You just launched a killer new mobile app. Your startup secured an initial round of funding. The company won a coveted industry award. Now it’s time to promote your company update with a press release. Each of these represents some of the opportunities your organization may have to promote brand awareness and visibility for your company, but crafting a press release that is both compelling and informative isn’t always as easy as it seems.
Here are six tips on how to write a powerful press release.
Focus on your goal.
The first question you should ask yourself is, “What is my objective for this release?” Decide on a single goal and then structure the release in a way that draws a reader’s focus toward your goal. What do you want people to know about? Whether it’s launching a new product or service, announcing a new hire or expressing appreciation for receiving an award, your goal should be something that your readers want to learn about and enjoy reading.
Create an enticing headline.
Journalists typically spend about half a second skimming the headline of your press release. If it is attention grabbing, they will then spend another 5-10 seconds scanning the rest of your release. If you have the right keywords or “hooks,” they may consider you for a potential article. Aside from journalists, on average, 8 of 10 people will read the headline, but only 2 of 10 people will read the rest of the content. It is crucial to create an enticing headline that will make people want to read the complete release.
After creating your attention-grabbing headline, your first sentence should give the reader everything else they need to know about the who, what, when, where and why. Think of the rest of the release as additional information that supports your headline and opening sentence.
Add a photo, infographic or video.
Images and media make your content more compelling. According to Business Wire, their interactive press releases have shown a 50% higher engagement than traditional, non-interactive press releases. This reflects that adding interactive elements to your press releases can increase engagement among your readers. Not only will images and other media elements make your content more compelling, using compelling images yields 94% more views than content without. Be strategic in choosing the visuals for your press release and ensure they are what viewers will want to look at and will be something of benefit to them.
You wrote the press release for people to read, so make sure that you are utilizing every opportunity to get it out in front of them. Social sharing can also help with search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines pay close attention to social interaction surrounding content. If your content can generate a lot of activity on social networks, it will boost it within search engine results and ultimately contribute to the online visibility of your company’s messages.
There are key social media elements to also consider when sharing your press release. Timing is everything. Know what time of day and day(s) of the week your followers are most active on social media. Posting your press release during these time frames can increase the possibility your news will be shared on their social streams. Much like including a photo, graphic or video in your press release, this is also something to include in the content for your social posts. Adding a visual element with the caption text and news link can give your followers an optical piece of what your press release holds. Remember to maintain brand identity elements and follow your company’s social media strategy when executing these social media posts.
Include a quote and make sure that it is informative and natural. Jargon and corporate babble can slow down and turn off readers. Read the quote aloud and listen to the cadence and flow. The message should come across in a clear and professional manner. When deciding who to obtain quotes from, consider executives, industry experts or clients. These roles will give your press release an authority voice and show your readers you are knowledgeable about the specific headline you are writing about.
Wrap it up.
The last paragraph of your press release should contain general information about the company (aka boiler plate), and an active invitation to learn more. Include contact information in the form of text links, URLs and phone numbers when appropriate. You have done a great job of catching their interest, so make sure to give them a direct path for additional information and contacting you directly.
Informing the media and your target audience with a press release is a great tactic for building brand awareness. Whether you’re simply emailing your press release to a list of media contacts, posting it to your website and social networks, or planning to distribute it broadly across a press release distribution service, incorporating these six tips can increase the visibility of your message – and results for your efforts.
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