Federal, state and local governments and publicly traded companies can increase online visibility to press release announcements
St Louis, MO (STL.News) – Federal, state, local governments, and publicly traded companies, herein after referred to as “organizations”, have ethical and/or legal responsibilities to provide transparency.
These organizations are to required to comply with best practice standards of transparency to avoid public and/or regulatory scrutiny. However, many are failing to meet the requirements, due to the change of technology. Many have not revised their websites and/or procedures to leverage the power of the web that can help meet their obligations. The legal departments may not be tech savvy and the media department is probably doing what they were trained to do based on outdated technology. Neither departments have analyzed the systems, processes and procedures to assure best practice to accomplish maximum online transparency.
These organizations typically publish press releases on their public website, which many fail to comply with search engine guidelines that would provide the best online visibility.
Our site, STL.News, scrubs the web for press releases, carefully selecting what to publish. We then republish the information on our news site, which is properly indexed with the major search engines and our content is shown in Google News and shared to multiple blog aggregators and shared on social media websites.
The most important task is to make certain that the website used to publish your press release is created to comply with the major search engines to assure that they can properly index and show post in search results. Most publicly companies have accomplished this, but many government organizations still have outdated websites that do not comply with search engine guidelines. This is the most important task that needs to be complied with before other options are considered.
Throughout our publishing process we see many of these organizations that fail to fulfill their responsibilities by one or more of the following:
- Not offering an RSS feed
- Not offering email alert of new post
- Publishing the press release solely on PDF
- Failing to leverage Blog Aggregators
- Failing to leverage Social Media
- Failing to leverage YouTube
RSS feeds are critical for media companies, because like STL.News, we have proprietary systems that we use to collect news via RSS feeds. RSS feeds assure that media companies obtain and consider the information for publication. If a organization fails to provide a reliable RSS feed, requiring us to visit their website and navigate around to find their press releases, we will probably avoid that organization because it makes our tasks too time consuming.
Interested parties should be able to sign up for email alerts that drop a link to the organizations’ press releases in emails. It is voluntary and offers an additional service to the disclosure requirements.
Do NOT publish your press release solely on PDF. The content needs to be published as a text blog post to get properly indexed in search engines including, Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Naturally, a PDF should be added to the post as an option, but to assure that the search engines index, and show your “news” in search results, it is best to add it as text.
Additionally, the obligation should include blog aggregators like Blogarama, and shared on social media. You can structure your website that all blog post, including press releases, are automatically shared to social media sites for maximum online visibility. Additionally, you can purchase programs on social media sites to enhance the visibility of your posts.
With technology available today, text press releases can and should be easily converted into voice making creating YouTube videos easy and efficient. YouTube is owned by Google and is considered the second largest search engine in the world. Consumers love videos and they rank on YouTube as well as Google search results.
Naturally, purchasing press release distribution is an option that most use, but they are expensive, and there might be strategies that you can accomplish more by following the advice offered herein.
In other words, much of the obligations can likely be satisfied by making sure that the power of the search engines are being taken advantage of to the fullest extent. Especially for publicly traded companies, every attempt must be leverage to fully disclose activities to the public. These procedures will help assure that those responsibilities are met or even exceeded.
We will soon be publishing an article that uses specific websites to illustrate their failures for maximum online visibility to help educate the appropriate people in charge to create best practices relating to transparency rules/laws.
We are not attempting to give legal advice, but rather to provide technical advice to help increase the online visibility of your press release distribution. Legal advice should be obtained to assure compliance with regulatory requirements and laws.
- SEC Reporting Requirements for Publicly Traded Companies – obtained from Duke University Law School