17 Impact Factors of Online Press Release Performance

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A discussion about  press release performance is one that’s always worth having.  Even more so considering the many dynamics at play. From big “make it or break it” factors like the main story to more incremental elements like formatting nuances, any of these, either individually or collectively can impact overall performance.

Before I present my list of impact factors here’s some context. My objective here isn’t to overwhelm you with an intimidating checklist. Rather, lets be mindful of these impact factors, test some of them and then course correct over time. And while we’re at it, prioritize the most crucial factors.

This impact factor list also serves as a prelude to the surprising results of an online survey on this PR blog.  The topic? How do YOU distribute press releases? More about that later in this article. For now, I present the following:

17 impact factors of press release performance:

  1. Is the headline announcement or story-driven?
  2. Any hook, angle or main story?
  3. Which newswire or distribution provider used?
  4. Free newswire or paid?
  5. Horizontal (broad) or vertical (targeted) distribution?
  6. The day the release is published?
  7. Was the release keyword optimized?
  8. Was the release plain text only?
  9. Did the release feature images and video? Google image?
  10. Was the release integrated with social media?
  11. Was there a call to action?
  12. Any latent awareness of past releases?
  13. Was the release sent via other means: email, fax, snail mail?
  14. Was the release a “one-off” or part of a campaign?
  15. Slow news day or busy one?
  16. Media room or no media room?
  17. Was the release more than 400 words?

Because of space limitations, my purpose here is not an in-depth review of each factor.  In fact, several of them merit stand alone posts of their own. (For more practical advice and best practices on all of these impact factors I invite you to consider my Online PR Made Easy program.)

What interests me? Exactly which impact factors challenge you the most? So be sure and share your priorities with me in the comments below.

Before you do lets review the results from my survey, which asked, “How do you distribute press releases?” I was surprised by which method ranks #1. (You can still add your voice and answer the poll via my article 5 Ways Free Press Release Sites Can Cost You.”

Now as long as we’re talking press release performance, what results are you hoping for? I’ve identified the top five results based on my experience and that of my clients, customers and readers. Which one matters the most to you?

Your valuable feedback will help me determine future article topics, program materials and MUCH more. And it would be greatly appreciated!

Please comment on which impact factor or result  concerns you the most.

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  • Marc Harty says:

    I'm really interested in your expectations about results from your press release marketing. So please take the poll and I'll promise to share both my results and the analysis of same.

    ~ Marc

  • knowledgenotebook says:

    Wow, I wish I read it before I tried PR route days ago…

  • lisamanyon says:

    GREAT post, Marc! I'm thrilled to see the majority of the readers — 50% (at the time I read this) are interested in increasing web traffic and getting backlinks (since that's one of my specialties). I'm impressed with your work and I'd love to connect again soon. Write on!~ Lisa

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