Entries Tagged 'Press releases' ↓

The Power of PR – Don’t Under Estimate It

workoutAs a business owner I’m guessing you spend a fair amount of your marketing budget on your online marketing (and off line).

You have website copy to keep up to date, email marketing to do, blogs and articles to write not to mention the brochure you need to revamp.

All of that takes money but there is something out there that can generate a shed load of free publicity.

Don’t forget your PR

Most marketers have lost faith in print marketing and advertising. But you shouldn’t ignore the power of great press coverage.

Whether it’s in the form of an interview, quote, feature or editorial, being seen in the ‘right’ magazines and papers can pay dividends.

And here’s why…

1. Cheap

Getting a press release professionally written is an awful lot cheaper than paying for advertising space. Once it’s submitted and accepted you could end up with a page in a magazine or on a blog/website that’s all about you – pretty powerful stuff.

2. Credible

The public are fairly sceptical about marketing and can be resistant to anything that is obviously trying to sell to them. But good press coverage (such as a success story about your company or customer case study) is far more believable.

3. Connect

Adverts are impersonal. A good news story will personalise your company in your readers’ eyes and so make a connection with them.

4. SEO

Submitting press releases to online sites and blogs will help generate back links to your website and help your SEO.

5. Recycle

You can get a lot of mileage out of a press release. The content can be reused and turned into blogs and articles. It could be picked up by other publications and lead to other features and articles. The possibilities are endless.

So whatever you do, don’t forget to make sure your marketing strategy includes PR.

Have you had any PR successes you can share with us? If so leave a comment and let us know what happened and how it helped your business.

How to Write Press Releases That Pack a Punch


The writing of press releases seems to be a dying art.

It’s not because they are very difficult to write; it’s not even because they are really difficult to get published.

No, it’s because they often get overlooked in favour of other forms of marketing.

But the press release still has a vital part to play in your marketing strategy. Whether you write them in-house or prefer to hire in a copywriter, below are a few tips on making sure you create a press release that’s eye-catching, informative and effective.

How to write a great press release

There are several crucial elements to a press release. The following 6 aspects must all be present in the creation process if your press release is to be successful.

Are you ready?

Here we go…

1. Hook

The first think to remember is that people aren’t going to read it just because it’s got press release written on it. That alone will not convince them that it’s worth reading.

To get someone to take time out of their busy day to read it, you must provide a hook to get them interested.

Think about what you are writing and who you want to read it. If it is a local press release see if you can tie its content to a local event. Your hook must engage you reader, arouse their curiosity and make them want to know more.

2. Headline

It’s all in the headline. If that doesn’t pique their interested they won’t read on.

Come up with one that addresses a concept rather than just starts with your brand name. So don’t follow the pack. Try and come up with something more creative.

3.  No Jargon

Even if your press release is aimed at industry professionals, there is a fair chance it will also be read by non-industry bods. If you fill it with techno-babble and jargon you are limiting your audience.

Make sure you use simple language that is accessible to all. If you do have to use technical language don’t be afraid to provide an explanation of its meaning.

4. Resources

A great way to convince editors and journalists that your press release is the making of a great story is to add resources. Link out to other related information sources; provide video and images – basically everything they would need to craft a news story.

5. Proofread

Nothing will kill your credibility faster than a press release full of spelling and grammatical errors. Always read through your press release several times or get someone else to proofread for you.

6. Share

A press release isn’t a press release unless you share it. Send it to local publications, distribute it to online outlets, email it to interested parties and utilise your connections on social media.

These 6 tips will help you create newsworthy press releases that will be distributed far and wide to help you spread the word about your business.

Press Releases – How to Avoid the Rubbish Bin

press release

When writing a press release you can forget all about selling.

A press release is used to deliver news. You are not writing an advert – if you do, the editor is likely to delete it or bin it. They are under no obligation to publish your release because, unlike an advert, you’re not paying for it to be included in their publication.

The editor is looking for a genuine news item that will be of interest to their readers and that will fit the style and tone of their publication or website.

Benefits of press releases

On the plus side, they are relatively cheap to produce. Whether you produce them in-house or if you use an external copywriter, they are a cost effective way of promoting your company.

As they appear as an editorial piece rather than a blatant advert, they are more likely to be read as they’ll have an independent air about them.

The major downside of a press release

Unlike articles, blogs, web copy, brochures etc., you have no control over it once it’s left your hands. The amount of room it is given will depend on pressure within the publication you submit it to. It may be truncated or it may not appear as prominently as you would like.

How to use a press release

They can be used for almost anything. You are announcing to the world something new and interesting that’s happening to your company:

  • A new website launch
  • A new product or service
  • A forthcoming event
  • Charity work
  • Advice
  • Community involvement

And that’s just for starters. But whatever your subject matter it has to be relevant to the audience of the publication. If it’s ‘off topic’ it is unlikely to be published.

How to get your press release ignored

If you want your press release to be ignored all you have to do is:

  • Use a bad subject line in your email such as Press release.
  • Using a bad headline.
  • A long drive to the story – if you waffle at the start of your press release no one will read it.
  • Don’t try to use a disguised advert, it will be spotted. If your press release doesn’t contain a genuine news story it will be binned. Editors aren’t stupid – they will spot your blatant advert a mile off.
  • Use bad English, dodgy spelling and atrocious grammar.
  • Fill it with flowery language, repetitions, waffle and adjectives galore.

How to get your press release published

Before you start, make a plan – what is your story? Why is it interesting? What local angle can you use as a hook?

In other words go for the tried and tested Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? in your opening paragraph.

Also remember to include its word count, release date and at the end, add contact details, a brief company profile, note for the editor and details of any photo opportunities. And make sure you write it in the third person, using simple language that is short and concise without jargon.

