Before the internet and the social media, press releases where the only way in which companies could share their news with the general public. The press releases would be sent to major newspapers and printed in a special section. Right now, any business, large or small, can share their updates and developments on their website or social media pages. But somehow press releases have not disappeared.
Why Press Releases Matter for Your Marketing Strategy
Like any type of written content shared online, press releases are indexed by Google and can help you rank higher for certain keywords. Also, you are allowed to include anchor text in your press release, linking back to your website. This will improve the overall reputation and page ranking of your site.
At the same time, press releases have a reputation for pertaining more to journalism and less to advertising. This gives them a newsworthy reputation. People who read press releases tend to believe them, in the same manner in which they believe the evening TV news. They do not consider press releases as paid advertising and attach an unbiased and truthful character to the content.
That being said, you should consider including press releases in your general marketing strategy. Here’s how to write good press releases to make the most of their reputation among media people and the general public:
- Write a Killer Concise Headline
The headline should grab attention in a few clear and punchy words. Press releases are usually shared on dedicated websites and journalists glance over the titles to pick the best ones to share in their publications. You have just a few seconds to grab their attention.
Next, once it is shared by a publication, your press release will be included in a page with other releases. The readers of the newspaper or magazine (your prospects) also have a short attention span. Therefore, state your message in the best and shortest possible form.
- Answer the 5W in the First Paragraph
In journalism, the 5W are: who, where, what, why, and when. These are the basic questions which a news piece should answer and you should answer them in the first paragraph of your press release. However, pay attention to the order of these Ws. Focus on the why and, as applicable, where and when.
Tell people why they should read your release, first of all. The who is already known – your business. If you announce an event, state the venue (where) and the date and time (when) clearly for people who want to attend.
- Include Good Quotes
A press release should read like a news article. A quote from your R&D team leader, or even from the CEO or manager, will give more credibility to the information you share and consolidate its newsworthy character.
The quote should not exceed one or two sentences and should pack supporting evidence or explain the importance of the event or information you are sharing in the press release.
- Do Not Exceed One, Maximum Two Pages
A news release is not an essay or a keynote speech. It should be short, clear and properly formatted for easy scanning, and it should contain only one key piece of information and message. Press releases are not digests of what’s been going on in your company in the last year. They focus on a newsworthy event, such as the launch of a new product, the opening of a new production facility or the vesting of a new leader.
- Give Proper Information in the Contact Cassette
The specific format of the press release includes the Contact cassette at the end. This is where you should include details about:
- The contact person for further inquiries
- An email address and (preferably) a telephone number
- Your company website and the specific micro-site or landing page for the event discussed in the press release
And before you send a press release for publishing, remember to proofread it carefully. Reporters are trained to spot typos and grammatical errors and will ignore your press release for this reason.