You spend a lot of time nurturing your brand, both online and off, so you know that the tools and tactics you choose will ultimately help or hinder your efforts.

But where do online press releases come in? How does online PR (public relations) work together with your other brand efforts?

Beyond crisis management, shouting about your recent successes or identifying important news about your company or sector, press releases are a powerful and direct way of communicating with your target audience.

Put simply, press releases help to grow positive brand perception. Here’s how:

1. Branded search results

You know when you search for something or a brand in Google and when the results come up you see all these personalised and branded social profiles?

Part of PR’s job online is help you grow this presence, allowing your Google Authorship profile to show up in the first place. When you publish your press releases online and build your brand’s social media profile, you ‘earn’ these listings in the search results. In essence, when someone searches for your brand, you dominate the results for your brand-related keywords.

If you use a top-notch service such as PRWeb, you will be allowed to connect your press releases with your very own Google+ profile (that’s how you get that little profile image next to your press release in search results).

Not bad.

2. Visibility

Of course we know that the web has virtually eliminated the media barrier that used to control the news that trickled out to the masses. Today, when people want to find something out, they turn search engines.

And that means that brands today are their own media publishers. Online press releases give you the opportunity to capitalise on this new-found freedom and speak directly to your target audience.

Essentially, your information is out there and available right when your prospects need you most – at the inquiry stage.

3. Sharing success

One of the most obvious ways press releases are used is to share successes and news with a wider audience.

Using reputable online press release networks, you’ll be able to amplify your success stories, sharing them out with a wider network of publications (and audiences) that are interested in news from your sector.

We Brits tend to be a bit humble in the ‘talking about our success’ department; but don’t let this stop you. You must share your successes to keep the momentum up, and press releases are the perfect way of keeping the reverberations running round the marketplace.

4. Familiarity

Because you are interested in building your brand, you know that familiarity is 9/10s of the sale.

The more your brand provides your audience with regular, trustworthy information, the more brand loyalty you earn.

Being a trusted company or brand is so valuable in today’s marketplace that PR professionals spend much of their time managing online reputations and protecting brands from backlashes that can (and do) happen.

Looking at familiarity in its most straightforward way, your brand interactions from press releases help to increase your presence as a trusted brand. Being trusted increases the chances you’ll receive recommendations, it encourages greater loyalty (and thus the more likely that people will buy from you).

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