Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Why PR Frederick is an Award-Winning Resource for Frederick County Businesses

Last month, Frederick County took home the Maryland Economic Development Association Award (MEDA) for Economic Development Marketing for PR Frederick, a free press release marketing service that helps Frederick County companies broaden their online exposure.

PR Frederick, is the result of listening to what businesses need. 

Each year, the Frederick County office of Economic Development (OED) hosts a Business Appreciation Week (BAW) where over 100 businesses are visited over the span of one week. BAW gives our office a chance to hear what businesses are saying and what they need most from their local government. From 2010-2012, businesses during Business Appreciation Week said what they needed most from local government was assistance with marketing their businesses. Businesses reported that as the economy was getting a little tougher, their marketing budgets were shrinking and they were looking for creative ways to get the word out about their products and services and gain new customers. Most of these businesses were already writing press releases and using social media but many didn’t have the resources to hire an additional staff person to boost their marketing campaigns.

In response to BAW findings, OED researched online newswire tools as a way to distribute press releases for Frederick County businesses. The objective was to provide a free and effective way for businesses to reach journalists, newspapers, publications and increase their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 

Helen Propheter, OED's Director, accepts the 2015 Economic
Development Marketing Award from MEDA
The subscription selected is the highest-rated online newswire service on the web and the service distributes press releases straight to the search engines that everyone uses, like Google, Yahoo and Bing and onto major news sites like Google News, Yahoo News, WSJ, and more. They also distribute news releases to more than 250,000 subscribers and as many as 30,000 bloggers and journalists. 
In January of 2013, OED began telling Frederick County businesses about the new online press release distribution service and what it could do for them. The usage of PR Frederick by Frederick businesses increased 244% from January 2013-October 2013 to January 2014-October 2014.  OED works with the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development to co-host this service and jointly promote the service.

Press release resources on the PR Frederick webpage include:

Anatomy of a Press Release
Press Release FAQs
Press Release Template
What is Newsworthy?
How to Write a Boilerplate
Press Release Tips and Tricks
Photos and Videos for Press Releases
PR Frederick Vocabulary

As a way to measure the tool’s effectiveness for businesses, a complimentary analytic report is offered at the 30 day mark to each business who submits a release. The report tracks who clicked on the release, how many clicks it received and where it was distributed.  

Good news on Frederick County businesses “sells” Frederick County as a whole and is a valuable economic tool. The Frederick County Office of Economic Development is pleased to make this service available as just one of many ways we attract and retain companies.