While sending out press releases is an important part of or PR, there is an appropriate time and place to do so. Bear in mind that news publications and bloggers are often in need of your press releases as they make up a large portion of their stories.
The Internet has made it possible for PR professionals to reach their customers directly; this means that your target audience is much, much larger than it was when your press releases were being sent to media contacts only. Now, you’ve got to consider all of the readers your press release will reach, and those that you hope your press release reaches.
If you ever doubt the need for your press release, go through the points below before sending it out. Here are 3 important things to consider when writing a press release and if it is time to, well, release it:
Your story’s “newsworthiness”
This can involve a few things:
- Effects/ Consequences or Repercussions (on customers, the community, the general public, etc.)
- Effects/ Benefits (for your company and brand or the company and brand that you represent)
- Importance (which can relate to relevance)
- Timeliness (which can also relate to relevance)
Optimization for the Internet
This involves a few things as well:
- Keyword optimization. SEO (search engine optimization) is an important part of anything you publish on the Internet. Ensuring that your press release will show up in the search results of the millions of Internet users who search with Google, Yahoo!, or Bing can greatly increase your audience reach and site traffic.
- The release’s title. This involves some SEO skill as well, but it, more importantly, involves creating a title that is captivating, interesting, and explanatory of the release’s information and affects the reader. Make sure it is succinct, to the point, and creative.
- Image titles. More about this can be read in Brad’s guest post, but to summarize, your images ought to be optimized with keywords as well. When uploading an image to a blog post or even to a press release make its name optimized with similar keywords you’ve used throughout the entire copy; this can help with search engine results.
Style, form, and make-up of the release
Things that should be found in a press release can and should include:
- Release date. This can be a future date or the day you send the press release out. If you are sending the release to press contacts, ensure that you indicate if the press release needs to be released on a specific date,
- Answers to these questions: who, what, when, where, and why. This should cover the above characteristics of being newsworthy: what is happening, who does it affect, why is this news “news”, when it happened, and where.
- Your most relevant information ought to be at the top of the news release or accompanying pitch; this will help readers and those you pitch to get the gist of your release and story and to understand why it is important news.
- The boilerplate. This is where you can briefly describe your company, what you do, and who you are. This is also the place to describe any company that you are working with that you cover in the release. For example, if you are a technology company taking on a new client, explain your company and their company as well. They will appreciate it, and most likely post your press release to their news/ media room to share with their customers and visitors.
- Links and suggestions for action. Your press release is a great place to get people to act. Don’t use the press release as an advertising tool, but rather a tool to offer value to your customers and potential customers; offer a free eBook, White Paper, whatever, just get them clicking and visiting your site.
- Lastly, the tone of your press release will need to change depending on who you pitch the press release to, if you are simply adding it to your website and a few other press release distribution sites, and if what kind of publication you are pitching. People who know a lot about your industry will want different information than someone who knows enough about your product or industry on a consumer level.
The key to having success with press releases is to continue releasing them with a steady flow of news. Though a release sent out once may keep traffic and media coverage going for a little while, there will undoubtedly be more news coming from other companies that will bump your story out of the limelight. Keep the news coming. For some tips on making newsworthy news, check out another post here. Just remember, there is always a need for more good stories.
What are some tips you have about releasing and writing press releases?