PR Peeps Poll: 85% say they put hyperlinks in press releases

But internal audits of the Business Wire file suggest only about 13.5% use hyperlinks in their press releases.

This month’s PR Peeps Poll suggests that the vast majority–85% of  those who send out press releases–insert hyperlinks into them. Only 15% of the 268 polled said they don’t.

Interestingly, internal research of the Business Wire file of approximately 1,000 press releases each work day, suggests otherwise.  By our reckoning, only 13.5% of press release issuers use hyperlinks to drive traffic or amplify their messages in the context of their press releases.

What’s going on? Perhaps those on Twitter and who attend our webinars–where the poll was administered–are a bit more savvy to new media tactics than the rest of our clients.    Hard to say.   But it’s an interesting disconnect in the numbers.

Our friends like Tom Foremski, the publisher of Silicon Valley Watcher who is well-known for bemoaning  the lack of hyperlinks in press releases, will be surprised by the findings of this PR Peeps Poll.   “Forget the ‘social media release’ and the work we did on trying to create microformats for news releases…At the end of the day all I want is some links in the copy!”  wrote Formski in a recent blogpost . “Help me do my job so I don’t have to search around for this stuff,” he added.

The advantages of including relevant, timely hyperlinks in your press releases are well documented.  Links can amplify your message, help increase your search engine optimization, and drive traffic to your website or other relevant sites.  We agree with Foremski:  Why not include them?

Apparently the reasons are various–from  I just “didn’t think about it” to “I don’t know what a hyperlink is.”  Check out complete details, below.

PR Peeps Poll: Do you insert hyperlinks into your press releases?

  • 229, or 85% said YES
  • 39, or 15% said NO

Of those who said NO, and asked “Why not?” here are their reasons:

  • 13 – Just didn’t think about it.
  • 12 – I don’t know how.
  • 12 – I don’t see the point.
  • 2 – I don’t know what a hyperlink is.

To those who participated, thank you–-and how about helping with our next PR Peeps Poll: What is your biggest digital pet peeve? Someone texting while you’re presenting?  Or maybe that Bluetooth Guy who makes you think he’s talking to you?  Please let us know.

268 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted April 9 – May 31, 2010

11 Responses to PR Peeps Poll: 85% say they put hyperlinks in press releases

  1. Dan Sevigny says:

    Thanks 🙂 the internet could use more writers like you!

  2. Nikki says:

    What is a good rule of thumb to make sure you don’t include too many hyperlinks? Also – I do not like the look of all the blue underlined text in my release, is it okay if I change hyperlink font to blend with the rest of the document?

    • Phil Dennison, Senior Marketing Specialist, Business Wire says:

      There’s no real hard and fast rule, although generally somewhere around 5 links in a 400-word release is probably appropriate. The key is to make sure that they’re quality links: Your most important keywords/phrases linked to pages with relevant content on them.

      As far as how your hyperlinks look, it’s perfectly fine to adjust the look of them in your original document, but how they will look to online readers depends on each individual site. BusinessWire.com does render links as underlined blue text, since that’s what a lot of web readers expect to see; whereas Yahoo! renders them in blue, but without the underlines. It’s all up to how each site is coded that determines how your links will appear.

  3. I’m interested in how/if you further evaluated the releases in “the Business Wire file of approximately 1,000 press releases each work day.” Were they, indeed, releases from PR practitioners or where they more from that noisy durge group of non-PR practitioners and their SEO focused releases. Will you share the file so that others may replicate the analysis and dig deeper?

    • Phil Dennison, Senior Marketing Specialist, Business Wire says:

      Robert: That “file” refers to all the releases we transmit each business day, which are all available to the public not only on BusinessWire.com, but on downstream sites as well. By visiting BusinessWire.com and setting the date and time parameters to a single day, you can view that day’s worth of press releases, the same ones we would use to put together a post like this. While Monika Maeckle, our VP, New Media can address her methodology for these numbers, I can say that the vast majority of press releases run over Business Wire come from corporate communications departments and PR agencies, not from SEO spammers or other such sources.

  4. […] PR Peeps Poll: 85% say they put hyperlinks in press releases – from blog.businesswire.com […]

  5. Mariam Mom says:

    Hi, I think your article is very interesting. I found it via Bing. Will bookmark and come back soon

  6. Nikki, a good rule of thumb is one link per 100 words, but honestly if the link makes sense and amplifies the meaning of the press release, use it. Just don’t go crazy and have a page of solid blue, underlined text. 😉

    Robert, Phil is correct that our file is publicly available. The data gathered came from an internal data tracking audit that we did that measured how many releases had hyperlinks inserted by clients. We insert certain hyperlinks (ie to multimedia) but we weren’t counting those in this case.

    Also, since we are a paid service, Phil is again on the mark: the vast majority of our press releases originate with professional PR folks, IR practitioners, and corporate communicators. Since we require a “membership” where we vet the sourcing from press releases sent, we feel pretty confident that our file is representative of the PR industry.

    Thanks to all for the feedback!

  7. […] in your interest and ours to have successful press releases.  Since our recent research suggests only 13.5% of you put links in your press releases, we’re urging those of you who don’t link to […]

  8. […] Trevor Jonas on June 4, 2010 The team at Business Wire blogged this week about a recent poll on the topic of links in press […]

  9. […] – Study: Only 13.5 percent of PR pros put links in press release What! Are you kidding me??? […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: