Noobpreneur.com recently published an article about marketing mistakes businesses should avoid. Press releases, on the other hand, are a marketing strategy businesses should embrace.
Press releases are still considered to be a fantastic medium for building quality links and driving organic traffic to your company website. They are also a great way to become a trusted authority in your company’s field. Here we’ll discuss how to write an excellent press release.
Market your press release accurately
Marketers tend to sometimes broadcast press releases through distribution websites to attract potential backlinks. Others target their press releases solely at newspapers on the national and local level, as well as trade specific magazines and other physically printed publications. For the interest of a successful marketing campaign, it is best to do both. Regardless of where you publish it, a successful press release will reveal information about an upcoming service or project, rather than denote or sell it.
Notable press release administration websites will usually respectfully decline releases that seem to have either an overly bias, or overly sales oriented feel. Newspaper and magazine editors will tend to not even look at them at all. So it is very important to write it with the intention of releasing information that can be deemed vital to the general public, but at the same time promote your product or company in a covert way.
Excellent press releases will use sentences that are facts, not opinions. You are generally allowed to include an opinion, but keep this from 1 to 2 sentences for the entire article. Try to avoid using statements that might be regarded as “emotional”. You want to appear unbiased in your press release because your purpose is to inform your readers, not persuade or entertain them. Treat it like an announcement, rather than a sales pitch.
Content should include concrete facts like statistics, innovative features of your products, market trends, profit milestones, and research findings. When you write it, try to follow a good “press-ready” format that will save editors time in rewriting it. Definitely always try to keep your editors happy!
If you’re unsure about whether to write a press release on a certain topic, just take a step back and ask yourself if what you’re about to share is front-page material or actually newsworthy at all. It can’t be a “paper-thin” disguise for promoting your business and products. Go through the business section of your local or national paper and read through a couple of the headlines. Once you head back to your idea you should know instantly if this is better suited for a company newsletter or a business website blog.
Press releases considered to be more sales oriented and opinionated should be released through your company website, emailed newsletters, advertisements, commercials, and blogs.
Here are a couple of general writing tips for successful press releases:
- Always write your press releases in third person.
- Include relevant keywords and phrases for link building and SEO purposes. But do it so in a way that nobody except an SEO strategist would really notice.
- Use a headline that will have at least one of your top keywords or phrases and make sure it’s short and eye-catching to newspaper editors and readers.
- Start your press release with a strong statement that will explain the main idea clearly and to the point. You could also raise a question. Opening statements posed as questions cause readers to think about something they weren’t originally, and catches their attention enough to keep reading.
- If you do decide to pose a question throughout your press release, make sure to answer it using facts.
- Include relevant quotes to spark interest, credibility and resource variety. This will contribute to linking as well.
- Finish up your press release with a conclusion that sums up the main idea again, and then touches on something that might take place in the future. The idea is to keep them wanting more information.
- Stay away from superlative statements outside of quoted individuals and do not appear as though you are marketing your product. You don’t have to show your product or company’s downsides, but stick to being informative, not persuasive.
- Send your press release to editors on the weekend. They’ll receive it Monday morning when there inbox is full of spam emails and other irrelevant material and your press release could get lost amongst them.
- Send it to the wrong individual. Many respected publications and press release distribution websites have multiple publishers and editors that handle different aspects of the paper. If you send it to the wrong people they will just discard it.
- Write too much, or too little for that matter. A 500 to 1000 word article is a good rule of thumb.
- Forget to include your contact details.
- Rehash old news.
- Use overly technical language that will leave the average reader confused.
- Forget to proofread your article. Badly written, spelled and punctuated press releases could spell a disaster for your credibility.
- Miss a deadline.
- Forget to write a follow up. Having a press release written rarely or without follow ups will lose any traffic you gathered from the initial press release.
- Try to be funny, overly sarcastic, clever, etc. You’ll risk losing reader interest when they don’t get the joke or take the joke seriously. The purpose is to inform, not entertain.
The main reasons to send out a press release are to attract inbound links to your website and gain media exposure from offline newspaper or magazine prints.
Only write a press release when you honestly have something interesting and informative to share that the general public would find intriguing. This could be once a day, week, or month or basically whenever you have something relevant to say. Always remember to follow up however, as your press release should end in a cliffhanger hinting at future events.
About the Author:
Vincent H. Clarke holds a Bachelors degree in English from the University of Hawaii. He works as a writer for USB Memory Direct, a marketing company that specializes in selling wholesale custom flash drives for small business promotions and corporate events.