back it up with consistent delivery, you’ll have a real weapon on your side. It’s important to realize, however, the massive differences between a blog post and a press release, and that while the goals of each are similar, their impact is drastically different.
In some cases, brands just starting to build an online persona may not see a reason to maintain publication of press releases. After all, blogs can be picked up and virally shared just as easily, right? So, where does the modern PR professional stand? In today’s social networking environment, has the press release lost its power and position? You simply need to see a well-crafted press release in action to know that the answer to that questions is a resounding ‘no.’
The modern press release has evolved with the times and is still not only relevant but crucial in the business world today. The most effective content marketing strategy utilizes both blog posts and press releases, which hand-in-hand can increase the probability of creating viral content, and drastically raise the profile of your brand with other businesses and consumers alike. Both can incorporate search engine optimization, a crucial step for success in search. Both can be utilized to disseminate important information or timely announcements that must be shared with stakeholders, customers, and the general public. Both can live on your website, so there isn’t a clear platform difference.On the surface, it may well seem as though blog posts and press releases are identical devices that serve the same function.
It’s absolutely true that a press release or a blog post can provide information to clients, customers, and a targeted audience, but there are critical differences between the two that you have to keep in mind if you want your brand to not only survive, but thrive.
- Blog posts look to appeal to a wide audience. Both documents take a certain skill, but a blog post could be considered more ‘creative’. It’s generally conversational, and way more casual. A press release follows strict guidelines while a blog post can be anything from stream of consciousness to storytelling, haiku to visual poem. A blog post can deliver the type of announcement you’ll see in a press release, but that announcement may not be the only takeaway from the post.
- Press releases are formal, structured documents. They are usually crafted using a type of writing known as AP style, which makes them far more appealing to professional publications. Journalists seeking out a story will dig deep into press releases because of the formal style and carefully organized content, making it far more likely the story you would like to see out in the world will actually get there. Companies who want to generate buzz around their brand will quickly understand the importance of presenting professional, well-written press releases.
- Blogs do not rely on facts. In order to build an audience, blog writers may feel inclined to inject their own opinions into a post. In fact, many bloggers have taken off due to just that, and their personalities far outshine the content. This is the exact opposite of what you’ll see in a press release. Press releases are designed to help a business make an important announcement regarding new products, updates, changes in staffing, or to share a big success with the public. These are free from opinion, and stick solely to the facts. Content is king, and the writer aims to be essentially invisible. Because of this, your audience will know they can trust what they read in a press release. That’s hugely important.
- Press releases are less distracting. While blog posts are a great way to connect with customers on a more personal level, the freedom within these posts can make them way too busy. You’ll find photos, drawings, gifs, and embedded YouTube movie and music links. On top of all this, most blogging sites rely on advertising revenue to remain solvent, and that means an even more scattered visual assault on your readers. Press releases follow a set format, are fact-driven, typically do not extend far beyond a single page, and are published on their own, making it far easier to hold the audience’s attention.
- A blog can be written and published by anyone. Literally. That post you liked so much? It may have been written by a teenager from down the street, a mom looking to change careers, or a corporate employee half a world away. There are no rules or restrictions regarding who writes a post or how accurate the information actually is. Blogs are prone to spelling and grammatical errors, to losing the string of a topic, to poor word choice or offensive approaches, and even to the publication of outright lies. A press release is usually written by a professional who understands the styles and standards required, and are entirely factual. They create trust wherever they are read, and trust leads to brand loyalty.
So, are a blog post and a press release the same thing? If you want your brand to thrive, you’ve probably realized at this point that they couldn’t be more different. A blog post simply cannot replace a press release, no matter how entertaining or engaging. Luckily, the two can work together in this modern age of connection to create a premium marketing package that keeps existing customers and users informed, while also reaching potential new clients and increasing the chance that your message will go viral. The traditional press release has fully embraced technological innovation, evolving into a powerful tool that can be used on websites, created in video form, sent through email, or posted on social media, building buzz, driving traffic and placing your brand head and shoulders above the competition.
Unlock the power of press releases with prREACH. See the difference a modern press release created for today’s audience can do for your business. Contact prREACH today at 888-296-8372 to revitalize your press releases and put your business on top.