Want to create buzz for your business? Whether it’s new data you’d like to share, a product launch, event, partnership, or charity initiative, share the news with a press release. They’re easy for journalists to read, especially when they’re well written; the information is direct, organized, and gets straight to the point. Fine-tune your press release writing skills and you’ll always have an advantage in reaching your target market.
I’ve written tips on how to write a winning press release on my blog, and make a regular habit of promoting no-cost and low-cost marketing and PR strategies to every business owner. The basics of writing a press release – including answering the 5 Ws, a quote from a top executive, and 24/7 contact information are essential. But there’s more to increase visibility, credibility, and attract the media’s attention.
Optimize for Search Engines
You can distribute your press release to a targeted audience by email, but there are other ways to maximize your reach. Post media releases on your website, on your Google Business profile (formerly known as Google My Business), share news with prospects, clients, and event organizers to build credibility – as well as audiences you’re looking to influence. A media release serves multiple purposes, and can be repurposed into different types of content, which makes your company more discoverable in online searches.
Optimizing your content also helps your press release (and brand) get noticed. Include hyperlinks for keyword phrases, bold your most important keywords and make sure to mention your company’s name prominently. To maximize visibility, best practice is to optimize the first 250 words for SEO purposes and make the first two paragraphs count; they should be informative, tell your story, and be rich in keywords. That’s not to say that every paragraph doesn’t matter. A strong opening will always encourage the viewer to keep reading.
Another marketing tactic to improve SEO is to create a landing page or link to where all of your all press releases can be found. This gives the viewer an opportunity to view your company’s news and what you’ve been up to in the past months and years. It also makes it easier for journalists to check out your website, learn more about your company, and see if you’re a fit for their story. If it’s not appropriate for their media channel now, it could be down the line.
Provide at Least Two Contact Methods
Most reporters have a preferred contact method. Most of the time it’s by email, but having your content on other platforms may increase the chances of your press release getting noticed, especially if you’re active on social media and note that you’re available 24/7 as a resource.
Use an Inspiring Quote
Cliche words like “excited” or “honored” are overused in media release quotes. Write a quote about how your new service or program will help an audience or solve a problem. These quotes can be shortened into soundbites to use in blogs, social media posts, speeches, and online and offline content.
To create a more compelling quote, write like you’d talk to a friend telling them the news. The quote may sound more informal than other parts of the press release, and that’s ok. You’re human, not a robot. Write in a way that other people will find familiar and want to share.
Need other soundbite ideas? Record webinars, presentations, and client meetings on Zoom – then use Otter.ai to get a transcript. You probably say some amazing things, you don’t even know about!
Keep the Focus on Your Announcement
If you find yourself blah blah-ing about your brand, keep the focus on the specific announcement and audience. If you stay on track, your audience may want to take the next step; comment, share, make an appointment, hire you for a speaking gig, or just plain get in touch to ask questions. That’s the whole point – to have readers reach out to learn more!
In addition to the who-what-when-where-why of your press release, talk about why your news matters and what you hope to accomplish in the future.
Take Time Editing
This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s all too easy to hit send on a press release without giving it the proper time and respect it deserves. Read your press release out loud, so you’ll notice any mistakes or bad grammar. Share it with a colleague or two (but not too many) for a final look, and then hit the send button. Don’t forget to get permission from anyone quoted in the release so you don’t run into any issues once it’s published and in the hands of the media.
Leveraging the media is key to getting your business noticed, and it’s a no-cost marketing and PR tool that’s important to learn if you want to influence your audiences and gain third party mention. It’s powerful, affordable, and you can do it at any time of the day or night – just hit send when you’re done.