Recently, a client asked me ‘in your experience, for how long do press releases float around the papers and websites?’


Comment: The short answer is that, usually, a story does the rounds on news wires and news sites for about a fortnight. After that, of course, it becomes part of those sites – so people can find it when they search (the net via Google or a particular site). As far as hard copy publications are concerned, the story could easily take up to three months to be published (since trade publications can be monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly).


So it’s relatively easy to predict when people will read the story for the first time (within about 14 days online and up to three months offline). The key question – and one far harder to gauge – is when they will respond positively to the story.


That depends on (a) their need (b) their budget and (c) their opinion of the vendor/supplier.


Thus, if your company name is a well known brand, which is always in the media, buyers will respond to the story quicker and more positively than if they’d never heard of you. That’s why it is important to have a regular supply of stories in the trade press and on certain, key newswires – because it builds up brand recognition in the minds of potential buyers. You have no way of controlling either their need or their budget – so the only variable you can affect is their knowledge and opinion of you.


Moreover, the reverse is also true. Once vendors/suppliers stop putting their name in front of potential buyers, the potential buyers forget about them and so don’t buy from them, even if they have both need and budget. That’s why, in business, you should always spend money on marketing and PR – as Kellogg’s demonstrated during the Great Depression of the 1920/30s (see also ‘A wish comes true’, Bob’s Blog, posted 1st April 2008). At the start of the Depression, Kellogg’s was a small manufacturer and looked to be going out of business but it transferred all its effort into marketing/PR to build brand image – and it ended the Depression as a major player in the US economy. There’s a lesson there.