It all starts with a headline, and according to prweb, a strong headline is key to making your press release stand out, grab the right person’s attention, get clicks and have your brand written about. But before you have the right headline, you have to have news to share. Getting coverage relies on news that is presented as clear, concise content and optimized with data, keywords and photos that can be shared online, in print and on social.
Make It Newsworthy
The purpose of a press release is for sharing company news, getting the media to cover and distribute it, and elevate brand awareness through:
- your event
- product launch or new service
- staff announcements
- expert commentary on issues in the news
You need to make sure you have genuine news to share to be viewed as a credible and reliable source to journalists. Your press release needs to be about a single topic directed at a target audience that elicits a desired response or ideal outcome. Keeping it real and noteworthy is critical as quality of news is much richer than quantity.
Get to the Point
The headline got their attention, the dateline indicates from where and when the news originates, now you need to make your point in the opening, aka the lead, sentence or paragraph. This is where you answer the classic who, what, when, where, why and how. These are the facts and you want them right up front so it is clear what your news is about. Or as one news editor once said to me: answer who cares and why.
Following the lead is all your body copy with supporting information, the boiler plate or information about your company, and contact information. Make sure you write your press release in such a way that is engaging to your target audience. How you write about your company’s sponsorship of a traveling circus and encouraging parents to bring their children is going to be different than releasing the latest financials aimed at investors. Regardless of the story you are telling, brevity is key. Keeping your press release to 500 words or less is ideal.
Have a Call to Action
In addition to the facts included in your lead, prweb says you also need to tell people what you want them do. BusinessWire recommends highlighting key text—bold, italic or underline— so it is clear how readers can initiate the next level of engagement with your brand. It also cuts through the clutter, and gives visual clues to the most pertinent information, making it more easily digestible to information skimmers.
Links, keywords and multimedia . . . all are key elements of your press release, making them easier to share on various mediums including news wires, website and on social. As noted by BusinessWire, links to additional information such as FAQs or backgrounds drives traffic and provides engagement metrics. Keywords associated with your news help maximize SEO with your target audience so that it gets read and shared through social media.
Additionally, photos and video provide context for your content, and according to prweb, are more likely to get shared on a publication’s social media, which can have as much value as their printed and online pages. It should go without saying that all press releases include your company logo at the top of the release, but consider this your reminder, as it is the primary image associated with your brand.
Finally, make sure journalists know who to contact. Be sure your press releases have appropriate names, phone numbers and emails for follow-up. If you use Twitter, include that as well, but only if you are regularly responsive to it.
After your release has been sent, decide who you want to pitch further. Tailor your follow-up to these journalists with a more personal approach and by offering more detailed information, a unique angle or the opportunity for an exclusive. Journalists love a good scoop.
Start Spreading the News
Armed with the nuts and bolts of a successful press release, you are ready to get your company’s news out there. Need help with media contacts, news wire distribution or crafting a specific pitch? Millennium can help Call or email to connect with us at 877-873-7445 ext. 201 or Lfanaras@mill-im.com.