Writing Effective Press Releases
Having a press release published on a well-known and popular site will generate high-quality traffic to your site. It takes skill to write a press release that is worthy of this type of inclusion and journalists time.
Press Releases as Part of Content Marketing
Press releases are an integral part of a digital marketing strategy, because they inform the public (and search engines) of what your company is doing. They share your company’s new developments with people. Some events that might be newsworthy are:
- Opening a new facility
- Hiring multiple employees, especially if in one geographical area
- Hosting or sponsoring an event, whether for fun, charity or business
- Advancements in research and design (R&D)
- New product releases
- Promotional events
- New partnerships
This is hardly an exhaustive list of what a press release might cover. Whatever the news, it needs to be crafted into a well-written press release.
All press releases follow a fairly simple, standard format. The difficult part of writing a great press release is not following this format, but catching a journalist’s or editor’s attention with great content that is presented within the standard format. The following are some tips on how to catch someone’s eye and hopefully be published on a highly trafficked site.
– Craft the Headline Carefully
The headline is the most important part of the press release. If it is not attention-grabbing, then the rest of your press release will not even be skimmed over. At the same time, the headline needs to remain professional and accurate. Even if you spend half your time crafting a strong headline, that is time well spent.
– Make Your Case in the First Paragraph
Journalists and editors will spend very little time reading over your press release, which is why it is important to make your case quickly. The most important information in the press release should be placed at the top of it. The first sentence should state the main point of the press release, and the entire story should be encapsulated in the first paragraph. This gives you only a few sentences to convince someone that your story is worth pursuing. Any supporting information should be included in the following paragraphs, after the main point has been made in the first one.
– Quantify Your Claim with Facts and Figures
A press release is made stronger with facts and figures. Journalists do not want to see how well you can use adjectives and adverbs; they are the writers, after all. Cut out any fluff and replace it with hard data that supports your claim.
– Grammar Matters
Although journalists and editors are not interested in your creative writing abilities, they do want to see grammatically correct press releases. Proofread your work before sending it out. Since even a single mistake might have a big impact, consider asking a coworker to also read it over.
– Quotes Count as Data
Quotes from sources who are close to your brand are valid data. They create a human dimension to the release and provide evidence for the release’s claim. For bonus points, try quoting your boss – a little ego boost never hurt anyone.
– Don’t Forget Your Contact Information
Do not forget to include your contact information or the contact information of someone else at your company. This can be placed at the top of the release, so it is prominent.
– Include More Information (Without a Second Page)
One page is extremely limiting; you likely cannot include all the information you want in the release on a single page. Make it easy for journalists and editors to find more information without making them read a second page, by linking to helpful resources. Links that provide more information about your company, anyone quoted and support for your data are all appropriate to include.
- Learn how to distribute a press release
- Learn how to measure your press release online reach with Google Analytics
- Learn about email newsletter marketing