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As you may know, press releases can cater to traffic from search engines and social media, for one thing just getting them out there to be found and shared is huge.

Lisa Buyer, CEO of The Buyer Group shared some other ideas with us in a recent interview. "It used to be with public relations that we were reaching out to the journalists with a press release and trying to get the journalist to do the story, and now with the optimization and the online opportunities with press releases we can actually reach our targets direct by optimizing our press releases and releasing them on the search engines, and then using social media to even get more exposure."

But just having press releases out there to be found and shared isn’t the only way they can be tapped for added value in PR. "You can use Twitter…as part of your PR program, as part of your news feed, so Twitter is like basically…we all know it’s 140 characters so it’s like putting out little nuggets of news via Twitter, so if you take your press release and kind of chop it up into four or five different sound bytes, and then put those out…over the Twitter news feed each day…"

"Statistics are great," she says. "Little factoids are also good, and trying to stay away from kind of being so ‘me, me, me’ and trying to give the end user what they’re looking for, so it’s those little sound byte nuggets of information to put out on Twitter that are coming from your press release, and even going back to old press releases…you go in your newsroom and look back at old press releases and old statistics that are still relevant, and that helps drive traffic back to your website and back to these deeper pages in your website that maybe you haven’t been to in a while."

The PR tweeting certainly doesn’t have to come from the same person, or even jut the PR department. Digital Dads co-founder C.C. Chapman says, "PR and marketing should not be separate departments anymore."

WebProNews also spoke with Victoria Harres, the director of audience development for popular press release distribution service PRNewswire, who said, "Social media (Twitter, Facebook, and whatever else you can do, especially video these days) actually has enhanced whatever you’re doing or were doing in PR before. This is a new channel. A new way to get your message out to a larger audience, so you still need the old tools and the old tactics, etc. but this is something you work in to really help amplify the message you’re trying to get out."

Her strategy for corporate twittering is pretty interesting. It includes dividing up different Twitter tasks. More on that here.

While on the topic of social media and PR, you may also be interested in hearing some of the things Lee Odden shared with us earlier this year about using SEO and Social for actual press coverage.