Photo courtesy of Twitter

Blog Posts vs. Press Releases

The other day I found myself wondering how to let people know I would be on site and selling my new book Exodus at the 71st Annual World Science Fiction Convention this weekend in Texas. In the end, I opted to draft a press release over a blog post.

Typist - Blog Post vs. Press Release

It used to be when something wasn’t worthy of a press release, you’d just slap it on a blog. But the content marketing revolution has gotten so competitive that posting corporate or announcement information on a blog post is often uninteresting to readers, and hurts the engagement cycle.

When a blog is well read by a community, usually it’s because the blog offers specific content. Readers want the latest from a personality or information about a subject matter. It’s critical to stay on topic and serve them well. Announcements like event appearances usually don’t work well on blogs, though you can always put a badge up on the side rail.

At the same time, I needed a piece of public content to attract people attending the conference who are interested in books. And I needed it not only for Google, but also for Twitter and Google+ searches.

Exodus - Press Release vs. Blog PostSo, I opted to draft a press release for the event. A press release seemed like the right tool for this information. which also will have my table location at the event.

It offers the canvas to link to various book initiatives, offer the trailer video, and of course my table video. And so my PRWeb release will go out on Thursday, and hopefully it will create some opportunities to meet and greet with folks.

At least with the press release, I can publish the information, target the right people, and avoid upsetting the rest of my community.

What do you think, should folks use blogs or releases for these types of PR announcements?

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Image: mickamato (Creative Commons)

  • Kari Rippetoe

    I think it depends on the context of the announcement. But I also think it’s OK to use a blog post to make an announcement – just write it in a different way. Don’t slap your press release into a blog post. Tell a different story and put it in context for the readers so they’re not turned off. For instance, if you were launching a new book, a blog post might tell the story behind the book – why you wrote it, the key things you hope people will learn from it, or some other aspect of it that wouldn’t necessarily go into the press release.

    If you put the blog post announcement into the context your community is used to reading, then you won’t upset them.

    • geofflivingston

      I agree, but I think the blog post is a what happened at the World Science Fiction Convention rather than a come and see me and buy my books at the convention, attendees. I could not think of anyway to make that story compelling in advance to my readers.

      • Kari Rippetoe

        In this particular instance, a blog post was not appropriate – and that’s OK. My point was just that a blog post can be written to make an announcement without alienating the blog’s audience.

  • Scott Goldman

    In web vernacular I’d say there’s no need to make this a radio button when it could be a checkbox. In other words, this isn’t either/or but rather multiple choice.

    In a multichannel world it makes sense to pick-and-choose the right channels for each announcement or thought. Got something you want to rant about? That’s probably not appropriate for a news release but is for a blog post or a tweet. Got something to announce or brag about? News release, tweet, post, etc., are all appropriate (although as @Kari notes below, the wording should be different).

    It’s a world of multiple choice so check the boxes that are right for each moment.

    One thing that is important to note, though, is that blogs, tweets and Facebook posts are aimed at people who *already* know and follow you. Press releases are, by definition, more of a “shotgun” approach and will reach people who’ve never heard of you before. That’s a big advantage that can’t be overlooked.

    • geofflivingston

      Exactly, those relationships are what prevented me from dropping that type of blog post. Well said.

  • Warren Whitlock

    Do readers care what you call it? I know your community includes a lot of pros who know the difference, but MOST announcements, event invites, I encounter on a day to day basis are so far from good that the name they are calling it doesn’t matter.

    Blogs run press releases without changing a word, invites come that have me click on a circle of identical event descriptions on Facebook, EventBrite or Meetup and/or Blogs…

    Especially bad in the tech start up scene… where I regularly wander through trying to see what’s happening, only to attend a tiny event where someone tells me the real action was last week and “don’t you follow #vegastech on Twitter?”

    And there’s one local marketing group that requires a login to see the events they are planning because “everyone knows and we have to keep out freeloaders”

    Please. Put out your release, blog, flyers, postcards and social updates. I’m sure I will miss half of them and wonder “what is Geoff doing these days?” anyway LOL

  • Anna Barros

    The media and other blogs in your space will reference your post