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[…] my fellow PR family, we all know the key to being a great PR in any business is press releases. When you are write for any business (big or small) or if its for a person, understand that a press […]
This paragraph is known as the boilerplate — an old newspaper term meaning a block of standard text that’s used over and over again (e.g. the explanation of symbols on the stock price page). In this case, it’s text that you might use at the bottom of all your releases.
If we concisely talk about writing the press release, then it should read like a news story written from the perspective of a third person in an informing tone. Also, the sources and quotes must be cited with the information to make it more authentic and genuine in the eyes of the audience. Most of the companies try to keep the press releases succinct while some of them are lengthy. Regardless of its length and size, a press release should cover the entire information and should have enough content to convey the complete and clear message.
The standard press release begins with contact information, mostly likely the name, phone number and e-mail address of the person who wrote the release. Then comes the headline, arguably the most important four or five words in the whole press release. The headline will be what the journalist reads first. If it’s not intriguing, newsworthy and unique, he’ll read no further.
RULE #2: Have a newsworthy story. To get your message communicated through the publication, you need to convince the reporter/editor that your message (or the story surrounding it) is newsworthy. So it’s got to have appeal to the entire readership of the publication.
We were looking to target the paranormal field, but not limit ourselves to that field. We were looking to establish I Met a Ghost as a mainstream took, a serious look at the unexplained phenomenon so prevalent at many historic sites. As such, we emphasized the book as a journalistic endeavor. The press release worked, and worked well. We attracted the attention of a variety of magazines and newspapers,as well as numerous radio interviews across the nation and in Europe. The release landed me an hour-long PBS interview. And of course we achieved the main goal of the press release, selling books.
Most people think that press releases get most attention when tough vocabulary is used in them. Well, everyone does not understand difficult terms and vocabulary. Unless an individual is able to understand the terms, they are never going to take an interest in reading it. Therefore, you should not use difficult jargons but should rather explain the main text in a simple an interesting way. The body should cover all W’s in addition to every detail only related to the news. No one can spare the time to read through the tons of information.
PR.com is a site that was made to do more than just offer the best press release distribution services for free; it also offers a one-stop shop business marketplace for organizations to promote themselves, their goods, and their services.
Put all your thought and energy into those first lines – including the email subject line. Think about it as writing a news article with a grabbing headline and a sub-heading. If it’s good enough, the journalist may use it and this will increase your chances of getting through. Who wouldn’t want to have their work cut out for them?
Monitor and start following the writers you think are a fit for you and you’ll get a sense of not only what they cover, but who they are – and that’s important. Writers want to know that you actually follow them and enjoy their journalism. Tweet them a story that has a connection with your business. Sometimes, they’ll tweet about a story they’re working on and that they are looking for a source (we’ve had a lot of success with this). Respond to them if it’s relevant to your business or expertise.
I tend to model my press releases after the ones written by the professional Public Relations folks I learned from during my 20 years of working in the offline world. In order to get published in newspapers, you needed a compelling title followed by a succinct story written in 3rd person narrative that left the reader wanting more.
Be as concise as humanly possible so that you’re able to give readers a meaty chunk of what they’re about to eat without giving away all of the ingredients. From there, the paragraphs that follow should work like an inverted pyramid – expanding on the bullet points you’ve touched upon in your first line with bigger (but non-essential) facts. This is the time to present products specs or a few quirky tidbits from your survey. As you progress, try to keep your language snappy and mildly objective – because nobody wants to eat a dry piece of toast.
Don’t Syndicate. Once the preferred method of press release distribution, syndication is now dead. While some brands used to spend thousands of dollars each month to distribute their press releases, experts like Tim Grice have since come out to say that there is “no value in press release syndication for SEO purposes.” Instead of taking this approach, share your press release with local media outlets. You’ll enjoy a better ROI and your press release will get more traction.
To make it clear to members of the press – reporters, writers, and editors – that the information you’re giving them is a press release for their use, and not an advertisement or letter to the editor, you need to send it in press release format. Yes, there is a specific format you should use when preparing a press release. Here are some of the key features:
Some press release distribution services (discussed in more detail below) will charge extra to add visual content. But this is well worth the price! Visuals are a major draw for journalists who are on the hunt for their next story.
Using a press release distribution free service can be ideal if you want to announce a minor bit of news or information or if you’re willing to put in the effort to also cross-promote your free PR on other channels.
The final thing to consider regarding your press release is much editing it will take. Remember, a press release is meant to be picked up by the media, and pushing one out that includes errors or other mistakes can be devastating to your company. With that in mind, set aside ample time to edit your press release before you publish it.
2.     Press release distribution is fairly inexpensive. Most companies write their own press releases. The only expense comes with hiring a press release distribution service to get the story in the hands of key media members. But even this is inexpensive, and when compared with paid advertising, press release distribution is almost always the more affordable option.