Your viral press release

When it was time to make a corporate announcement or release some news, it used to be that you would post to the newswires and work the media praying for some uptake. That has changed quite dramatically in recent years.

These days, if you release a press release on the net with some real news, on paid and/or free sites, you can very quickly get thousands of postings and some real traffic (hackers and spammers included). You can also get some serious media attention.

The automated bots crawling the web are picking up content that is often pulled into credible websites that report real news. They’re also finding content that gets posted to websites that don’t have any reporters at all, reporting exactly what you said and what they scrape off the web. Most of these automated sites grab the press release, run ads beside it and make a little cash off of your story. They are often difficult to distinguish from the harder-working, journalistic sites, until you read the next article and you wonder why they ever reported that next story at all. But, it’s all good.

We recently helped to launch an online virtual world created by a Winnipeg company, called Weopia, that is focused on the online dating industry, and they received boatloads of publicity from around the world after an online press release and some serious working of the media contact lists. But, the sheer volume of stories in countries all around the globe, on websites we had never heard of, and from reporters, we had never talked to, was astonishing.

Bots were grabbing our content and websites were grabbing it from them and translating it into new languages, but real people with blogs and news sites were grabbing it as well. They would go to the Weopia website, try the product, or simply add a little take of their own and post a new story. And every once in a while a national TV or radio reporter would call to do a Skype interview, or a newspaper would call with questions and to ask for additional photographs. And traffic on the website grew and grew.

One year later, it still gets reported on. The web is an amazingly intricate network of ever-changing links and connections between real people and automation that can work wonders on a little bit of news.

The above image?illustrates in 3-D the actual domains and connections of the world wide web?(courtesy, www.opte.org).