A Press Release can really add a level of oomph to your marketing message. The idea of a Press Release is to provide media outlets with information regarding your business, a new product or service or changes within the business, in a succinct and engaging manner, so that the media outlet will ‘pick up’ your story and profile your business or product.
The main idea of the Press Release is to capture the attention of a journalist so that they will run your story – pure and simple. It is a device intended to create publicity for your business.
One of the best things about Press Releases is that is a virtually free resource for promoting your business.
A Press Release should contain up to date information that is note worthy outside of your own office. Whilst a change in production process would have limited appeal to the general public, putting a ‘green friendly’ spin on the change and how it will benefit the community is likely to be a great press release.
Your press releases should include notices on new products, awards or business improvements. Use news articles as a way to link your press releases to current information. A steady stream of informative press releases can increase your web presence and brand recognition.
Consistent and active effort can help you use the power of press releases to improve your business and manage your reputation.
The Anatomy Of A Press Release
Regardless of where you submit your Press Release, there is a specific format that the journalists expect and (as a result) will reap the best results.
A press release should be written for people who are short of time (and probably short on attention span). The key point (or the bulk of the message) should be in the first paragraph of the release. A well written Press Release will capture the readers attention in the first 3 to 5 seconds. The rest of the release will provide supporting material for the first paragraph.
Use the following structure for best results:
Headline – Short and Punchy (but not hypey), about 8 words long
Lead – This should include your locale, City – State or Province, the date (to let people know this is current news) and it should cover the Who, What, When, Where and How! Write the conclusion first, and then add substance.
2nd Paragraph – should be a quote from the ‘principle’ about the product or service – what it is and how it can help. This shouldn’t be hypey, it should be a statement. It can also include statistics to support the benefit of the product
The rest of the Press Release can explain the product, it’s benefits and pricing.
Always provide contact details at the bottom of the release. These contact details should include the ability for a journalist to be able to contact your business 24 hours a day – just think about the hours that some journo’s work, and the fact that they may want to pick up the story very quickly – you must be contactable.
Press Releases for SEO
With the advent of the internet, and the rise of Online Press Release websites, the Press Release can now also be used to improve search engine rankings.
Using a Press Release to improve Search Engine rankings, is much like Article Marketing.
When submitted to online Press Release directories, the Press Release should maintain the standard format, so it is engaging to media outlets. In addition, the release should also be optimized for the targetted keywords.
When writing your Press Release for online distribution:
- Decide on the one keyword (or key phrase) for the release
- Use the key word between 1 and 2 times per 100 words
- Read the Press Release aloud and make sure it reads ‘naturally’. If it sounds stilted, it is likely that the keywords have been overused.
- Create a link to the page on the website where the reader can find more information. Don’t link to the home page of the site (unless that is appropriate).
- Be sure that the Press Release is truly a Press Release. It shouldn’t be an article disguised as a Press Release.
Effective Press Releases
When creating a Press Release for your business:
- Use a structure to capture the journalists interest and keep it short, sweet and punchy
- Use a subject that has relevance to the wider community – find the benefit of the feature that will appeal to the target audience and is news worthy.
- Always include contact details – make sure that you are contactable when the journalists need you to be contactable.
- When submitting a Press Release to an online directory, use the targetted keyword no more than once or twice per 100 words.
- Include a link to your website, where the specific information can be found – don’t just link to the home page of your site.
Have you used Press Releases to promote your business? If so, share your experiences with other readers below….