The best traffic driving press release I\’ve seen in a LONG time

I remember how press releases during the bubble could make stock prices jump like crazy. Once, a press release went out to announce that SkyMall was partnering with Dick Eastman noticed the stock price jump immediately. Here is an excerpt from my personal notes database:

\”Our goal at is to help families use technology to bridge the distance between their various members,\” said Curt D. Allen, chief executive officer of \”Sending and receiving gifts is an important family tradition made easier by the addition of the SkyMall catalog to The breadth and quality of the SkyMall catalog merchandise, coupled with the gift registry, gives our customers a simple, welcome way to remember those they love, regardless of where they live.\” SkyMall is the largest in-flight catalog company in the United States. If you have flown recently on a U.S. airline, you probably found a SkyMall catalog in the seat pocket in front of you. The company also sells products via traditional mail order and via its website.

Here is a short excerpt from the press release issued by the two companies: offers families and other close-knit groups a free, private place to share and distribute family information on the Web. The personalized websites are accessible only to invited visitors, providing ways for families to securely share news and photos as well as audio and video clips. A multi-user calendar on each website helps track family events, and an e-mail reminder service helps people remember important family dates. The gift registry allows family members to record their personal interests and gift preferences.

\”We are excited to be a part of the roll-out of and to offer its members quality, unique gifts from the nation\’s leading merchants,\” said Robert M. Worsley, president and chief executive officer of SkyMall. \” is providing families a new way to stay in touch, while at the same time capitalizing on a powerful marketing opportunity. We believe partnering with and providing gifts through their gift registry and event calendar are excellent ways to expand distribution of SkyMall\’s shopping programs.\”

Mr. Worsley had a good reason to be excited. The stock price of SkyMall Inc. (SKYM) jumped 50% in extremely heavy volume after announcing that it has placed an online catalog on When asked, a SkyMall spokesperson said that it appeared that the announcement of the tie with was responsible for investors\’ interest. The company was unaware of any other reason for the big jump in stock price. Apparently investors were impressed with the amount of advertising the company would receive.

SkyMall\’s stock was at $4.00 a share before the announcement on Tuesday morning but went to more than $6.25 by mid-afternoon. Some profit taking occurred during the rest of the week; the stock closed on Friday at $5.06 a share.

The amazing thing to me was that the site had not yet launched. The deal was announced before the launch of our web site. Of course had a lot of traffic, but the SkyMall deal\’s success would depend on how much traffic attracted after it launched.

It\’s just that back then, during the bubble, any dot com-oriented press release could create fortunes overnight.

So, today I found a press release that went out on Business Wire on Oct. 17th that seems to have generated a huge spike in traffic to

Check out this Alexa chart on

The press release was smartly written. Check out all the prominent names in the title of the press release. The Clintons, Mitt Romney, Bon Jovi, etc.

Because Google News and Yahoo News index Business Wire press releases, and this release was stuffed with so many big names, tons of people would have found this while getting their daily news fix, and so would have clicked through to

Stuffing a press release with the right keywords and doing it appropriately will get you far more exposure and traffic than using the wrong keywords–words that no one is searching for. I say appropriately, because in this case, all the people mentioned in the press release are presumably really going to be posting messages on the site.

The Alexa spike also happened because is now live and open for business. But I believe this press release had a lot to do with the spike. (I\’d love to get someone from Hotsoup to comment on this and let us know how effective their recent pr effort has been.)

I just found the editor in chief of on, so maybe we\’ll be able to get someone visit here and comment.

6 thoughts on “The best traffic driving press release I\’ve seen in a LONG time

  1. I haven’t used press releases too much but the few time I have I have been very happy with the results. It makes sense to try to “optimize” your press release to try to get traffic from search engines news services.

    I have used in the past for press release distribution. Do you know of any other services that are worth looking into?

  2. My experience with press releases has been that they just give a spike of interest and after that its back to business. Its true that a well-written piece can really do 20x better. Thanks to Dave Bascom for sharing other PR options. Yes, spam is catching up. I think the time is coming where we can have industry-focused press release companies that also add value by offering online PR copy creation with their industry understanding. This post may still be fresh after few years.

  3. Because rural newspapers are always looking good stories, small businesses with national markets can get a huge boost by using press releases. Just use MS word, excel and a simple fax software to create custom mail-merged press releases for small town newspapers – it works miracles.

  4. Since PRweb raised their prices I have been looking for good ways to organic traffic from press releases. I’ve tried digg and slashdot but only local newspapers have ever shown newsworthy results. Any ideas how to increase the adoption and propigation of my press releases?

  5. A couple other low-cost or free alternatives to PRWeb for distributing press releases are,,,, and several others. Most are just PRWeb clones, and appear to offer a very similar service. I’ve mostly used PRWeb with good results, but I hear the other lesser known services might even be more effective than PRWeb for SEO puposes–maybe because PRWeb gets slammed with so many spam releases, Google and friends are catching on. I’m sure that’s part of the reason behind getting rid of the free distribution option at PRweb. It’s only a matter of time before the other free services filled up with spam, if they’re not already.

Leave a Reply


More Posts Logo Design

Some of you know that my partners and I are launching a new company that aims to help a billion or more people soar with

Cold Showers Can Benefit Your Health

I hated what I read in the Harvard Business Review last Friday: Cold showers have health benefits. I’ve always ignored people who advocate taking cold

People Like Me Need People Like You

“People Like Me Need People Like You” Someday I’ll write a book about I’ll highlight the people who built Ancestry from the ground up–unsung

The Team Coaching Zone Podcast

To listen to this podcast, click HERE. Announcer: Welcome to the Team Coaching Zone podcast. Join your host Dr. Krister Lowe and today’s leading organizational

My Favorite Artist

Artists, poets, and prophets can help us make sense of the craziness that we experience in the world. My favorite artist is Regina Spektor. When

The Coach You Need

When you need a helping hand in life or at work you might decide to hire a coach. There are many amazing executive, career, leadership,

Beware of Taking Advice

Next Friday I get to deliver a keynote at Phoenix’s biggest startup event. But beware of taking advice from me–or anyone else. Startup events are

An Entrepreneurial Superpower

One of my entrepreneurial superpowers is asking questions at scale. Before I started Ancestry I went to libraries and conferences and asked questions. I learned

Paul hopes to bring the strengths message to all 50 states and to 50 countries by 2025.
Contact him so he can help you spark a strengths movement in your area, company, or industry.