What is the Goal of a Press Release? How to Set Realistic Goals

31 mins read
How to Set Realistic Goals for Press Releases

What is the goal of a press release? Most startup PR campaigns don’t fulfill their goals, and most companies who start PR campaigns end up disappointed. The reason most press releases don’t give excellent and tangible results is because of unrealistic expectations, lack of communication between the client and the company managing the PR campaign, and misconceptions between the two parties.

Why do most PR campaigns fail?

Let’s be blunt about this. The vast majority of PR campaigns fall short of the mark. Most startup PR campaigns end in disappointment. There is a simple enough explanation for this, however. More often than not, failure is a result of one of two factors (or both):

  1. Lack of planning
  2. Setting unrealistic expectations and goals.

Of course, other issues can come into play too. PR goals are often missed due to a lack of communication between the company managing the PR campaign and the client, but really this stems down to the two key issues mentioned above anyway.

The PR campaign manager (whether it’s an individual or an agency) and the client need to be on the same page from the beginning. You are only going to hit on the right angle for a story and achieve suitable coverage if there is a good relationship and a shared understanding between the two parties.

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How do you identify the goals for a PR campaign?

Defining and setting the right goals for your campaign is crucial. And the good thing is that there are no rules – other than the fact that without realistic expectations, it’s very unlikely that it will achieve all you want it to.

So, how do you ensure that your expectations are realistic?

As we said, there are no hard and fast rules, but there are a couple of useful frameworks out there that are well worth using as press release guidelines. SMART targets are nothing new. This framework is tried and tested within the marketing world. As well as this, it’s trusted too. It doesn’t matter whether the planning is business, marketing, or a campaign. The SMART framework works with them all. It’s hard to think of a better planning tool.

Another idea that might be worth checking out is a RACE model. This is a practical framework just like SMART, but while SMART can be used in any life sphere where goals are set, the RACE model has been created specifically for digital marketing goal-making.

Each of its four stages: Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage have some suggested ‘key measures. It’s worth reinforcing that a PR or marketing campaign is nothing without its measurement. Of course, various metrics can be used: sales, engagement, traffic, and social media likes.

To sum up what makes a good campaign in three words: it has to have Purpose, Detail, and be Professional. Using either the SMART or RACE models (or preferably both) will help you shape a campaign and keep it tight, focused and realistic. It’s this methodical approach to planning that keeps a campaign on track and on point and gives it a real sense of purpose. By making sure all aspects of the tools are covered, you will ensure that every detail is covered. You’ll be looking at things from different perspectives – not just your own. You need to look at your product/service from a buyer’s perspective and through their eyes. That’s how you make a campaign truly professional.

Realistic and Unrealistic Goals for Press Release Campaigns

By following these press release guidelines and the advice above you will have a campaign that has a real sense of shape and a real press release purpose. It will be agile and strategic and poised for success. But it’s still worth looking at what makes goals realistic or unrealistic because ultimately these will determine whether a campaign succeeds or fails.

Unrealistic Goal: Targeting A Very Diverse Market

For example, “To be published in the US, Japan, Germany, and Spain” is unrealistic because it does not take into account the dynamics of each individual market. And there is little or no chance a press release will be able to generate interest or work at a very large scale.

Realistic Goal: Targeting A Limited Audience You Have Information About

Quality over quantity. There are more chances of improving your traffic if you target a limited market.

Unrealistic Goal: Expecting The Sales Of Your Product To Boost In All Markets

You cannot expect your product to generate interest in any market through PRs, regardless of the market you are targeting. Press releases will only help attract people of a certain age, or of a certain profession that fits best with your product, and even then they do not translate into direct sales. They work wonders for brand awareness and lead generation though.

Realistic Goal: To Promote Product X Among Customers In Market Y

PRs can be very specific, and to build a good PR campaign you need to be specific about your requirements too.

Unrealistic Goal: Wanting Your Brand To Become Popular Over A Very Short Period Of Time

Even if you have thought about the audience and your market limitations, you still need to consider that it will take time for your business to reach certain popularity levels, or for your sales to increase by a certain percentage.

