How amazing is this Press Release, really?

Today there was a post on Ragan’s PR Junkie’s Blog (self-proclaimed “For Communication Junkies Everywhere“).  The blog post was written by Michael Sebastian about a press release from PitchPoint Public Relations –which consists of Chicago-based PR pro Mitch Delaplane, an Apple computer, and his dog Sally–issuing a press release titled, “The most amazing press release ever written.”

Here is the link to the post: http://blog.ragan.com/prjunkie/2011/01/did_this_pr_pro_write_the_most.html

When you read Michael Sebastian’s post, you’ll note his mention of the press release getting a #1 Google ranking for the term “amazing press release.” I’ll talk about why that #1 Google ranking might not ‘normally’ be as good as you’d think, in a moment.

When you read Mitch’s actual release (also included on Sebastian’s blog post, you may either think it is a very clever or an excruciatingly cheesy attempt to get some PR for his firm.  NOTE: I’m not here to judge the guy either way.  I’m just making an assumption of your reaction, based on the comments the blog post has been generating.  Some folks think he did something very smart and others were repulsed by his attempt (but they are PR folks, and not really Mitch’s audience, which are folks looking for PR specialists).

And, I’m not either a PR firm or a company looking for a PR specialist.  I do online marketing consulting.  So, what is my reason for mentioning all this here?

At first I was just going to comment on the blog post, but then I started to think about whether it was an effective marketing piece and whether the term he ranked well for matters to his audience.  And that led me to my own conclusion based on my experience as an Online Marketing Consultant.

Two comments from me and then I hope you’ll let me know your thoughts, by adding your own comments:

  1. From a Search Engine Ranking point of view: In the past, people hadn’t search much for the term “amazing press release”(This is based on Google’s own Keyword Tool, which shows that previously only 46 people looked for that term, on a monthly basis. We’ll see if it goes up now, due to the attention this release is generating).  So Mitch may not have taken search engine optimization (SEO) into account as much as Michael Sebastian initially may have thought. In other words ranking #1 on a term  people would NOT ‘normally’ use to find a PR specialist would ‘normally’ not help the original release much. (See #2 below, to see why I emphasize the word ‘normally’.)
  2. From a Marketing point of view: Mitch did get people talking about him, and he got included in a post on Ragan, with a mention of the #1 ranking status on Google (which folks will probably do a search for now, to see for themselves how it ranks – increasing its ranking even more) and may get him even more exposure.  Plus, as I am writing this TechCrunch just mentioned Mitch’s release on their site! So, that is why I emphasized the word normally.  Normally, it won’t have helped much, but the word of mouth supersedes the fact that normally this term doesn’t get searched often.  Plus other words in the release may rank Mitch well, too.

If I were Mitch’s online marketing consultant, I would have advised him to put the release up on his own site, first, so his website would get credit for the original posting of it.  And though it is now too late for that, I might suggest doing a PPC ad on that search term, to bring people back to his site (but gear it to the people looking for a PR specialist, not just folks interested in the trend, to not waste his money). But even without that, his site is now getting some incredible inbound link credibility (which is great for SEO purposes).  The Ragan post also included a link to his Twitter Profile.  And now other folks are talking about him, too.  Plus, there is industry prestige in getting listed on Ragan & TechCrunch.  And, all the conversations generating buzz will help get the attention of the people who can use Mitch’s PR services.

I’d say he did a good job of extending the reach of his release and getting additional attention.  And, as my Great Aunt Joan used to say “it doesn’t matter what they say, as long as they get my name spelled correctly.”  She understood the value of marketing exposure.

This indicates, Mitch will probably get some work with appropriate clients (clients that share his sense of humor or appreciate his style).  So the attention (negative and positive) might be a good thing to help extend the reach of what Mitch does!

This makes the release successful, even if it may not be the most amazing release.  Then again, he doesn’t state the piece you are reading is that ‘most amazing press release ever’.  He just indicates he is writing about the experience of having written the most amazing release ever.  And, that may seem cheesy to some, but I think it is a clever example of his style.  Which in effect garnered attention to his style, which hopefully will lead to finding his ideal clients. (The ones who appreciate his style and have the budget to use his services.)

Focusing on the possibilities…
Bethany

P.S.  When you comment below, please keep in mind, I am taking this from an online marketing campaign point of view.  Did it generate the exposure he hoped?  I’d say so, as it got me to write a blog post about it, in addition to the original post I read about it.  But what do you think, did it do its job of generating conversation?  Does it inspire you to think unique?  How could you (or would you) use this type of idea for your own business?  Comment below:

Bethany Siegler

Bethany is the founder of UniqueThink, an online marketing and web design/development firm in Boulder, CO. She specializes in WordPress websites and blogs, Email Marketing and overall marketing strategies.

View all posts by Bethany Siegler

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