The basic structure of a press release

1. The first thing to remember is to write Press release at the top of your page.

2. Write the date either as 7th November 2010 – For immediate release, or 7th November 2010 – 12.00 15th November 2010.

The first shows it can be used immediately, the second shows it must not be used until the specified time and date.

3. Your headline comes next and should be eye-catching and should grab the editor’s attention straight away.

You can also use a sub heading to flesh out more of the story.

4. Next is the first paragraph. This is critical and must dive straight into your story. Forget hype and adopt a journalistic tone which sticks to the facts.

5. The second paragraph provides supporting evidence and can go into more detail. But make sure it remains focused

6. In the third paragraph you can add a quote or two that are relevant to the story. But make sure you have permission to use them.

7. Your final paragraph is your conclusion which briefly explains the link between the story and your company.

8. Finally end with ‘Ends’ or ###

9. Now you can add notes for editors and contact details.

So that’s how to write a press release in a nut shell. Remember they should only be used for genuine news and are not to be used to overtly advertise or promote your company’s products or services.

Done correctly, press releases can generate a lot of interest in your company; done badly and they’ll only ever see the recycling bin in the editors office.

Why Press Releases Should Contain Keywords

press release The good old fashioned press release is one of the best ways to get promotion for your business. But people frequently shy away from it because it can be difficult getting your announcement past the hawk-like gaze of the editor.

Yes, it can be difficult because an editor isn’t going to want to publish any old thing. But so long as you take time over your press release and ensure its contents are newsworthy rather than just a thinly veiled advert, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Historically, the press release has been seen as a off line form of marketing – it’s mainly aimed at newspapers, industry magazines or local business magazines. Well yes, it can be used that way, but increasingly businesses are turning to the online publishing world as an outlet for their press releases which has one significant advantage. Whereas with print media, your press release will appear one day and be someones chip wrappings the next, online press releases will be attracting a new audience for months or even years after its original release date.

Because of this, it is essential you write your release using your identified primary keywords so it will continue to attract the audience you want. Although it is important you still follow the usual rules of press release writing.

The usual rules apply

Regardless of whether you are writing for on or off line publication, your press release should still:

  • Be regarded as newsworthy rather than a thinly veiled advert
  • Be brief and too the point. Any waffle will get it rejected immediately
  • Contain quotes from real people and referrenced back to them
  • Ensure the first paragraph  summaries your story
  • Make sure you send it to a targeted group of editors rather than going for blanket coverage

The on line press release

Keywords are as important to your online press releases as they are to your website copy. If you are unsure about how to go about it hire a freelance copywriter to help you. They will have the experience to make your story newsworthy whilst ensuring it is keyword rich (but still readable).

Utilising your keywords will make sure your press release is constantly picked up by your target audience for as long as it remains on the internet. The key things to remember are:

  • Focus on your primary keyword for the headline, quotes and opening paragraph but taking care not to over stuff your content
  • Make sure your summary also contains your keyword
  • Still keep your press release brief and to the point
  • Do your research and make sure you send it to journalists and bloggers who will be interested in your  subject

Following these simple tips will help your press release generate new readers and traffic for you for a long time to come. So, if you don’t already do it, start getting your press releases online and enjoy the benefits of longevity and constant traffic.

How Often Do You Press Release?

copywriter - press release

One of the best marketing tools any business can use is the press release.

But it is possibly one of the most under utilised forms of marketing.

The main reason for this, is that businesses often think they don’t have anything newsworthy to shout about. But there are a number of opportunities where you can issue a press release.

Sending out regular press releases is a great way to keep your business’s name ‘out there’ in the marketing place. No only that, but by publishing them online, you will be generating those all important one way back links to your website that are so important for search engine optimisation.

So when should you issue a press release? Well, whenever you do something new. To help you out, I have compiled this list of press release opportunities that shouldn’t be missed.

10 Reasons to send a press release

1. New product

This is probably the most obvious. When you launch a new product or service, make sure you send out a press release. It is the ideal opportunity to announce to the world what you are doing.

Always make sure you provide a link back to your website so your readers can easily get to your site for further information.

2. Case study/Survey

If you have recently carried out a survey or case study, make sure you issue a press release to announce the results.

This type of information will be very interesting to people in your industry or who have an interest in it.

3. Current events

If current news events are relevant to your business, press release about it. Topical issues are always of great interest so use what’s in the news to spread the word about your company.

4. Industry trends

You will be keeping an eye on what’s happening in your industry so make sure you use press releases to comment on the latest trends. Whether you want to highlight how trends are effecting business or how you have changed processes as a result of new trends, this type of industry comment will help bolster your position as an expert in your field.

5. Congratulations!

If your business has received an award or commendation, press release it. Blowing your own trumpet is an opportunity you can’t miss. It shows readers you are very good at what you do.

6. Growth

Have you taken on new staff? Moved to new premises? Bought a new fleet of vans? Any signs of growth are worth shouting about, especially in today’s climate.

7. Charity

Whether your company has donated to a charity, or if you are taking part in a charity event, this again is a prime opportunity for a press release. It will show your company as one that is involved with the community.

8. Freebies

Are you about to give away a free eBook, report or white paper? Don’t leave people to find out about it by chance, make sure you issue a press release about it.

9. The weird and wonderful

Press releases don’t just have to be about company milestones. If something bizarre has happened recently, write about it. Human interest stories are always popular. Share your experiences.

10. Employees

Have some of your employees done anything newsworthy? Whether it is being involved in a charity event or an inspirational tale of overcoming adversity, people love to read about other people.

At the end of the day, press releases will help you strengthen your place in the market and show your company as one that can be trusted. By issuing regular releases you will keep your company name in the forefront of your customer’s minds.

Don’t let the opportunity pass you by – press release it!

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter