What is a Press Release?
Press Releases are newsworthy stories about your business or organization written in a journalistic style that you submit to various media including websites, newspapers, radio, television, magazines, etc. If they are interested in your story, they pick it up for publication in their media. When this occurs on-line, a link to the website in reference is usually included, creating valuable “generic” (non-reciprocated) IBLs (Inbound Links).
Generally, the public is more receptive to news stories than ads. A press release may be your key to getting your story published. Having the media do a story about you is like receiving an endorsement of you, your website and your business, products and/or services. Most importantly, sending out a press release is far cheaper than purchasing an ad.
A formal press release follows a specific format and is sent to solicit interest in your business.
Press Release Benefits
- low cost
- increased visibility for your company
- high media demand for press releases
- added credibility for your organization
- new customers
- new investors
- free publicity
- a leading method for generating “generic” IBLs (incoming Website links)
When Should I Send Out A Press Release?
Company Owners, Site Owners, and Webmasters should be on the watch for “News Opportunities” to do a Press Release. Here are just a few examples of when company events might present a newsworthy opportunity to do a Press release:
- Publish or Present an article or Paper
- Will be exhibiting at a Trade Show or Convention
- Are granted a new Patent
- Develop a new Product
- Launch a new Service
- Win a new significant Contract
- Make an Acquisition
- Open or Close Locations
- Launch or significantly revise a Website
- Release Investor Information
- Have Significant Personnel changes or Reorganizations
- Receive an Industry, Governmental or Societal Award or Recognition
The Importance of Press Releases
Small Businesses can’t live without publicity. Site owners can’t be successful without perceived and confirmed value from the Internet Community. Entrepreneurs at the helm of a startup many times have pooled resources from family, friends, 2nd mortgages. everything is at stake, reputation, livelihood etc! Success isn’t an option! A great percentage of the time it is a “Do or Die” scenario. The dual drives for self actualization and success are all important mainstays in the entrepreneurial spirit.
This is an extremely favored way to gain Site Links (IBL’s), Press and Targeted Traffic all at once. Read the press release dated (Feb. 28, 2005) from the Search Engine Strategies 2005 Conference & Expo, entitled; “Search Engine Marketing Pros Turning to News Search Engines and News Release Optimization to Meet Clients’ Needs” .
Press Releases are Cost-Effective
PR firms, Marketing companies, web developers, webmasters and anyone serving the small business sector have the responsibility to help make sure that their clients receive the most “Bang for the Buck”, when it comes to any advertising media.
Our very first Press Release was done through the on-line Press Release Services at PR Web at a mere $10 level. Within the first 33 hours, we had received 2,983 “Reads” and 47 “Pick-Ups” by news agencies. Where else can you find that kind of value?
We recently wrote a Press Release for one of our clients and submitted at the $120 level. They received over 24,000 views and 200+ Journalists “Pick-Ups” in the first 24 hours.
Press Release Writing Tips and Guidelines
1. A Press Release is not an advertisement. Do not use your press release to try and make a sale. In fact many times it is more powerful at less cost. It should be written in 3rd person. Any hint of Spam and it will be rejected by readers, if not the reviewing editor of the Press Release agency. There are many opportunities to do a Press release, such as those listed above. Make sure the topic is “newsworthy”, or don’t waste everyone’s time.
2. The first line of your press releases should include:
” FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” (Date inclusion is optional) .
3. Craft a compelling headline. Grab reader attention immediately, create interest. Keep it to the point and short, usually 10 words or less. This is the best chance to command attention. Do not use all capital letters, italics are preferred.
4. The 1st paragraph – Hook the reader with the first paragraph. A first paragraph should summarize the five W’s: who, what, where, when and why. Most readers will bail out if you haven’t “hooked” them in the first short summary paragraph.
5. Put the most important information at the beginning. This is a “tried and true” rule of journalism. Think “Top Heavy” when composing the Release.
6. Don’t sell but answer questions! Do not hype of over-inflate anything. Write a release that answers questions about your business. Most of the adjectives can be left out. No “flowery” conjecture or marketing hype allowed here! Marketing “Fluff” is out!
