• Resource Box/Author’s Box
• Medic Contact Information
Press releases should be newsworthy and be easy to read, however press releases should follow a standard press release format which looks different from a news article. To help you understand the difference between a press release and a news article, it is important to understand what each one is.
What Is a Press Release?
A press release is designed to express newsworthy information about a company, product or service, event, etc. Press Releases are self-serving marketing tools designed to keep journalist, editors, bloggers and the public updated on information related to the creator of the press release.
Press releases include elements such as a headline, opening paragraph, detail paragraphs and a boilerplate paragraph. Press releases generally are under 500 words in length.
What Is a (News) Article?
Articles are well written informational stories that are perceived by readers to be of value from an objective source of information. Articles can be about any topic and may not be self-serving to the writer.
In most cases, articles do not talk about a single current event but rather, a subject in detail.
It’s important to make the distinction between articles used in article marketing and press releases intended for news media, because each involve very different styles of writing.
Sometimes you will try to submit press releases in the article submissions thinking that press releases and articles are the same thing, but these two forms of writing are totally different.They do have some things in common though, so I can totally understand where the confusion can slip in.
In an effort to set the record straight let’s to go over how Article Marketing and Online Press Releases are similar, how they’re different, and how you can morph a press release into an educational article for Article Marketing.
Let’s start with the similarities…
Article Marketing and Online Press Releases do have a few things in common:
• They both involve writing
• They both involve building backlinks to a website
• They both have SEO benefits (they can increase your search engine rankings for your keywords if done properly)
• They have a submission process–articles used in article marketing and press releases both have channels of distribution that allow them to reach publishers.
Those are the basic things they have in common, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
Here’s how articles used in Article Marketing and Online Press Releases are different:
Time Sensitive vs. Evergreen
With press releases, usually the information is time sensitive and makes some sort of announcement, whereas the content provided in an article should be timeless (ideally) and educational.
Journalist vs. Teacher
You may talk about your own business in a press release, but only in a way that sounds like news (you cannot submit a hyped-up sales letter as a press release). If you write about your own business it should be in a style that sounds like you are writing as a third-party, sort of like a journalist in a newspaper.
With article marketing, you will not write about yourself or your business in the article body, and you can’t quote yourself or refer to your business products or website in the article body, even if it’s in a 3rd person style.
With your articles, the appropriate place to reference your business and website is your resource box, which sits below your article.
Publishers of educational articles like to ensure that the content they’re providing their readers is purely educational and not sales oriented at all, so if they see you talking about yourself or your business in your article body, your article will likely be deemed “promotional” or “self-serving”.
The #1 reason why publishers decline articles is for being “promotional”
Part of the difference between a press release and an article used in article marketing is the difference between a journalist and a teacher. Usually a journalist will focus on news items and time sensitive material, while a teacher will be instructing students (readers) how to do something, or explaining some concept that is timeless.
Speed vs. Endurance
Article marketing is a long term marketing strategy that results in an increase of links over time (after submitting an article the number of publishers who re-publish the article multiplies and the article popularity tends to go up over time, which results in an increase in traffic), whereas the time-sensitive material conveyed in a press release usually limits the burst of traffic or links generated by a press release to a short span of time.
The upside of press releases is that they receive a different type of exposure than articles. Press releases are published on networks of news syndication websites, news portals and sometimes they even reach large news websites. Also, Google seems to value what it considers to be “news”, as it’s fresh and up-to-the-minute information, and therefore content appearing on news syndication sites may rank higher faster in results pages than content published on an article directory or website.
The other side of the coin is that content considered to be news is time sensitive, which means that a high ranking for a press release can be brief – when fresh news is published, the rank of older press releases falls.
So, while a press release with its time sensitive information can make a strong start and become less relevant very quickly, articles tend to increase the traffic they drive to websites the longer that they are published.
Also, as time passes, the likelihood that your article will be picked up by more and more sites increases, which results in an increase in backlinks to your site and which also effects your search engine ranking.
Can a press release be reworked to be an educational article?
It depends–if your topic is not about yourself or your website or products, then there’s a good chance that you can bounce an article off of a press release.
If however the entire press release is about your business, you or your products, it’s not going to work. Remember, an article cannot promote you, your business, your website or your products or affiliate products.
However, if your press release is about something more general, for instance let’s say you’re an physical trainer, and your press release was relaying the results of a survey you recently took about “the exercise habits of college students”, then you could possibly convert the content into an appropriate article marketing format.
• Word count. Be sure that your converted press release conforms to article marketing word counts. Usually press releases are very short, but with article marketing usually the shortest you can go is 400 words. If you can, shoot for the word count of 700-800 words, since that is a length that is attractive to most publishers. This means that you may need to add more information to your original piece to fit the new word count goal. Be sure that the information you add is useful and not just filler.
• Confine mentions of your own business, yourself, and your products to your resource box. Don’t talk about yourself (even in the 3rd person) in your article body.
• Limit your links. In the article body, the fewer the links the better. If you have links in your article they should never be to your own website or websites associated with your business, but it’s fine to link to non-related sites that just offer more information. If you do link out in your article body, try to put your links “below the fold”, meaning below the first 3 paragraphs. The reason for this is that having a link straight off in your article is distracting to a reader, and may lead them away from your article prematurely. If you’re going to include a link, you’ll want to put it after the 3rd paragraph of the article.
• Do not include any wording such as “For Immediate Release"–that is something you see on press releases sometimes, but it’s not appropriate with article marketing.
• Don’t include dates or a release date. Remember, the object with article marketing is to submit timeless pieces of content that can bring value to readers for years and years to come. If you put a date in your article, you have immediately put a time stamp on it. Even if the content is timeless, if the article has a date on it and is a few years old the reader may think that the information is outdated. It’s better to leave out all dates–in a regular article there would not be any reason to include a date anyway.