Realistic Goal: To Increase The Popularity Of A Certain Product In Market X From Time A To Time B

Press Releases aren’t repeated, and so they wear off from people’s memory. Unless you set certain time frames for when you need to increase customer interest before you order a press release, you won’t get what you want.

Unrealistic Goal: Expecting The PR Company To Do Its Research Properly And Promote Your Brand

If you want something to be particularly added to the press release, you should tell the company running your PR campaign about it. You know your business best and it’s unrealistic to imagine someone else recognizes and lists all of your key features.

Realistic Goal: Expecting the PR to be based on the information you provided the PR company with

The PR company will assume you only want to talk about the information you have given them – and this can affect the quality and the content of your PR campaign. Just remember – if you want something to be included in particular; ask for it.

Unrealistic Goal: Wanting To Use the PR for a Crowdfunding Campaign

Crowdfunding is a very complicated process. And press releases aren’t the best tool for it. This is best done on Social media websites, not PR websites.

Realistic Goal: To Improve The Company’s Reputation In The Market (Both Online And Offline)

A PR is always positive – and this improves the company’s image and stands in the market.

Unrealistic Goal: To Increase The Traffic On Your Website By A Very Large Percentage, For Example, An Increase Of More Than 100%

While a published PR will increase your web traffic, it is unlikely (more like, impossible) that press releases will increase your traffic by more than double your current number, after a single order. However, back-to-back advertisement campaigns, provided they’re well thought of, can increase web traffic considerably.

Realistic Goal: To Increase The Number Of Clicks On The Links To Their Company’s Blog Or Website

It can totally be done with suitable methods of PR distribution.

Unrealistic Goal: Increase the Popularity Of A Website On Social Media Pages

A press release can lead its readers to your website or social media page, but it may not help you get more followers on social media.

Realistic Goal: To Get 500 – 900 Direct Or Indirect Mentions On Twitter

This won’t make you ‘viral’ but for a time, it will get your business some good attention because of the interest created by a press release.

Unrealistic Goal: To Generate Interest in A Product X Among People Of All Ages, Cultures, And Nationalities

This is just asking too much.

Realistic Goal: To Increase The Sales Of A Product In The Market

When a PR informs potential customers about a product, the sales of the said product are likely to increase. Customers will always belong to a certain category since no product can satisfy everyone’s needs. And no PR will be able to promote such an idea.

Wanting Your Press Release to Include Detailed Information About The Product

Press releases can be detailed, but they aren’t articles or blogs. Only the main features can be included in PRs.

Unrealistic Goal: To Increase Your Customer Base in A Week

Getting customers takes a very long time and no PR can immediately increase your customers or your sales.

Realistic Goal: To Improve Traffic Conversion And Translating That Traffic To 10–15 % More Sales

This is a good example of a realistic target.

Unrealistic Goal: Wanting Your Promotion to Last for A Long Time

Customers have very weak memory. You can’t expect a single batch of press releases to give you many loyal customers in a very short time period.

Realistic Goal: To Highlight The Company’s Products On The Media So It Becomes More Prominent Than Its Competitors

Digital, social, or print media. The main purpose of PR is to create a stir about something in the media. And a business needs all the attention it can get.

Unrealistic Goals: Expecting To Accomplish All Of The Above With A Single Press Release Order

You probably know now why this just isn’t possible.

For a successful PR campaign, you need to know if the results you hope to achieve are achievable. Other examples of realistic goals are:

  • To Increase The Ranking Of The Company’s Website On Search Engines. PRs use SEO and they can improve the search engine rankings of a company.
  • To Increase The Visitors On Facebook, Twitter, Or Google+. Visitors = yes. Followers = Not Sure. Know the difference.
  • To Increase Customer Feedback On Social Media Or The Company’s Website Or Blog. When a product is being talked about in the PR, it is likely it will be talked about on the internet, too.

We could go on with many more unrealistic and unrealistic PR goals, but you’ll have got the idea by now.

You may have realized with the RACE model, that essentially, it’s very similar to the old (but still totally valid) marketing idea of a sales funnel. You’ll also probably be aware of the old marketing adage that you need 7 points of contact before you make a sale.