7. Don’t say it, show it. Avoid using terms such as “unique” or “the best”. Instead, focus on the benefits such as how to; save time, save money, make their life easier, etc. Consumers don’t buy products and services anyway. They buy the “perception of benefits”. Forget decorative adjectives, you want action verbs and adverbs!
8. Use a Word Processor to develop your Press Release content, not the Press agency text form input windows. This is an iterative process meaning that it has to be written, reviewed and edited, several times usually. The pre-press product should be grammatically correct and have no spelling errors. Don’t trust your word processing program to catch errors in grammar and spelling only. Have others read the release and offer suggestions before sending it to a reporter or news agency.
9. Provide all possible contact information including mailing address, telephone, fax, and website. Do not include an e-mail address in an on-line release in the body, unless you like Spam. Most agencies don’t allow any kind of links within the body anyway. The News Agency will require it in a different non-published form field.
10. Do not include any HTML in the body including links and anchor text. These are handled in separate form fields.
11. A well-written Press Release should be between 200-500 words in length.
12. Your press release should end with a short paragraph (company boilerplate) that describes your company, products, service and/or short company history.
13. End your press release with “###” (without the quotation marks) after your last line of text. This symbol lets the editors know they have received the entire release, successfully. It denotes an end.
14. Make sure and develop a list of keywords and phrases just like you would for a web page. PRWeb and other online News Release Agencies use them to submit to Search Engines and also optimize your Press Release on their Site.
The PR Web Press Release Writing, Tips, and Guidelines page discusses some of these tips in more detail and has a sample Press Release.
Press Release Writing is Not Difficult
Anyone that is experienced at copywriting can produce a compelling, effective well-written Press Release. However, if you don’t feel confident in your own skills, don’t have the skills on board, or just prefer to have a professional journalist or editor involved, PR Web has 3 levels of journalistic services you can engage for you Press Release Writing.
You may also want to review the PRWeb Common Press Release Mistakes Page.
Assistance With Press Releases
PR Web Direct Services provides expertise at every stage of the news release process. They provide different levels of assistance at different prices, from rough draft to final copy, from copy to edit/polish, from search engine optimization to track, and finally, extensive distribution and coverage networks. Their proficiency is unparalleled in our opinion. They have an industry-wide recognized staff of journalists and editors that know the business well.
NewsCrafters™ Writing Services
NewsCrafters™ is the writing arm of the PR Web. Their staff is made up of experienced seasoned writing professionals who understand marketing, news, editing, and quality news release writing. They pride their selves in their excellent communication skills and providing clients with the best services possible. No release is final until the client is completely satisfied.
Their writing services begin with a $69 edit/polish which comes highly recommended.
The $149 Rough Draft to Final Copy is essentially a rewrite for the targeted audience.
If you are beginning from scratch, they offer a $299 package that includes mining your website for relevant material, a rough draft and final copy that provides the hook needed to compete for editorial attention and interest.
We also maintain the “up-to-the-minute” search engine and web-trend knowledge. Coupled, with our experience as “Award-Winning Authors”, Patent Holders and Engineering background, we are well suited to assist in the more technical, manufacturing and scientific arenas.
How much will it cost to do an effective Press or News Release?
PRWeb has structured a cost/benefit system that meets any marketing or advertising budget. Free Press Releases are available through their system, however, benefits are added at every contribution level. Search Engine Submission doesn’t start until the $30 USD mark. There are many cost/benefits levels to choose from. We recommend that our clients make a Press Release in the minimum contribution range of $120 -$180. The search engine benefits and Press Release tracking comprise a very valuable package beginning at those levels.
When engaged in the process of doing the actual Press Release on their Site, the full gambit or “levels” of choices become available after you copy and paste all materials from your word processor into the easy to follow text fields. They guide you through the entire process.
Journalists Want Your News
We sincerely hope that you found this information valuable and timely for your application. We definitely encourage our clients to take advantage of this low-cost high impact advertising media. If we can help you in your Press Release needs or any other Marketing or Advertising endeavor, contact us today. We also maintain special pricing relationships with other Industry Specific leading websites such as Rig Zone, a leading Oil and Gas Industry Portal to help deliver maximum advertising exposure vs cost for our clients.