Monday, January 28, 2008

Watch What You Do With That Press Release

It is spammy to email press releases around willy nilly.

It can also be stupid.

I've just been sent a press release from a new media agency offering SEO and Social Media to say that they redesigned and launched a new website for [UK Tourist Attraction #56]

Great. Why did you send this Press Release to me? The digital marketing agency I work for happens to have 'media' in its name. The emailer just sent that press release to a generic alias to an email address they assumed was a press media company. Sorry; we've no interest in making a news story out of the activities of a competitor!

As it happens we've no shortage of travel clients. We have clients that sell train, plane or coach tickets to [UK Tourist Attraction #56] and we have clients who have hotels and restaurants near [UK Tourist Attraction #56].

The press release is interesting to me. I have to wonder whether [UK Tourist Attraction #56] might be doing a little extra marketing activity to promote their new website. This is a good time to ensure our travel and leisure campaigns have enough PPC budget or SEO presence related to keywords relating to [UK Tourist Attraction #56] or the city it is in.

In fact, it gets better than this, because I was the web site of [UK Tourist Attraction #56] I found that they have a micro-site to generate hotel bookings for people going to see the attraction and staying in the city. That micro-site looks to be a white label/affiliate offering from one of our client's competitors.

There are a whole load of branded booking engines on a single IP address, as it happens. I didn't just discover one affiliate working for a client's competitor; I found a whole bunch.

So, all because of this badly targeted email press release from [UK Tourist Attraction #56]'s social media and search company... our clients are now prepped to expect a possible surge of interest in the attraction and the city and one particular client (who runs their own affiliate marketing) is mulling over whether it is worth approaching any of those affiliates.

In one word: Ooops

By all means; announce a success and a website redesign warrants a press release. Just think through what's going to happen as a result of the press release, though.

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