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The Press Release Padding Trap

Until recently I had not noticed so much but now I realise there is a disease spreading through blogs and I see it getting worse. Most affected are product blogs, particularly in my beloved digital photography niche. What is this disease I am so fearful of?

I am sure this problem affects all types of content, I have no doubt newspapers and trade magazines are the worst offenders. In fact I used to work with people who relied on it.

The problem is using press releases as filler.

As bloggers one of the things we need on a daily (or more) basis is content. Content is the fuel of our endeavour. Press releases seem like ideal content, I can see the temptation.

  • Timely
  • Informative
  • Well written (seemingly)
  • Authoritative
  • Factual

.. most of all it’s news.

So what is the problem? What’s wrong with that?

For a start, every other blogger has the same press releases so your reader will have seen the self same post for the Nth time today. You are not going to get the reputation as a “go-to blog” just repeating verbatim what everyone else has already regurgitated.

Secondly by just repeating what someone else has said you are just buying into their marketing spin. Is it really a revolution? Or is it more likely the CEO and board are hoping it will revolutionise their creaking bottom line?

Thirdly, if search engine traffic is something you care about, you are not going to show up for this content. PR syndication services are regularly indexed by search engines for their own news services, they will get there first.

Fourth and most important, it’s boring. A press release, no matter how well written, is not a good blog post.

I am not saying you should ignore the press releases, they are often the main source of news in your industry or niche.

Solution?

The answer? Add value!.

People visit your blog to hear from you. They can go to Canons own site or PRWeb to find press releases. Add commentary. Counter the spin. Say why this piece of news is important, or why it’s not important. Start bursting some PR bubbles or hype up the good stuff that you are really excited about.

If you are only going to copy and paste then your blog is spam. Do what you set out to do – write. You have your opinions, share them!

Author: Chris Garrett

Chris Garrett is a content marketing and blogging coach and co-author of the Problogger Book with Darren Rowse.

3 thoughts on “The Press Release Padding Trap

  1. I posted one press release, but I think it was more for the cute girls in the picture that accompanied it. I’m a bad bad blogger.

  2. Oh my goodness, I’ve been so naughty. Other bloggers read press releases, too 😕 Heh heh.

    Okay, I do often quote press releases, but only in two niche/ semi-niche blogs, and I always try to link to at least one other blog or site talking about the same product, technology, or company. Then I add in my own spin.

    I’d like to think that I have enough of my own opinion (opinionated in truckloads to not buy into the press release spin. In fact, in one of my tech blogs, I’m extremely critical, even sarcastic, about what’s being said in such releases.

    In fact, that’s part of my agenda in that blog: making sure that people don’t buy in to everything they read about technology. I try to be rational, rather than being a Luddite about it. That’s hopefully the value I’m adding, that Chris speaks of.

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