That’s it! You've got something important to say. You really want to say it. You want to shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone you know. But wait, there’s one problem… How do you say it? In the wonderful world of the internet, there are plenty of ways to get your point across. But to do it in a professional manner? Now that’s tricky.
In our humble opinion, a press release may be your best bet. It’s time to get your imaginary megaphone out, as we’re showing you how to shout with a suit on. We’ll try not to be too loud.
Choose the Right Angle
You can’t create a press release without an angle. What are you promoting? Why is it important? Why should your audience know about it? This is probably the most important part, and it’s one that you should consider before you start writing it.
Your release may be your pride and joy, but there has to be a reason for it. If there isn’t, you’re probably creating a sales pitch instead. You shouldn’t need to fill your release with jargon and adjectives. It should just state the facts and speak for itself.
The headline may seem like a small, inconsequential addition, but it’s extremely important. It's the first thing people see when reading your press release, so it helps them decide if they should read any further. More often than not, readers won’t bother with the rest of the article if they aren’t interested in the headline.
For that reason, your headline should sum up what the release is about while remaining enticing to the reader. You should always try to include the name of your organisation in the headline as well.
You’ve Got the Key(word)
As online press releases are indexed on search engines, it makes sense to place your keywords in there. Don’t sacrifice readability for this though, as you should always focus on your message first. If your keywords fit in, great! But if not, don't worry about it.
Try to place them in the headline if you can, but make sure they’re used throughout the copy too. Do not force them in. This is known as keyword stuffing, and it could see your press release ignored by the reader and search engines. You don’t want that.
The Right Length
We’ve found that this a common concern. Just how long should your press release be? Should it delve into every detail, spreading across multiple pages so that all the information is in front of the reader? In short, nope.
A press release should only contain what is necessary. It should be concise, yet informative. As mentioned earlier, the press release should speak for itself. Keep it to a page if you can, but don’t worry if you go over. As long as you’re not writing an essay, you should be fine.
5 W’s (Don’t Forget the H)
Ah, the 5 W’s. For the unaware, we’re talking the who, what, where, when, and why. These should be included within the first 2-3 paragraphs of your press release. You should also place the how in there too, though don’t worry if you need to explain that in more detail.
These encapsulate what the press release is about. Who are you talking about? What is happening? Where is it happening? You get where we’re going with this, but many organisations decide to waffle on without explaining the key points first.
Can We Get a Quote Please
Quotes provide credibility to your press release and create a chunk of content that is easily used by news publications. Whether it’s a quote from someone within your organisation or a quote from an external provider, it should be used to back up the points that you’re making.
As with the rest of the press release, it should also be concise. Make it punchy and to the point. Don’t force it in the release, and don’t use it to fill space.
Hey Link, Listen!
Links should be used throughout your release, as they allow readers to refer back to your website for more information. They’re also used to amplify something that you’ve mentioned or to back up a quote.
To increase readability, they should be embedded in the text where possible. Don’t stuff them in though, as that could be seen as an attempt to increase the links to your website, which is bad news for SEO.
What's a Boilerplate?
You may have perfected your press release, but there’s still more to do. You should place your name, email address, telephone number, and website URL at the bottom of the release. This allows interested parties to contact you for further details if necessary.
Boilerplate copy could also be used. This is simply a description of your organisation that spans approximately 2 paragraphs. It’s placed at the bottom of a press release in italics, providing publications with some background information that they can use if necessary. You can duplicate this in every release that you create.
It’s All About the Timing
Is there an embargo on your content? Do you want it to launch at a specific time, or is it for immediate release? This should be stated at some point in the copy.
Some organisations place it at the front of the release so that there’s no confusion, whereas others will place it with the contact details and boilerplate copy at the end. If there’s no timing information, publications will just assume that it’s for immediate release.
Image is Everything
Once you’ve completed your copy, filled in your contact info, and set a time, you need to choose some imagery. You should include the logo of your business and any organisation that is mentioned in the release, but you may want to add imagery that complements it too.
Rather than placing these within the text, you should attach them to an email. They can then be used by the news publication if they deem it necessary. Make sure that the images contain alt text too!
Ask the Experts
If you're struggling in the quest for the perfect press release, have no fear. We're here to help! Our team provide SEO services that cover this sort of thing, and we also offer PPC, CRO, and Email Marketing options too. Just contact us for more information.