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The bare bones answer to this is: A press release is a brief written summary or update, alerting the local media about your group’s news and activities. However, we’ve found that press releases are much more exciting than that!
At its best, a press release succinctly describes the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how” of your project in a manner that makes media professionals stop the presses (so to speak) and say, “Wow! Now this is what we’ve been looking for.” At its worst, a press release reads as little more than an unintelligible sales pitch teeming with errors of every kind.
These templates are easy to download and print. Each free press release template is available in Microsoft Word (DOC) format. Just choose a press release template and download it. Open it in Word (or another program that can display the DOC format), edit it, and print your personalized press release.
And, these days, people are consuming their news online. According to information that was gathered for various white papers, which were issued by online press release juggernaut, PR Web (Vocus), over 80 million people prefer to read their news online. Unsurprisingly, over 60% of journalists prefer to find their news sources and story ideas online, too.
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Use bullet points or long lists. Search engines may reject your press release identifying it as an attempt to overload your document with SEO, and bulleted lists belong in an article, not a press release.
Here are a handful of other free distribution sites that you can use for SEO purposes. My preference is to use sites with a Page Rank of 4 and above, and I don’t usually bother with PageRank 3 and below sites due to time constraints. Your situation may be different.
A good tip is to make sure that the subject line has something interesting to say, so that the editor, journalist or media person will want to open it. Another smart idea is to add a well-written paragraph to your email to ensure that it gets read. Afterwards, I spend ample time conducting media relations follow-up calls.
It is a communication means that seeks to inform a reader about what’s new, what’s to come, as well as what to expect. Press releases aren’t adverts per se; they are stories meant to create awareness about a function, an event, or a situation that has never been there before.
A product press release is critical to inform journalists and customers about your exciting new offerings. A professional document designed to be picked up by reporters, a press release is a fantastic way to drive attention to your new product and create a social dynamic that’s ripe for sales.
If any further information is needed, these can go in Notes to editors under the contact information. Examples might include background information on the company (called a boilerplate), or a note saying that photos are available. It’s helpful to number these points, to make your press release as clean as possible.
But don’t try to be clever: most journalists will spend just a few seconds deciding whether something looks interesting. If they don’t immediately understand what your story is about, they’ll move on to the next thing in their inbox.
An effective press release takes time and effort in order to be put together correctly. If you are just sending them out with no strategy or purpose involved, most of the time they simply fall on deaf ears.
Five of the sites focused on content we couldn’t provide with our test releases (e.g. IT Backbones, IT Director, IT Analysis, BetaNews). Note this isn’t to say that they aren’t good press release distribution sites – in fact on the contrary, a clear editorial direction seems to be an indicator of a higher quality site
PR Newswire, a Cision company, is the premier global provider of multimedia platforms and distribution that marketers, corporate communicators, sustainability officers, public affairs and investor relations officers leverage to engage key audiences. 
First and foremost, the press release itself needs to contain “newsworthy” information. Marketing and advertising are what you as a company say about yourself, and press is what others say or reprint about you. The release should have some kind of news or official announcement perspective that allows a journalist to see if the subject matter is relevant to their beat of reporting. Before putting out the release, also consider the current news cycle and if the announcement has some relevance in current reporting.
Hi Makori, thanks for the comment and great question. The headline and the first sentence are both incredibly important and should both be treated as grabbers. I would argue that the headline is the most important element though because it is often the element that gets people to click and read the press release.
Because people aren’t perfect, telephone everyone to whom you sent releases to increase your chances of getting covered. Call your personal contacts and reporters you have worked with in the past in advance so they have more time to be free to cover you. When you follow up with the reporter, be sure to include any last minute news that was not added in your release.
Keep it Objective. Readers will respond better to a press release that gives the details of a show than they will to one that simply tells everyone how great an upcoming event is. The more objective your press release can be, the better.
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Backlinkfy press distribution is the preferred Press Release service provider for publicists – Marketing & Advertising agencies, including Entrepreneurs. Backlinkfy has the capacity of handling hundreds of press release distribution orders simultaneously and efficiently.
Not only do they provide free press release distribution services, but for an additional fee, they can also help create press releases, making them an incredibly versatile free press release distribution site.
Most press releases are succinct at just a page long. Two pages tops. Ultimately, companies want to provide enough information so that news outlets have sufficient material for publishing their own stories about whatever the company is announcing in the release.
Jeremy Marsan is a business analyst and staff writer for Fit Small Business currently specializing in small business healthcare issues and product reviews. When not helping small business owners he enjoys many artistic projects, including music performance/recording, blogging, creative writing and carpentry.
eReleases will also distribute your press release to over 5,900 online outlets. This is significantly fewer than the over 30,000 that PR Web offers, but eReleases is the only service that guarantees at least 100 re-publishings.
One small downside we noted when reviewing their free trial for press release distribution is that the trial is mainly meant as a way to see how their submission interface works; the release is posted only their site and is not guaranteed to post due to the high volume of submissions.
The next two to three paragraphs of your press release should contain the rest of the story. This should be additional details, a bit of product or company history as well as any more information they would need to know about your press release topic.
So, when I write a press release for online distribution, I try to balance these two things. From a quality perspective, I write with the intention that my client could actually send the release to real news agencies in their local market. I balance that with the knowledge that my goal as an online marketer is to get quality links pointing back to my client’s website.