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Darren Chow is a full time writer, web developer, and Internet marketer. He graduated from the National University of Singapore and started dabbling in web design while still studying. Today, he spends his time writing for established websites and promoting websites for clients.
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comic-buy-my-stuffCompanies and businesses issue press releases when they have something to announce. However, modern online press releases should be crafted differently (as opposed to a traditional press release).

A press release contains a news story. Traditional press releases adopt the top-down approach. That is, they try to persuade and convince readers that their perspective is correct.

Use this perfume, and you will appear more macho. Use this skin lotion and you will look 10 years younger.

This type of top-down advertising is commonly seen in traditional media such as TV, radio and magazine ads. Why is that? It’s because for many years, these advertising mediums do not provide the means for feedback. In other words, the viewers have no way to respond to the ad. So it’s more of a monologue.

Marketers can put out any marketing message they want, hoping that the audience will believe the messages, be convinced, and eventually buy their products.

However, in the online world, advertising platforms can be quite different. With the rise of Social Media, the audience has a Voice. They can talk back when they like (or dislike) something. So if they see an ad and they don’t buy the message, they can respond immediately by posting a Tweet or a comment on Facebook.

There is a lesser need to convince. Rather, the online community wants their voices to be heard. So the top-down, impersonal approach doesn’t work so well anymore. People go online to connect with others – their friends, family, and business associates. If they don’t like something, they will tell the world through their micro-blogging platforms or through instant chat apps.

It’s more of “Give me what I desire or I’ll go somewhere else” instead of “convince me your products are worth buying.”

So what does this mean for companies looking to publish press releases on the Internet? Here are some quick tips.

Tip 1: Followers like to connect with PEOPLE, not companies.

Traditional press releases are published in a kind of stand-offish, faceless style. But Social Media is about people connecting with people. So the press release will be more effective, when you have a PR that’s written and published by the CEO instead of the Public Relations Department.

Tip 2: Talk to the audience instead of talking-down to the audience.

Instead of trying to persuade the audience to believe the marketing messages, it’s better to engage the readers. For example, instead of just saying that “this shaver has the most number of super sharp blades in the market”, a more effective style of writing would sound something like “you told us you wanted a closer shave. We have developed a new shaver that does just that for you. Check out this new shaver with X number of super sharp blades for the smoothest, closest shave you’ll ever experience.”

See the difference?

The first style is just trying to convince the market that we have the best products.

The second style says that the customers have spoken, the Company listened and THEN came up with the superior product.

Tip 3: Promote social media profiles in your press releases.

If you want to engage your customers, then tell them how to. Give them the links to your social media profile pages. Many Companies just include a static URL to their Company website. This is not enough. This is why (the press release distribution service that we operate), allows clients to include their social links.

The Internet has leveled the playing field a little in the sense that small companies can also issue press releases, since they are rather affordable. With a single press release distribution, a small Company can make it’s presence felt on the Internet since the release will be published on numerous sites and articles are indexed by Google News.

Small businesses can take advantage of online press releases to promote their brands and let the online community learn more about the PEOPLE behind the business.