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Historically, the press release has always been a means to an end. Press releases were used as a way for companies to let journalists know about big events, such as winning an award, launching a new product, or winning a significant contract.
The idea behind the release is that it would be sent to many different news media outlets and hopefully one or more of them would have a journalist contact the company for more information – to write a story about the event or advancement or to interview someone at the company.
As technology caught up, “newswire” services were created, which would syndicate these press releases much more widely than they had been previously. In many ways, this was the beginning of the information overload that we all face today.
In the last decade, as everything went online, so did press releases. It became super easy to syndicate those press releases out across hundreds of sites quickly, and the concept of the newswire moved online.
It also became easy for companies to write press releases. They started writing them for everything – from every new employee they hired to changing the color of carpet in their break room (yes, I seriously saw this once).
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