A press release is a statement or a type of announcement issued to the news media and other targeted publications for the purpose of providing information, an opinion, or promoting something.
The main purpose of a press release is to persuade busy journalists and members of the media to give you news coverage, typically by providing them with background information, quotes, major events and other resources that they can use in their reporting.
While press releases can be written for many different purposes, they all share the goal of getting media attention for their subject. In order to be effective, you will need a well-written press release and it will need to include all the essential elements that a busy journalist would need in order to cover the story.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep in mind when writing a press release:
- Make sure that your press release headlines are clear and concise. The headline is the most important part of a press release, so make sure that it grabs attention and accurately reflects the content of your statement.
- Keep your press release's body short and concise. A press release that gets straight to the point will be appreciated by journalists.
- Include quotes from people who are experts or eyewitnesses to add credibility to your story.
- Be sure to include your email address and any other contact information so that journalists can follow up with you if they have any questions.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting your remarkable content noticed by the media.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Press Releases?
There are a lot of different marketing strategies out there for local businesses, and it can be tough to know which one will work best. But if you're not using press releases yet, you're missing out on a really effective marketing tool. We will go over the top benefits of using press releases now.
Press Releases Establish You As An Expert
Press releases give business owners a chance to show that they are the expert on a topic in their industry. By telling your story, you can tell people why you created your company in the process.
Perhaps you saw a problem that a real person had, and you wanted to be the answer to that solution. That can establish you as an authority because you saw something no one else did. Maybe you have a newsworthy angle or an inside scoop about the industry that no one else does just yet.
Creating a press release and sharing that information shows your audience that you know what’s going on before anyone else, further establishing you and/or company as the expert in your field.
Many of the major media outlets also get their news from press releases. When they do, your customers will see that those media outlets are talking about your business, which will help cement the fact that you are the authority on the subject in their minds.
In addition to that, when the media has picked up enough of your press releases (or even just one really great one), when they have potential questions about a story or a topic, they’ll come to you to provide the answers. That will help attract new customers to the business, and continue establishing you as the expert.
Becoming an expert in your field also builds trust among your customers. It builds a relationship. All business owners want to build that trust, and that relationship, because they know that when they do, customers are more likely to go to their business when they need a product, a service, or expertise.
And that ties in with the next reason why businesses should be using press releases.
Press Releases Help You Get More Customers
80 million people go online to get their news every day. With such a large number, it’s clear that many of those people will be the customers or potential leads for a business - any business, in any industry.
When those online searchers are looking for news or local-interest stories, there’s a very good chance that they’ll come across a press release with some type of company news and learn something new about a business or possibly, learn about a business that they never knew about.
This vast exposure is exactly what businesses are looking for when they embark on any kind of marketing campaign, and press releases are one of the best ways to get it.
This doesn’t mean that businesses should turn their press releases into one large advertisement. In fact, they don’t have to in order for press releases to help them gain that exposure and get new customers.
All the press release has to do is tell people about the company, a product or service launch, a new partnership, or a new acquisition.
When it does, the press release can then be used to get lots of coverage from the press, and convince buyers that what you’re selling is worthy of their attention, time, and money.
While it may cement this belief in the minds of existing customers, it will also make new customers aware of what the business has to offer.
If you include a call-to-action in your press release, you’re giving readers the opportunity to take the next step with your business. Whether you’re inviting them to sign up for your e-newsletter or download a white paper, press releases can be an effective way to generate leads for your business.
A single press release can get those new customers to call the business to find out more, or visit the business to purchase their product or service. That will increase the business’ bottom line, and that is after all, the entire point of marketing - whether it’s press release marketing, or any other kind.
Press Releases Can Include Multimedia Making Them More Exciting And Interesting To Readers
Often when business owners think about creating a press release, they think of a written page that tells a story or lets the audience know about something new happening within the business.
But there can be so much more to press releases than just that. Press releases can include pictures and videos along with that page of print, which will draw even more readers and potential leads in.
That’s because today, video generates 1200 percent more social shares than posts with text and images combined. And 64 percent of consumers will make a purchase after watching branded social videos.
Those two stats alone indicate just how important multimedia is in any type of online marketing, and press releases are no different.
But this doesn’t mean that the press release needs to look like a commercial. Just like a written press release shouldn’t read like a giant advertisement for the company, image and video press releases shouldn’t look like one.
These types of press releases can include listicles, how-tos, or just present a story about the company in a fun and capturing way.
This is important because like other forms of marketing, press releases aren’t going to work if they’re boring.
People won’t look at them, read them, or watch them if they hold no interest for the audience. And when that’s the case, those marketing efforts have been wasted.
Press releases should never be a wasted opportunity. They’re one of the most effective forms of marketing out there, and when they’re used properly, such as when images and video are incorporated into them, they become very interesting, and draw even more people in.
Press Releases Can Be Very Targeted
Words are powerful, and that idea applies to marketing efforts for businesses. It is a fact that every business owner knows. Every year, huge corporations spend millions on marketing agencies to come up with words that are effective and can help them get their message out there.
