When visiting a website we expect what is on the website to be factual and true. Most of the time it is and the people who own the site are genuine about the content.
However, there are numerous personal brands and companies that post content that is fake and false meant to deceive the visitor and provide false authority and social proof.
Take the time to make sure that the business that you are working with are above board.
How do I know if the press on a website is real press?The best thing to do is make sure that the press and media features click to real life articles that are not press releases. If the site says “As Seen On Fox” with a logo, if that logo does not link directly a serious piece of press (not a press release) or their press section with a link to the real piece of press written by a journalist – then more than likely it is fake. So many places will just link the media site logos to the general media website homepage. That is also a red flag.
A client’s struggle that others also have.
Recently we started working with a client who just ended a relationship with a company that took advantage of them for thousands of dollars based on the concept of deception.
When talking to the client I asked them what made them perceive that the company they worked with was trustworthy and experts in their field.
They quickly replied, “They had logos on their website that said that they had been featured on NBC, CBS, FOX, USA Today, etc.”
This is when I knew I had to write this article. Time and time again, I have met with clients that have invested money, time, and energy into businesses with fake awards, fake reviews, testimonials, and features in publications, authority, and exaggerated promises.
Businesses like these understand that the average person looking for products or services most often will see those things at face value and won’t even do the research to see if it is real.
Why should we have to be so skeptical?
I get it, it is frustrating to think that what you see is not always true and the idea of having to do your research sounds exhausting. We get it. We agree. It should not have to be this way.
But it’s better to do your research than get taken advantage of both financially and emotionally by those that pray on people that are ignorant.
It is not that you or I are not educated or lack common sense, we just are not in the “know” about everything. How could we be?
Ignorance is bliss, but not in this case. Ignorance can cost you a lot and we want to arm you with ways to avoid being taken advantage of.
As Seen On Or Featured On: NBC, CBS, FOX, USA Today, etc.
As Seen on or Featured on should signal a red flag. Are there businesses that have true features through trusted channels? Yes, we are one of them. You can look at our features in Yahoo, Prevention, Authority Magazine, and more and find the source of our claim.
Often you come across websites like the Brand Featured or Brand Push and they offer to get you seen on these sites quickly and for a couple of hundred dollars. To get you hooked, their pitch often looks like this:
Their pitch and hook to get your money.
“Losing customers due to lack of trust?
On average 75% of visitors will leave your website due to lack of credibility. Getting “As Seen On NBC, FOX, CBS” will boost your conversion rates instantly.
For proof of getting featured, you’ll receive a PDF report of all live URLs to your article. Some of these websites get over 10 million visitors per month. This makes getting published on our network a great way to improve your brand visibility, gain hundreds of backlinks to your website (for SEO), and earn massive trust with your customers.” – Brand Featured
Glorified press release website masked as trusted PR.
These sites are not actually providing you with PR that builds authority in your industry, they are glorified press release websites.
Well-known and trusted release companies do not promote the as seen on or as featured on option, because they know that the service they are offering is automatically syndicated out to publications and anyone can send out a press release.
Unless your press is written by a journalist or published directly by a trusted publication, it is not press.
Press releases are not press, they are press releases.
It looks silly to put on your website or any marketing materials that you have been “seen on or featured on” from just submitting a syndicated press release.
As I mentioned before, anyone can publish a press release. Take a look at our recent press release where we share about our recent release of our pro bono program. We have our press release on numerous publications including the Associated Press.
Yet, we would never say “We have been featured in the Associated Press”, since that is not actually press. So be careful of others doing the same.
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Press releases are valuable for SEO if used the right way.
There is nothing wrong with putting out a press release. Press releases are an amazing tool to improve your SEO as well as announce important business accomplishments, produce releases, community endeavors, and more.
A quick note about press releases is that often people don’t use them properly and don’t understand their purpose. A press release is to pitch a story to an editor. It is not an actual piece of press – that is why it is called a press release.
You would not put your own written press release in your website’s press section, blog, or anywhere else on your website.
The idea of a press release is to share newsworthy information that is important with the hopes that a journalist or publication might pick up your story.
What a good press release is not:
Free advertising: If you make a press release about your services and what you offer, this is not a press release, it is an advertisement.
Biography: A press release is not a biography or story about your brand as a way to help brand recognition.
Sales: They are not written to be used as sales pitches. If you want to sell a product or services – think marketing, not press releases.
Self-Promotion: Press releases are not there for shameless self promotion. No journalist is going to be interested in that.
What a good press release shares:
Product or Program Launch: Create a press release around a product launch. Think about Apple when they are going to release a new iPhone, they send press releases, and so should you.
Name Change: Has your business changed name, ownership, or leadership that makes a big impact? If so, write about that.
Business Opening: If you are opening a business or a new location, this is a great thing to write about in a press release.
Press: If you are “actually” featured in major press, sending a press about that feature is a great idea. Here is an example of some press we received and here is the press release (Oregon Business Owner Teams Up With Prevention Magazine To Support People With Disabilities) we wrote about that press.
Community Involvement: Did you or your business do something or was part of something important and impactful in your community? This is a great angle.
Newsworthy: Just ask yourself if what you want to write a press release about is newsworthy? If it is not, stick to blogs, social media, and other outlets. Leave press releases to the good stuff!
Use Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness to build your brand.
Google has a formula for content that gets ranked and is considered quality content. EAT: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthy.
Using companies like Brand Feature is not going to provide you with those kinds of elements to your strategies to gain your customer’s trust.
Trust is gained over time. Avoid opportunities that arise that look too good to be true, they almost always are.
Press is not easy to get and takes time, effort, and patience.
Getting real quality press in the media takes time, effort, and patience. This is one of the reasons why companies that offer these features make so much money, is because people want the quick fix.
We also see that with SEO, which you can learn about here (SEO is Like Gardening) if you want to pivot to another topic of interest.
One of the best ways to get good press is by putting out quality press releases, creating amazing content on your website that people will want to link back to, and just doing good work.