PR is all about getting positive, fact-based stories about your company, its brand, its products and its people appearing in the media. But it is also about fending off and managing negative stories and potential bad press. Online PR is now right at the centre of the marketing story because online reputation has never been so important.
Press releases are a great way to get your business both increased exposure online and to generate good one way links.
When writing a press release it is important to remember to:
Include a punchy title
Unless the headline is sexy and compelling in itself you will never attract readers, let alone get the reader to click on and read the entire press release.
Include contact details in case any further information is required
If you have presented the news in a way that sparks curiosity then give that reader every way to contact and get more information. Name, address, telephone, email. Make sure they are all included and more importantly make sure there will be someone on the other end to answer replies and build relationships.
Ensure you include targeted keywords
People read content, not search engines, so make sure that your keywords don’t detract from the message that you are trying to convey. Yes, include keywords in the title, in the body of the text and use the keywords you are trying to rank your website for as anchor text but don’t do this to the detriment of the copy. The priority when writing a press release is to make sure the copy is great and compels readers to get in touch.
Ensure it is newsworthy and if possible tie it into something current
When writing your press release, remember there are a lot of competing companies out there who want to get their company some free publicity too. Make sure that the news that you put out is worthy of getting to the top ahead of your competition’s.
Ensure it is free of typos and grammatical errors.
If you are sending your press release to an editor and it has not been checked, double checked and triple checked for typos and grammatical errors, the chances are it will not make the press. Editors can’t tolerate poor work, and neither should they have to. Give the editor the courtesy of making sure your press release is perfect.
It’s nothing more than putting your best slant on what you have got. You are expected to dramatise things, of course, but don’t lie. And remember not to that say that something is “Amazing”, “the best in the country” or “spine chillingly great” unless other people already say so. Filling a press release with too many superlatives might alert the editor to your release being an advert more than a news item.
Press releases are a necessary evil, which more often than not get binned by journalists because they are boring or blatant pieces of selling. Never assume that a press release itself is good enough to be syndicated in the news.
Some ideas for newsworthy press release content;
- New website or significant upgrade
- New office opening
- New Executives
- Free consultations, trial offers and samples
- Expert opinion on trending topic in your industry
Five final tips on writing a press release.
- Keep them brief and always support them with good material – photographs, research and contacts.
- Get them in the hands of the right person – better still, someone you know and are building relationships with.
- If possible make them exclusive – especially if it is an interesting story.
- See things from the journalists view point. They want to look good. Help them by providing them with something that is new, edgy, funny or interesting. Make it look as if it is for them and not for you.
- Local press want to fill their pages. Indulge this need by giving them great pictures and well written material. They will be grateful. A local slant is always helpful.
Ultimately, when it comes to writing a press release don’t be shy. If you have a great story to tell then tell it, print it, make it look important, publish (online, in print or both) and be proud, be praised and be prepared to attract more attention for your business.