How Press Releases Can Help Your Business Live a Better Life
Written by Kristine Morana
04 January 2019
While people are talking about the death of print media, no one can deny that “news” is alive and more widespread than ever. True, the way that news is disseminated has changed drastically and has gone mostly digital. But the change only amplified how news is spread. In fact, every time you open your email inbox, news and all kinds of PR campaigns are being sent to you. This is why the art of press release distribution is still one of the most widely used marketing strategies in the world. It is a straightforward process that, when written correctly, can be beneficial.
Interested? You should be. If you haven’t already done a press release distribution for your business, then you’ve been missing out on a great and relatively easy way to get marketing exposure. So let’s get you started. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of creating a perfect press release distribution.
What is a press release distribution and why use one?
A press release is a piece of news blurb containing 400 words or less, that relays a single, specific, and relevant event. Press releases are then distributed through the newswire and other online channels. Back the day when the Internet wasn’t as popular as it is now, people would mail their press releases to journalists and editors. Now, however, everything can be distributed directly to news syndications in real time.
A press release is, essentially, a news story. It’s not a fluff. A press release, although basically used as an advertisement, is NOT one. It is content that contains factual information.
Why should your business use a press release distribution? Because it can give you more than just exposure. One carefully-written and effective piece of news containing relevant and useful content can earn attention from the media, not just locally but globally. And it doesn’t only increase exposure to your brand. It also creates another layer of reliability to your image, that lets you gain credibility to your existing and potential customers. In a nutshell, a press release is one of the most effective ways to earn trust and loyalty. Furthermore, it’s also a helpful way to communicate with your audience.
What are the elements of a press release?
A press release does need to have specific qualities that should make it appealing to the media, and in turn, to your audience. Here are the five main elements a proper press release should have:
- Newsworthiness - This is the most important element a press release needs to have for it to actually do your business good. The purpose of a press release is to tell a story, not sell one. You need to inform your audience of something useful and impactful to them.
- An Attention-Grabbing Headline - A press release needs to start strong. Otherwise, it will most likely not be read. This is why it is essential that it has an attention-grabbing headline that grips a reader’s curiosity right from the start.
- It sticks to the facts - As mentioned, a press release should never contain any fluff. It should be treated like it is already a news copy. Therefore, it’s important to stick to the facts. Use a matter-of-fact language, avoid flowery and unnecessary words, and don’t use too many adjectives. Use simple and clear language that is easy to understand.
- An Insightful Quote - Every press release should have a valuable quote. This quote should come from a respected expert in your industry. It should add insight into your story. A great quote adds a layer of human quality that can make a press release more relatable to people.
- It needs to answer all questions - At the end of your press release, you should ask yourself, “Have I left any questions unanswered?” Your news copy should be clear, concise and complete. Give all of the essential facts as concisely as possible.
Step-by-step Guide To Writing A Press Release
What is your press release about? Is your story newsworthy? In order for a press release to work, it needs to contain information that is interesting to your readers. Here are a couple of subjects that warrant a press release:
- The launch of a new business/grand opening
- The launch of a new website
- Addition of major client or contract
- Announcement of contest
- An announcement of a donation to charity or participation in a non-profit event
- Award received
- Coverage in a major media source
There are other newsworthy topics you can cover. When it comes down to it, a press release doesn’t need to be on the front page of a newspaper. It does, however, need to be interesting. Simply ask yourself, “Why should anyone care to read this?” And if the answer is positive, then you can write a press release.
2. Answer all the 6 Ws - Who, What, When, Where, Why, How
Next, write down every detail of your news story. Who is it about? What is happening? When is it occurring or did? Why should people care? How did it happen? Using the answers to all of these questions, you basically have the meat of your press release. This information should be laid out in your first paragraph in a direct fashion. Actually, most people won’t even read past your first paragraph. So it is pertinent that you put all the necessary details of your press release in this section.
3. Optimize your press release for Search Engines
If you are not familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), then you should look into it. SEO is a widely used digital marketing tool that helps businesses gain significant online exposure. SEO involves the usage of a variety of strategies. But the most important are keywords and link building. A press release can be optimized for search engines like Google and Bing. Do some keyword research and try to incorporate these keywords into your press release. However, be careful about not sacrificing your copy’s readability. SEO should not be your only priority when writing a press release. Also, include a well-placed link or two directed to your company website.
4. Complete your press release by filling in all the blanks
Now that you have the meat of your press release, you can round it out by filling all the missing pieces. Your press release shouldn’t be longer than 400 words. The second paragraph should contain only the most important supporting details. After that, add relevant but concise information about your company. And put your contact information so that your readers can follow up if they want to. If you have quotes to insert, this can be placed in the second or third paragraph, as long as it is relevant to your press release.
5. Follow the correct press release format
Almost there! You are about to have a complete press release! The next step is to arrange it in a way that follows the standard press release format. This is not, by any chance, the necessary way to format your news copy. However, if you want your press release to be read by professional journalists and key influencers, it’s better to write it in a way that is natural to them.
- Release Date - The timeline of your press release and when it should be distributed.
- Media Embargo - Something that prohibits a news outlet to publish your news story before your desired publication date.
- Release Title - The title of your press release.
- Sub-heading - An expansion of your title/heading that adds more insight to the story you are telling.
- Dateline - The time and location of your news story.
- Body Paragraphs - Every important detail of your news release in short, concise paragraphs.
- Images - Relevant images to your story, if there are any, you can typically add one or two.
- Quotes - A quote from an important person in your business or niche.
- Hyperlinks - Links to your website that enables your readers to follow up on your news release.
- Contact Information - Contact details to a relevant point of contact in your business.
- Conclusion - An ending sign that your press release is over. This can either be written as “---MORE---” or simply, “###.”
6. Choose the right press release distribution service
If you think the work is done after writing your press release, you’re wrong. Your press release can only gain significant exposure if it is distributed to the right channels. How can you ensure that your press release gets the maximum exposure it needs? By choosing the right distribution services from an established and reputable PR company. You need to ensure that your distribution is targeted to the media outlets that are more likely to cover your story. Press release distribution services from companies, like Newswire, offer some of the best and most reasonably-affordable services out there.
A press release might be considered as an “old-school” or outdated marketing tool. However, it continues to be included in every successful company’s marketing makeup. It’s a tried-and-tested method that works every single time. And you can never go wrong with a press release distribution. If you have a newsworthy story to tell, make a press release. It will do a world of good for your business and your profits.