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A common question is how useful are press release sites  and are they a worthwhile tool for SEO?

PR companies tend to use wire services and want to get their press releases on as many sites as possible without really understanding how Google and indeed their on-line readers react to these paper based news items ported to the web. Apart from the obvious implication of Google penalising the duplicate content there are other things to consider.

This is a useful discussion on the subject of news/press releases . It is also a great introduction to the wide wide world of HARO or www.helpareporter.com.  This is an interesting take on news publishing as it is by request and not just waiting for people to stumble across content. This is from their site:

“Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a social media PR and marketing company serving reporters, entrepreneurs and small businesses. Founded by entrepreneur Peter Shankman, HARO originally started as a Facebook Groups Page in late 2007, becoming a full-fledged online service in early 2008. Today, HARO is a profitable, social media phenomenon that brings nearly 30,000 bloggers, reporters and journalists, over 80,000 news sources and thousands of small businesses together to tell their stories, promote their brands and sell their products and services, every day.”

It is an ideal way for a small business to promote itself as an expert in its field and to offer its expertise to a journalist for inclusion in their article.

Another interesting site is pitchengine.com which as the site itself says:

Skip the press release. Create a Pitchâ„¢ and share your news, announcement or promotion directly with your customers. Publish it to search engines, social networks, your website and more with PitchEngine. It’s your story: Go tell it.”

PitchEngine enables users to openly create and share their own content, while including images, videos and attachments at no cost. It is a useful place to summarise and promote a business proposition and services.

A useful article on tying traditional and online media together can be read in this triangulation article.

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