Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Submitting Your Press Releases and Events to Fast Pitch Makes Perfect Sense

If you've logged into your Fast Pitch account in recent weeks you've probably noticed that you can now submit your own press releases and networking events to our website. In addition to the posting feature, we take the time to submit each listing to a variety of search engines on a weekly basis. By submitting your press release and event details to major search engines, Fast Pitch exposes your press and events to potentially millions of business professionals around the world who would have otherwise never heard about your company.

Oh, and did I mention... it's FREE?

I'm often asked, 'why would you offer this much value for free while everyone else in the market now charges a fee and offers less?' My answer is simple. Because we can.

After hearing the announcement that PR Web and similar websites would no longer offer a free press release services to businesses looking to promote their news, I came across an interesting interview where PR Web's CEO was quoted as saying that his Free Press Release service never actually offered a high value proposition to users because PR Web never distributed the free press releases to search engines. Upon reading this I couldn't help but wonder what it might mean to the Fast Pitch community if we offered a Free Press Release service that does offer value by submitting each release to search engines. Wouldn't our users find more value in their Fast Pitch experience while also allowing us to fill a void left behind by the likes of PR Web?

The answer has already been a resounding YES! Within the first week of offering our own PR service, Fast Pitch has witnessed over 1,000 press releases posted to our network, each tied directly to over 700 new user profiles containing useful information about each company including their contact information, who they are looking to connect with, what they are looking to purchase and more. With each of these 700 new users has come new opportunities for thousands of our existing users to network and generate new business.

Compound these numbers over the coming weeks, months and years and the power of the Fast Pitch network will grow exponentially as a result of the new press service which will lead to countless business introductions between professionals around the world. Additionally, we've witnessed the power of our SEO efforts on behalf of these new users as their press releases have already received high rankings across most major search engines.

Oh, and did I mention it's FREE?

Following the success of our press release service, we recently launched a similar feature that allows our users to post and promote their own Events. Local networking events, trade shows, seminars, and webcasts can now be found by searching the new Event section of our website.

The idea of adding events to the Fast Pitch website came about as a colleague of mine recently asked me to help her market a networking event she was planning to facilitate. As we discussed her needs I quickly realized that beyond the ability to leverage email tools such as Evite and Constant Contact she was going to have a difficult time finding a cost-effective way to market her event to a larger audience. In other words, beyond attracting her existing contacts how was she going to get the word out to new people?

After doing some research, I quickly realized there was no centralized website dedicated to attracting business professionals to business related events. Most websites such as Meetup.com and Upcoming.org were too general to attract the types of professionals she was looking for. Plus, similar to the PR Web decision to charge a fee to post press, most of the websites I came across also charged a fee, with no guarantee of success. It was at this time that I had what many people call the 'a ha' moment.

Why not give her (and the entire Fast Pitch community) the ability to create and post their own events to the Fast Pitch website for all to see? Not only would this give her incredible exposure to an extremely targeted business audience, but it would also allow Fast Pitch users the opportunity to connect offline at thousands of events in cities around the world.

Taking it one step further, she could quickly identify and personally invite users in the Fast Pitch network that not only did business in her region, but who also fit the profile of her typical attendee. Finally, we (Fast Pitch) could submit her event to search engines to allow anyone searching the Internet for events to locate her event.

Like most things at Fast Pitch, the 'a ha' moment became a reality as we developed the functionality and embedded it within the website almost overnight.

So, the next time you or someone you know is planning an event consider leveraging Fast Pitch to not only post details about the event, but locate potential attendees as well.

Oh, and did I mention... it's FREE?

Events, PR, Leads, SEO, SEM, Advertising, Video, WOM, and more... All features that have made Fast Pitch a one-stop-shop for business marketing and one of the fastest growing business networking destinations in the world.

Bill