How to get 70,000 people to read your press release

A timely, well written press release with a snappy headline that draws in readers might get 2,500 page reads.  That’s a good metric when considering that’s 2,500 people that found the content so compelling, they spent a couple minutes reading it.

Andrea Pedersen has exceeded that benchmark by an order of magnitude:  a press release selling tickets for One Direction, the hot new English boy band, earned 70,000 page reads. Moreover, she’s been able to tie more than 100,000 visits to her website in the month of September alone to that single release.

We noticed the analytics topping the chart and called Andrea up to ask her how she did it.

Is there a press release strategy?
“There’s a strategy to it,” said Andrea in a phone conversation.  At the time of this particular release, kids were out of school, the band was emerging on the music scene and there were literally thousands of people searching for tickets, she said.

Andrea studies her audience and words her releases in a fashion that will appeal to these readers.  In other words, searching with Google, or any other search engine is an expression of need.  Since search engines strive to fulfill that expression, it returns content, including well optimized press releases, at precise time they are expressing that need.


Press releases not written for the media
“I’m going direct to the consumer,” she said, noting that she isn’t trying to reach the media, the traditional purpose for press releases, with her promotions. Her point underscores the dramatic way search has changed how people find and consume information.  Her success hasn’t been a one-off lucky swing either.

Andrea noted that other releases, for example one she wrote for a Barbra Streisand concert also performed well – perhaps 30,000 page reads – because she used the language that would appeal to that audience – she used the right key words.  Both the Streisand release and another release she wrote to promote tickets for a Justin Bieber concert resulted in “massive traffic” to her website, Queenbeetickets.com.

A profitable company with every sale tied to press releases
Andrea says she first heard about PRWeb a few years ago when a company she was working for was acquired and used PRWeb to issue a release announcing the deal.  Later she noticed a friend of was using the news release distribution platform to promote a business and was inspired to give it a try.

Rather than purchase and send one-off releases individually, Andrea subscribed to a Vocus account (Vocus acquired PRWeb in 2006) which provides her with a bundle of releases to send out over the course of the year.  Her very first release drove such a high volume of traffic to her website, it paid for her annual subscription or about $3,000, in profit.

Andrea has experimented with other web marketing tactics, but nothing worked well, in fact her company was not profitable until she started using PRWeb.  Aside from optimizing her website for search, she does not do any other marketing except for press releases and says she now sends out about 25 releases per month. Conservatively, she estimates her revenue has grown 85% since May when she began the subscription.  Results?  Since she does not market her business any other way, she says all of her sales can be directly tied to PRWeb releases.