PR Newswire's new guidelines to improve press release content quality. (PRNewsFoto/PR Newswire Association LLC)
PR Newswire’s new guidelines to improve press release content quality. (PRNewsFoto/PR Newswire Association LLC)

PR Newswire has joined the fight for content quality by launching a new press release evaluation process and quality guidelines which will reduce the number of low quality press releases that are published using its distribution service.

The Low Quality Press Release Problem

In recent years, online press release distribution has been a focal point for search engine optimization. In an attempt to gain backlinks from high quality websites where PR Newswire press releases are published, website owners and search engine optimization companies have paid to distribute a huge number of press releases. However, many of these press releases are poorly written and offer little more than some links and promotional messages. Press releases were not created for those purposes, so it’s great to see PR Newswire getting back to the roots of why press releases exist in the first place.

Press releases are informational. They are used to communicate newsworthy information to journalists and other people who might be interested in informing their own audiences about the press release’s content. If they include marketing messages, you can bet that journalists (for whom press releases are intended by definition) will ignore them. You can learn more about how to write a press release here. In the meantime, let’s take a look at how PR Newsire is changing its procedures to reduce the number of low quality press releases that it distributes.

The PR Newswire Solution

First, PR Newswire released new content guidelines, and PR Newswire staff members will review all press releases to ensure they meet these specific guidelines. For example, press releases must include “insightful analysis and original content.” That means a press release shouldn’t be a marketing pitch or an ad (see the previous paragraph — a press release is informational, not promotional). Second, press releases must not use the same format or content repeatedly (aside from the company boilerplate at the end of the press release). Third, press releases must be an adequate length to provide useful information, not just links, and fourth, press releases must not overuse links or keywords within the content.

Not only will new press releases by evaluated using this new process, but press releases that have already been distributed will be reviewed as well. Low quality press releases will be deleted.

PR Newswire senior vice president of global product, Jason Edelboim, explains in a PR Newswire press release, “Google’s recent action targeting low-quality content in the Panda 4.0 update affirms the importance of ensuring press releases and other content distributed via PR Newswire’s network are of real utility and interest to journalists and bloggers, as well as the general public.”

PR Newswire’s content is delivered to newsrooms, through syndication to thousands of websites, and through the PR Newswire mobile app (developed with Newstex). PR Newswire’s service is used by more than 30,000 credentialed journalists, media representatives, and bloggers, and these people depend on having access to quality information to do their jobs every day. Certainly, these users will be very happy to find fewer low quality press releases as they search for news, information, and story ideas!

Image Source: PR Newswire Association LLC