PR News and PRWeb Study Shows Big Shift in PR Pros' Perceptions and Use of Press Releases

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Trend Toward Online Press Release Distribution Spurs Different Audience Targets by PR Professionals

The online news release distribution service of Vocus. Follow us on Twitter: @PRWeb

We see PR pros more interested than ever in moving away from traditional expectations of the press release, and instead to using them to drive traffic to their site, attract prospects and keep customers informed

While the press release is still considered a key vehicle for delivering news to the media, PR professionals are finding that digital delivery has changed their role as a communications tactic, according to a new PR News / PRWeb study on the perceptions and use of press releases.

Press Release Tactics in a Digital Age, a PR News / PRWeb survey fielded to nearly 600 public relations professionals, finds that while 64% of respondents say that the media is their primary audience for press releases, nearly a quarter (24%) cite prospects and customers as the primary audience.

Pushing out releases online independently as opposed to using a traditional news wire service may have much to do with this shift. Nearly half of the respondents (46.2%) say they use both methods to distribute news; 15% send releases through online only; and 11% use just the traditional news wires.

“From the results of this study, we see PR pros more interested than ever in moving away from traditional expectations of the press release, and instead to using them to drive traffic to their site, attract prospects and keep customers informed,” says Sophie Shiatis, Vice President, Ecommerce at PRWeb.

Other key findings include:

  •     A combined 43% of respondents say that driving traffic to their site, generating leads and driving revenue are key roles of PR within their organizations, thus making the online component of the press release more critical.
  •     Digital distribution looms large in how PR pros measure press release success. While articles and interviews were the top criteria for measurement for respondents (16% and 14%, respectively), the amount of times the release has been republished on Web sites (11%), the number of times it was viewed online (9%) and traffic to the Web site (9%) were not far behind.
  •     Respondents use a variety of search engine optimization tactics when preparing an online press release, including using a good headline/subhead with keywords (16.1%), making sure the content is interesting and newsworthy (15.8%), including keywords in the press release body (12.2%) and including a link to their corporate Web site (12.0%).

“While the press release still targets the media, it may no longer be the primary target, given the capabilities and reach of online releases,” says Diane Schwartz, publisher of PR News. “In addition, as media properties shrink and their resources diminish, we’ve seen PR professionals become more personalized in their outreach to journalists, making the press release even less critical for media outreach.”

The full story and results of the survey are available at PR News.

About PRWeb
PRWeb is recognized as a leading online news and press release distribution service worldwide. Since 1997, PRWeb has been changing the way businesses, marketing departments and public relations firms think about press releases. PRWeb was the first company to develop a distribution strategy around direct-to-consumer communication and to build and offer a platform for search engine optimized press release distribution. PRWeb is an online news distribution service of Vocus, Inc., a leading provider of on-demand public relations management software. For more information, go to

About Vocus
Vocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: VOCS) is a leading provider of on-demand software for public relations management. Our web-based software suite helps organizations of all sizes to fundamentally change the way they communicate with both the media and the public, optimizing their public relations and increasing their ability to measure its impact. Our on-demand software addresses the critical functions of public relations including media relations, news distribution and news monitoring. We deliver our solutions over the Internet using a secure, scalable application and system architecture, which allows our customers to eliminate expensive up-front hardware and software costs and to quickly deploy and adopt our on-demand software. Vocus is used by more than 4,000 organizations worldwide and is available in seven languages. Vocus is based in Lanham, MD with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit or call (800) 345-5572.

This release contains "forward-looking" statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These are statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as "may," "will," "expects," "projects," "anticipates," "estimates," "believes," "intends," "plans," "should," "seeks," and similar expressions. This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, Vocus’ expectations and assumptions concerning future financial performance. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual future results to differ materially from those projected or contemplated in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may be significantly impacted by certain risks and uncertainties described in Vocus' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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