This kind of money does not always have to be spent. It is as simple as using the right keywords to target your audience and draw them in.
When internet users search for businesses, products, or services, they type keywords into search engines.
In addition, local customers usually begin their search online by entering the keywords and looking for nearby businesses that offer those things.
These keywords are matched with the keywords in the press release, which will make that press release appear at the top of the search engine results.
Suppose a Chicago restaurant announces its grand opening in a press release. The press release could include keywords such as 'Chicago', 'restaurant', 'gluten-free options', and 'pizza'.
These are just a few of the keywords people may use when searching for a business, product, or service. And when they do, they’ll get search results returned to them. Within those search results, there’s a very good chance that the keyword-driven press release will be within them.
This is how businesses can use press releases to target their audience. Just by using the right keywords, businesses can get their press releases in front of the eyes of people already searching for their product. And that translates into highly targeted marketing.
Press Releases Get Picked Up By Google News
The largest search engine in the world is Google. An average day sees over 40,000 searches per second. In addition, many Google News stories appear in the results for their search queries.
What is the significance of this to business owners considering releasing a press release? This is because people are much more likely to see the press releases when they are picked up by Google News. As a result, the business will get much more exposure.
Google may not even be necessary for users to learn about the news story. Google News stories are used to send email alerts to users who have set up a specific keyword alert.
When they get that email alert, they’ll click on the link and learn about the business’ product or service. And, the link to a story has an average lifespan of about 28 days on Google News.
That means that one press release will continue to get exposure for the business for approximately one whole month before it’s pulled from the system. All of this, with the business owner doing nothing to promote it during that time.
What other type of marketing can do this? Google News is one of the best outlets a press release could appear on. And when the right distributor is used to release the press release, they can make sure that it gets onto Google News.
When it does, it will continue to provide a business with all the benefits press releases bring for a very long time.
Biggest Mistakes Made in Press Release Marketing
A challenge for businesses and small business owners is that they take on the task of press release marketing only to quickly become discouraged because their efforts haven’t produced results.
What’s the key to effective press release marketing that other companies have found so successful? They have found a distribution service that reaches potential customers beyond their current customer base.
Don't let frustration get in your way – learn from those who've been there before you by knowing what the most common mistakes are so you won't have to make them yourself.
Turning Your Press Release Into A Sales Pitch
Yes, you want to tell your customers something new, and the whole reason you’re writing a press release is so that you can get more sales. But press releases need to be informative.
They should not be pushy or come across as “too salesy”. Even though you’re looking for sales, press releases are an indirect form of marketing and so this is not the time to push your product on people, just to tell them about it.
Starting Your Press Release With A Bad Opening
Your press release’s opening sentence will tell a customer whether or not they’ll be interested in what the rest of the release is going to say.
Maybe even more importantly, any press release you write first has to pass an editor’s desk and they have to approve or reject it.
If you don’t have a strong headline, lead sentence and subtitle, the editor won’t look any further – and no one else will get a chance to either.
Including Too Much “Flash” In Your Press Release
Now is not the time to use every adjective in the English language to describe your product. Nor is it the time to use all the industry jargon you use every day in your office.
A press release is the time to be concise and keep to the point.
Always make sure that you include everything you need to make it past the editor’s desk. But be sure not to stuff it with unnecessary words or information. Make every word count.
Using Passive Voice
A press release is the time to be confident in what you’re saying and what you’re doing. Passive voice is not only boring to read, but it’s also unconvincing.
People simply won’t believe what you’re saying. Always use active voice by including strong verbs and always make sure that the subject comes first, followed by what they’re doing, not the other way around.
Having a poorly formatted press release is just as bad as having a poorly written one. Never use all uppercase letters and keep an eye on how many exclamation points you use (it’s exciting news, but it can come across as yelling.)
The correct formatting for a press release is block formatting with double spaces.
Spelling And Grammar Mistakes
One of the biggest ways you can come across as unprofessional in your press release is to have spelling and grammar mistakes in it.
Always proofread your release and never rely on word processing software to do it for you. Even though spell checks can be great, they often miss certain things like when “you’re” is written as “your” and when you’ve meant to write “too” but instead have written “to.”
While both spellings are correct, the grammar will be wrong. Always go through the document yourself and read every single word.
Not Doing Your Research
Not all press release distribution services are the same. They will all have their own requirements for content and formatting and if you don’t follow them, your press release won’t even be looked at let alone distributed.
Always do your research on the press release distribution service you want to send your business story to and find out what their guidelines are before you send them anything.
If major news just happened and you send in a press release that’s completely related to your product and service, but not related to the major news, your press release may not be distributed because other releases pertaining to the big news will take priority.
However, wait too long after that big news has happened and your release will just be seen as old news. Timing is key.
Get Your Local Business Press Release Marketing Strategy Started Today
For those who find it too time consuming or difficult to write an effective press release, there are software programs and platforms that have the writers to create the press release in the correct formatting.
A good press release service understands how to write them so they are accepted by the best distribution sites. That same company may have different levels of distribution and the most premium services such as Digital Media ROI.com will have access to the top websites and news outlets for maximum distribution.