You also might have noticed that there’s a common theme running through all of the examples of realistic goals above – they are all about increasing awareness, spreading the word, creating a buzz, building interest, etc.

Well, in today’s world, consumers are bombarded by so many marketing messages every single day, that to get a sale or to convert a lead takes more than 7. But a press release campaign (as part of a wider strategy) can be a highly effective point of contact – as long as you keep it real!

Be realistic. Don’t expect too much. Go for the small gains and be content with these because they can convert into massive growth over time.

What is your goal when you send out a press release?

The main goal when you send out your press release is the promotion and publicizing of something that you consider significant to a high extent, and also that your press releases satisfy all marketing requirements like initiating promotion of your brand, service, and product, etc. on the internet via blogging and social networks. You can take your marketing to the next level by accelerating brand awareness. Nowadays, you can also adopt digital marketing.

I would say that goal number one should remain as it has always been. That is to make more people, the right people (i.e., target market/customers) aware of your new product, service, location, employee, award, etc. Press releases are a channel, just like social media is a channel.

If you gain some SEO benefits from that, great! But even if the purpose of SEO is to do what the press release should be trying to do (as stated), right?

What is the goal of a press release? Some of the major goals are:

  • Instant Exposure
  • Drive Brand Awareness
  • Information Flow
  • Generate Traffic for Web Site
  • Reaching the targeted audience
  • Media Relation
  • Lead Generation
  • Reinforce Customer Awareness
  • Drive Competitive Advantage
  • Use as Content Source for Social Stream
  • Create Search Engine Rankings (PR should be keyword optimized)
  • Create High-Quality Back Links
  • Support & Contribute to Content Development and Curation Strategy
  • Grow Social Media Accounts with Integrated Social Elements
  • Generate Press or Media Inquiries
  • Increase Blog Subscribers or Newsletter Signups with a Call to Action
  • Fuel YouTube Channel Signups (if Video is Embedded/Linked)

A press release is an easy and effective way to market your business. You only need content from a professional writer and an amazing distribution channel.

With regards to ROI, it really depends upon the “investment” you are making in sending out the press release, in my opinion. If you spend $1,000 with a wire service and only 100 people see the release and no one shares it, then I would say that the ROI on that is not good. However, if you are able to send out your release via an online newsroom or via a free press release distribution service then the ROI is much higher and can be more easily justified.

Illia Haidar, founder Sellme.ee:

“Whenever you look forward to promoting your online business, company, brand, product, and services, then a press release as a valuable facility can help you out, no matter what size of the business you own.

Many organizations require press releases to successfully meet the objectives of their marketing campaign. You need to make sure that your press release is written in an effective way. A successful press release is properly formatted along with a fascinating headline and provision of the only required information about specific topics.”

Goal #1: Generate more leads 

Even if you don’t have a direct target to sell your goods or services but need to express your company’s opinion in public, in this case, you can also achieve the perfect results. Distributing your press release on reputable online media platforms will guarantee an increase in your website traffic.

And when readers click on the link to view your landing page, you can expect sales-boosting as well. But it will depend totally on you and your marketing strategy whether you can catch and attract your readers and turn them into your customers or not. Speaking about website traffic, you should pay attention to your news hook that should awaken your readers’ interest (your target audience and journalists and bloggers).

Goal #2: Raise brand visibility 

While the market knows nothing about you, you will not be able to sell. That’s why the first task of any company is to increase brand awareness among consumers. It will help if you become an expert in your area to make journalists interested. And when your company becomes an authoritative source of information, journalists can refer to your published news and press releases.

Goal #3: Generate better leads 

Additionally, a press release should motivate your readers to visit your website and learn more about your company. But you need to know that only with the help of your targeted audience can you get higher leads. Let’s get down to the research: at the bar chart, you can see different types of content which were published on other websites during 12 months:

As you can see, case studies (clients’ success stories) are the actual content for each website. No doubt, each company has its piece of helpful information which can be published for its targeted audience. And it would help if you used it to reach your readers.

