I got this question by email:
"I recently watched your Press Releases for Modern Inbound Marketing presentation and I have a question I think you could answer. My company wants to do press release marketing. Their idea is to post a press release on a major news wire for all of our really big news but they also want to post news releases on free press release distribution services every time we post a blog or article in order to announce that it has been published. I'm in violent agreement that we need to post news releases for major events. But I wonder how effective posting press releases about our content really is. This would average about 4 press releases every day. What are your thoughts? What would you recommend?"
Here is my answer:
I think you are correct. I would only send press releases out for really big or important news. To be honest, the effectiveness of news releases is declining and they don't do that much anymore. And our analysis indicates that most of the free services are not that valuable (you don't get much distribution or links). In addition, using the free services really often does create a risk that your content on your website will not be seen as unique by the search engines, which will hurt you. I think your time would be better spent writing more content and using social media to interact with people and discuss your content, rather than messing with the free services. Basically the path to inbound marketing success is paved with the development of unique content, promoting that content in social media and optimizing it for search engines.