Here’s a riddle for you: what’s short, concise, compelling and newsworthy and can boost the online visibility and profitability of your business by spreading the word about your most recent accomplishments?
You know the answer to this one: it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a press release that travels fast to satisfy the universal hunger for premium content that is tormenting both bloggers and journalists every single step of the way. Press releases are extremely valuable content pieces designed to support your online marketing strategies and help you make a name for yourself.
How to Write Press Releases Like a Pro
Writing press releases is not art and it’s not science. It’s a combination of both elements. In order to create and distribute truly effective press releases, you have to understand how the mind of your targeted audience functions. Empathy is an important piece of the puzzle enabling you to perfect your press release writing skills and resonate with your public and also with your tastemakers, who amplify your message and make sure it reaches an even broader audience. Most people rely on a trial-and-error process to assess the quality and the effectiveness of their web writing. But you are not most people. You can do better than this.
According to Raven tips on press release writing, in order to convince journalists to take your masterpiece into consideration and include it in their article, you have to think like a journalist. It actually makes sense. Can you image how difficult it must be to identify truly amazing newsworthy facts when you are bombarded with tons of written junk and mambo jumbo on a daily basis, when you’re really craving for stellar content and accurate, trustworthy sources of inspiration? In order to perfect your press release writing, you must start by identifying and avoiding these 3 extremely common and annoying mistakes that could turn you into an average Joe instead of helping you enjoy the fair share of fortune and fame that great content creators are entitled to.
Press Release Writing Pitfalls That You Should Avoid at All Costs
a) Overkill Just Killed Your Press Release. Oops. Make sure you don’t start your quotes with the overrated, extremely irritating fragment indicating that you are really excited to let your clients know that you have succeeded in something. Of course you’re excited! You have all the reasons in the world to be thrilled: you’ve launched a new product, expanded your company or have recently invested time, money and energy in a new partnership. Nobody says that it’s illegal to show a bit of enthusiasm, but don’t overdo it. Keep the fact, but ditch the hyperbole. Downplay the “we” factor in your presentation; after all, your products should be into the spotlight, not your merits, your moneymaking efforts or your excitement.
b) Fabricated Facts Never Tricked Anyone into Buying Your Story. Don’t invent facts and don’t include statements that you cannot back with solid evidence.
c) Giving Up Is Not an Option: Write Killer Press Releases or Die Trying. Most importantly, don’t lose your hope. Keep your press release writing simple and straight to the point. Emphasize the novelty that is relevant and newsworthy and accentuate its impact on your targeted audience.
5 Ways to Bring and Keep Your Press Releases in the Public Eye While Boosting Their Effectiveness
Press release writing is not as difficult as you may be inclined to think. As a matter of fact, there are at least 5 foolproof methods to bring your press releases into the attention of a broader audience and maximize their influence fast and with minimal effort.
1. Create Better Stories. Don’t write press releases just to generate inbound links. It won’t work. Google is already one step ahead of you on this one. By cataloging links in press releases as unnatural, it basically forces content creators to use the rel nofollow attribute. So instead of treating your press releases like plain SEO tools, give them a little bit of credit. They are food for thought consumed on a daily basis by millions of journalists worldwide who are constantly looking for genuine, attention-grabbing stories. Think first, optimize second. Make sure your story sounds too good to be true when it actually is. Self-indulgent sales pitches are so yesterday. They no longer prove their utility, so unless you want to bore a journalist to death, don’t invest your time and money in them. Create stellar stories that can be quoted, which are based on 100% verifiable facts.
2. Keep It Simple. Always write in the 3rd person, present facts from the readers’ perspective and keep it short and simple. A good press release shouldn’t count more than 500 words to prove a point. You are not writing a novel and you don’t get paid by the word, so don’t hesitate to be brief. Get to the point fast and don’t use tons of adjectives to highlight your authority or your amazing capabilities, experience and accomplishments.
3. Rely on First-Class Distribution Strategies. If content is a powerful king, then proper distribution is its influent queen. Make sure you email your press releases to your targeted audience. According to a Copyblogger post on how to use the modern press release, a human touch is what makes the difference between great press releases that are being shared and quoted and mediocre ones that sink into oblivion since the very beginning. Pick up the phone and make sure your targeted bloggers and journalists actually managed to read your story. Distribute your press releases via a good wire service, but don’t forget to explore marketing opportunities brought to you by social media platforms. Sharing your press releases on social networking websites can only work to your advantage, allowing you to raise the online visibility of your brand.
4. Optimize with Maximum Care. Optimize your press releases, but always remember that Google is breathing down your neck. You wouldn’t want to rely on shady optimization tactics that could turn out to be counterproductive. Use relevant keywords in your headlines and body copy, but don’t overdo it. Keyword stuffing is one of the capital sins listed in the SEO Decalogue.
5. Opt for an Ideal Format. How you write web content is almost as important as what you write. This rule applies also when it comes to crafting result-oriented press releases. The standard format comprises a few key elements that you should not omit, including headline, dateline, introductory paragraph, body, boilerplate, source and media contact information. According to iReach, subheads are optional, but they can help you put your ideas in order and organize your material more effectively.
Now you know it. Great format, optimized, stellar content, a good story with a twist, world class distribution strategy and a refined, studied simplicity represent the main factors that could raise the visibility and the effectiveness of your content pieces and help you improve your press release writing skills in no time.