People still use press releases all the time: to build interest in a product, to share news about their brand, to further the conversation about the company, among other reasons. The practice has been around for a long time and shows now sign of stopping. But what’s a great press release? What makes a piece really shine? Read on to learn tips to make your press release sparkle brighter.
Hatching Ideas for the Press Release
A press release is news and should be on time, interesting, informative, and useful. There’s a reason your organization exists. There’s a reason customers buy your products, services, of find your information useful. So, make sure your press release topics are newsworthy.
Great press release topics include stories about a company’s growth, strategies, milestones, and market trends. A company’s strategic alliances and partnerships can be great news to share. Pricing and product promotions can generate a lot of interest. Upgrades to an existing website, product name changes, sales promotions, and new services or products are things and events that can be shared.
Thought leadership is always a hot topic journalists love to pick up on. Add to that list enlightening market studies, new market trends, notable accomplishments, appearances by the media and executives, and expert opinions etc.
Writing the Press Release
If you’re going to write a press release, then make sure its title is such that people will want to read the content. Press releases are written to help get coverage for both large and small businesses. However, writing an effective release takes skill.
How long should you make the press release? What type of information should it contain? Consider the following tips.
1. Write a title for your press release that gets attention. Make it short, sweet, and Twitter friendly. Make it powerful and avoid speaking in a passive voice. Make your press release emotional, and make it SEO-friendly. Write killer headlines that will command attention.
2. A press release should be newsworthy. We all know what catches our attention, or what we consider to be newsworthy in our own minds. People are generally interested in those things that help solve a problem or address an important concern. Will your press release offer new information? Is it unusual and will it peak interest?
3. Will it make people care enough to take notice? A company or individual can be totally jazzed about their product or service or new employee. However, it remains to be seen if the world will show any interest. If, after deep thought, it makes you hesitate, then wait. Hold off on your press release until you can come up with a much better story.
4. Sign up for media briefing and get the same news that “news-makers” receive. Serious journalists get a ton of emails each day. If your press releases are being sent out, make sure your headlines aren’t just trying to be clever. Anyone reading emails will look for headlines that catch their attention and have value. Great, legitimate subject lines inspire others to examine the content.
5. Good writers can always fill up a press release page with a colorful narrative. A good idea is to place hard numbers that support the release’s significance. In other words, quantify your arguments with numbers and facts. This alone will help make your content more compelling.
6. A great press release should be tweaked for different publications or programs. It’s a background document for journalists that they should be eager to read. It’s also important to lace the press release with SEO. Use best practices and use a keyword phrase once on the title and once in the body of the press release. Of course, never stuff keywords into any content.
Pitching the Press Release to a Publication
Bloggers and journalists no longer really struggle to discover breaking news. It comes at them like an out-of-control fire hose from every direction imaginable. Remember, the press release is where you get to share your story with the world. Your press release is a place where journalists can link and recycle content to their audiences.
When pitching an idea, it’s best to write a short line about your idea. Make it short. One paragraph will do. Don’t force anyone to open your press release. Just paste it below your pitch paragraph/s. Photos can be helpful, but avoid anything that will clog up an inbox. It may take a few pitches to get the attention of your target. Journalists who are worth their weight in gold are usually swamped with work. Of course, you know the old drill. It’s the hard work and a willingness to learn that fuels the journey.
Using Online Press Release Distribution Service
If you don’t want to go through the pitching process to get your release out there, you can always use the online press release distribution services. For example, PR.com and Newswire.com both allow you to submit your press release for free. PRWeb.com and BusinessWire.com are paid, with varying prices.
Just remember, you get what you pay for. Proceed with caution if you decide to go this route.
If you have great news to share that deserves a stellar press release, contact Level343. We’ve been in the marketing business longer than Google’s been online. Let us help you tell your story.