If you are like many in the US, you are recovering from a night of trick or treating and costumes and kids everywhere. Or maybe, you are celebrating All Saint’s Day today. Or, perhaps, it is just Friday for you.
Whatever you please, it is the weekend, and there is much to do!
Today we take a look at the power of press releases and WordCamp US taking place this weekend in St. Louis.
Justin Tadlock talks about the need for WordPress businesses to write press releases.
Tadlock, as you already know, is one of the newest members of the WP Tavern team.
Press releases are an excellent opportunity for companies. Tadlock says,
"As a former business owner, I never thought about writing a statement to send to the press. Now that I am on the other side, I see how I missed huge opportunities to potentially get more coverage and build a relationship with the publications within the WordPress arena."
The reason he never thought about it was that he was busy running a business.
Here lay the problem. Most people in our space are small teams, and we do our marketing on the fly, and usually, we handle the duties ourselves.
Further, our audience is not the media.
As someone who has been on the media side of things, it always amazes me how many businesses don't write press releases.
You have a couple of options, really. Write it yourself or pay a freelance writer to write one or use a PR agency to write them.
This brings up the value of a press release.
On the surface along, the value isn't very much. The real value of a press release is how many quality journalists will view and pay attention to the press release.
A press release is a tool like anything else.
So, the other side of this equation is to build relationships with journalists in your space. Offer to be a resource or an expert for their content before you need their coverage.
Now, if you have the money to retain a PR agency or your marketing company can do this, then that makes sense too. You should still build relationships with journalists.
How hard is it to write a press release? Not that hard. Tadlock gives you some tips in his article.
Here is the truth of any media company. They need content. Will they publish your press release? It will depend on many factors. However, it will be much less likely, almost non-existent, that they will cover your news if you don't have a press release.
There were some good questions asked in the comments, and one person gave good answers.
Does a small WordPress agency need to use press releases? On occasion, yes.
Did you launch a new service or product? Are you celebrating a business milestone? Did you win some kind of award? These are great reasons to utilize a press release.
Do not neglect local media outlets, especially if many of your customers are local.
Need a Press Release Template? Consider this one from Hubspot.
All eyes are on St. Louis, and it isn't because they failed to make the World Series. If you lived within six hours of the city, you would know how big a deal that is for the fans.
No, eyes are on St. Louis because WordCamp US is there this weekend. In fact, some of you might be reading this article at the conference.
If you are like me and failed to make it to the big event, you can watch it online streaming live.
Just follow this link and choose the day and session you want to watch.
If you made it and you want to know how to maximize your experience, Joe Casabona has you covered. This article will be helpful for any WordCamp, including WordCamp Seattle, which takes place next weekend.
If you want to catch WordCamp US on Twitter, the hashtag is #WCUS. Pretty easy, huh?
Torque also has a guide to attending WordCamp. As with Joe's article, this is useful information for any WordCamp you visit.
Comfortable shoes are a must. The WordCamps I've been to had plenty of water, but it might be a good idea to bring your own. Being ready to introduce yourself is also a necessity. Even the best of introverts will need to tell people who they are.
Finally, the author, Emily Schiola, encourages us not to forget about the hallway sessions. This is stellar advice. Most of what you gain may come from those hallway chats where you meet people and build connections.
These chats are so powerful that two WordPress entrepreneurs launched a podcast bearing the name. Don't forget those hallways!
Speaking of Torque...
The publishing arm of WP Engine launched a new website design.
In a press release (see above about those), the company writes,
"WP Engine, the WordPress Digital Experience Platform (DXP), today announced a new look and usability for Torque, the award-winning WordPress publication with over three million pageviews per year. The six-year-old digital publication, which began at WordCamp San Francisco in 2013, recently underwent a comprehensive redesign, resulting in improved navigation, better discoverability of experience-level content and a developer-first design, among many other improvements intended to better serve its readers."
Torque always has good content with good writers who have great influence in the space. We need options in WordPress media.
In fact, these days, some think we may need another optin for WordPress related news.
You can learn more about the redesign at Torque's video. The designer spends time talking to Doc Pop about the reasons behind the design.
Press releases can be a huge benefit and set you apart from many other small companies. It is a part of marketing that many companies do not consider. Have you ever used a press release for your company?
How many of you have attended WordCamp US? What did you gain? Let us know in the comments.