Goal #4: Improve site’s SEO ranking 

Using the keywords and key phrases along with placing your website’s links always works in your favor. By publishing high-quality and fully optimized press releases, you can spread your information online and get more customers as well.

5 questions you need to answer before publishing a press release

Before you start to craft your press releases though, you first need to ask yourself the following questions:

Who are you writing your press release for?

Before sending your press release, you need to organize your contact list and manage all your mail recipients. But it’s better to think beforehand to decide who you are going to send your news to and why these news items will be interesting for those people or organizations.

Is my press release newsworthy or not?

This is a really important point to answer. You need to understand that your press release must be unique, new, and interesting for your audience – so write it in accordance with these requirements. It’s also necessary to include some related quotes or citations on the issue in order to flesh out the main topic. A press release should bring some useful, informative content to your readers, but not be advertising! It’s simply out of the question. A press release is about telling a story or news, but not about writing one more promotional booklet.

How will I promote it?

If you are going to publish your press release through an online distribution platform such as PRNEWS.io, this process will take you less effort and time. All that you need is to sign up, set up your Pressroom, add a press release and create a contacts list. After this, you’re all set! Depending on your chosen plan, you can distribute a press release to more than a thousand emails, which means you can widely promote your publication.

What Geographic Markets Do I Want to Target?

Before answering this question, first think about which markets are interested in your business, and what industry your business is mostly focused on. You can consider both local and international markets according to your business industry and marketing targets. It’s then better to use the really helpful service which will save you time by offering sponsored content placements for your press release. Choosing the necessary news websites from PRNEWS.io marketplace gives you a great opportunity to get an authentic channel to share your story and PR materials with the leading news publishers and influencers worldwide.


Any time you send out a press release, you should have a specific goal you’re working toward. If you don’t have goals, your press release distribution will be aimless and ineffective, and you’ll never be able to effectively measure your results because you have nothing to compare it against.

FAQ: the goal of a press release

What is the goal of a press release?

The main goal of all press releases is to boost something significant and specific. Beyond that, a press release is a post that has a strict format and serves the following marketing and promotional purposes:

  • To announce to the media and community about an event in hopes that they will spread the word.
  • To share something about your company, project, event, hoping a journalist will see your press release and publish an actual news article about it.
  • To advertise your business’ appearance on the internet via blogs, websites, and social media.
  • Achieve more sales.
  • Link building and SEO benefits. Search engine optimization (SEO) methods help people find your business online and move up the Google ranks.

What is a press release?

A press release is a principal tool in a PR strategy. A press release is a short, cogent news story written by public relations experts and sent to targeted members of the media. The press release should include all the essential information (who? what? where? when? how? and most importantly why?) for the reporter to easily write his own story.

The main goal of the press release is communication. It can be written, recorded, or even shown the format doesn’t matter as long as it’s successfully transmitted to the audience. It is a tool made to announce the release of the product, event, piece of news, something that is newsworthy.

How to write a press release?

When creating a press release, it’s important to highlight basic questions like who did what, when and where it happened, what it was for, etc. Keeping this format makes it easier to estimate whether the content is newsworthy or not. If it’s not, without any public attention it will just miss out on the web. The press release must be kept simple and short and preferably in a format that allows copying and pasting. Reporters are always busy, and if they have to read and correct text that is too long, they just might refuse the writing about it before ever starting. PR professionals come clean that they want releases to be clear and straight to the point, without waffling over the topic. A press release that is created in the format of a completed article has bigger chances of wide distribution. It is important to note that online press releases should be written with an eye on search engine algorithms, and with the wise use of search engine optimization techniques

How to submit a press release?

Creating a great press release about your business or event is only half the battle. Getting it published is just as complicated, if not even more. Knowing how to pitch reporters, which means sending them an email about your press release, correctly is crucial to getting your news published by the media. And another important part of work concerns choosing a credible media outlet, finding some contact information for the targets on your press release distribution list, which often is very time-consuming. Therefore, it’s more convenient to choose a press release distribution service PRnews.io. This service has a big catalog of reliable newspapers and magazines, where your press release can be published with ease. Just choose the media and submit your press release, or even order a professional press-release writing service.

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