There are marketing people who believe that the press release is dead.
Some PR experts on the other hand still use press releases in their marketing campaigns and have gotten great results.
When done the right way, a press release can be your tool for getting shown in top-tier media outlets and be noticed by respected journalists.
There is a “right” way and wrong way to write a press release so the key is getting things done the way they should be.
Journalists get dozens of press releases in their inbox daily. How can your release get noticed? A properly written release will make it stand out from the rest and get published while a poorly crafted one will get it sent to the dreaded trash bin, never to be seen again.
Many companies can provide you with press release writing services done by professional copywriters.
Now that you have the writing part done, we can now move on to tips on how to distribute your press release.
These tips were taken from the press release distribution in the industry so you should take note and consider applying what they have shared.
Research and Developments
You have to do the proper research about the publication you are pitching to. Your press release should not look like a generic mass written email.
If you are in a specific industry, you should tailor fit your subject line and first paragraph depending on what industry the magazine is about.
Journalists are very busy people, they would appreciate it if you made their jobs easier for them. Your writers should be able to work fast and generate ideas so that you can come up with newsworthy articles that can help journalists write their story.
A great headline and quick description of your story would aid in the story writing process.
Make sure the ideas are not all about you, incorporate different viewpoints. Share some tips and tricks that can be useful to readers.
Headlines Are Key
Headlines are one of the ways your article can attract more readers. Go for one that is attractive and SEO friendly, keeping in mind that journalists would most likely not read past the first paragraph.
Make your first paragraph answer the Who, What, Why and Where of Journalism in easy to understand English that is free from jargon or sales speak.
Add some third party quotes to your press release. Customers who give good feedback or reviews should be top priority followed by experts, influencers and industry analysts.
The length of your press release should be based on the quality of your story. If you give great value, it does not matter how long your release is.
Quality and accuracy are also not to be ignored. The sloppy and error-ridden releases turn journalists off because they don’t have the time to edit your release.
The best practice here is to make sure that all of your information in the release is well researched and accurate. Not doing so will get your release in the trash bin in no time.
Put your news story in the proper context. Ask yourself, Why is this news? Why should people care? These guides will help you craft a release that is relevant and not just focused on yourself.
Try to tie your news to a trend or current event. If you can present a solution to a current trending epidemic, for example, your release will surely skyrocket among readers.
Include a juicy quote from a person outside your company like an industry expert, government official, investor or customer that can make your story more credible.
Press Release Best Practices
PR experts know a lot about the industry that they are in. It won’t harm your business if you listen and apply what they have to say regarding the best PR practices in the business today.
Most press releases are boring and full of fluff, when was the last time you read a press release that really got your attention?
Your answer could be not in a very long time.
Stay clear from making releases that include a few company stats and boring quotes. Make it a short pitch that is full of details that gets right to the point.
Writing a book is another great tip for small business owners. A short e-book that shows what your business is about and answers the majority of the top questions about your industry will be useful for your target audience. Make a press release that announces your book and place ads on your website. This makes you an expert in your field and gives you credibility.
Your story should not sound like a sales pitch. It should have a real news story that gives value to anyone who reads it. Readers can smell a marketing pitch a mile away.
Be Personal Yet Professional
Be personal when you make email pitches to reporters and editors. Please don’t make it look like a mass email campaign to several people.
Don’t use “To Whom It May Concern,” place the full names of your reporters and editors as part of your email pitches.
Give suggestions to your reporters as to where your story may fit in their publication. This shows them that you have done your research and know something about the media outlet that you are pitching to and not spamming them with your content.
If your press release is about an event, it is important to include a link to a Facebook event page. Majority of publications have digital versions that you can access via mobile app. They would love to have digital content to go along with the written content. For repeating events, add a link or a photo to a previous event. Host the image on Google Drive or Dropbox and make sure you allow sharing.
Timing is vital when promoting your press release. Allow other releases to flood a reporter’s inbox as you send yours around 5 minutes later.
An email marketing software can help you send your press release for free. You can go online and copy emails of people that you want to pitch to and place them on your Excel sheet. Go to MailChimp and make an account. Proceed by adding your mailing list of local and national media outlets you want to pitch to.
Once you send them to every reporter on your list, MailChimp allows you to see who among them opened your email. This gives you the opportunity to follow up with certain journalists and see if they want more information or details about your story.
You can also tie in relevant news from current news to make sure that your press release is newsworthy. Your release should have some news or announcement perspective that a reporter can use relevant to their beat of reporting.
Newsworthy Stories Are Key
Don’t bombard the media with press releases that lack newsworthy stories. If you think that this will give you visibility and awareness, you are mistaken. When the time comes when you do have a great story to tell, reporters will tune you out.
News can travel fast these days, it only takes a few seconds to share stuff on social media. You need to be updated about the news in your local community. Spend some time seeing what the latest happenings are and find ways your business can fit into the stories of the moment. The key is to offer reporters an expert source who can give more depth to a story and tips readers can use.
Think out of the box for a compelling story. Your business may not be exciting for everyone, creativity can make your business interesting. A press release does not always have to be about you and your brand. You can share interesting news in your industry while mentioning yourself in the process. Self-promotion will get your release in the trash bin, but having value in your content will get it published.
Stories are always interesting to read instead of boring statistics and quotes. Pitch a story, get to know about how reporters write and what topics they like to cover. Reporters love it when they know that you follow them and their journalism. Help them with their stories, and you can at times be asked for a source. This is a good time to pitch your business if it is relevant to their news story.
Share Your Stories To Social Media
Twitter is one platform where many of relevant journalists can be found actively sharing industry news and trends. The character limit on Twitter makes reporters focused and creative. You can make pitches and wait for a response using Twitter.
Focus on your content instead of optimized links. Google now looks at links on press releases as inorganic which gives them a no-follow tag, this applies to all syndicated links from PR sites. It would help if you avoided keyword rich anchor texts, placing a link to your domain is still a safe bet as long as you don’t stuff your story with numerous links. Keeping the number of links to one or two is ideal, and these should focus more on the material being promoted instead of the destination the links are pointing to.
You can also add free samples of whatever you are promoting. Reporters love getting freebies, and they can even contribute reviews and add your stuff to their gift guides.