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How to Write a Press Release for an App

Why would you want to know how to write a press release for an app? Because this gloomy scenario is all too possible without a good press release…

How To Write A Press Release For Your Awesome App

Blood, sweat and tears have been spent on developing an app. It’s the most awesome app in the world. But nobody uses it, because they don’t know about it.

Press releases have been around for years. They’re one of the oldest and most favored ways for companies to inform the public (and potential clients) of newsworthy happenings in their company. Content marketing and social media marketing have been taking the spotlight recently when it comes to promoting a new product. Yet by tweaking and adjusting the traditional press release, your mobile app could receive top reviews and write ups from some of the most influential voices in your sector. The question isn’t simply how to write a press release for an app. The question is how to write a press release that gets noticed by the right people.

A good press release looks at the “who, what where when and why” of the app. These are questions that you will undoubtedly have thought about in relation to your audience. But in order to write a stellar press release, you need to examine the same questions.

What

What are you doing? You’re sending a press release to communicate with the world that you have a new app or have made changes to an existing app. This is news and should be written in the style and tone of a news article.

Who

Who are you sending the press release to? The beauty of a press release is that it can be ultra-targeted. It’s a good idea to make a list of the names of different journalists and bloggers who will be interested in writing about your app.

Where

Where will you be sending the press release? While press releases are somewhat of a traditional form of promotion, they are able to reach a wide audience. Not only can you focus on newspapers and magazine editors who might be interested in your app, but you can email sites and online communities too. There are a number of free sites that accept press releases.

It’s also worth looking at location. If your app is useful to local businesses in your area, an obvious option would be to email editors of the business section for the local papers.

When

When is the best time to send your press release? This is completely up to you. You could send it on the release date of your app or before. Sending the press release before your app launches can help to cause hype about your app before its release. But remember to include the words “under embargo” to let people know that your app isn’t available for download just yet.

Why

Why are you writing a press release? You’re writing it to share information about your new app with the world via traditional and non-traditional media channels.

Once you have the answers to these questions set firmly in your head, you can begin to understand how to write a press release for an app.

Press releases are not Ezines or blog posts, and the rules to what makes a good press release and how it should look are fairly similar across the board no matter what vertical your app falls into. The best approach to have when writing a press release is to keep things direct, to the point and uncomplicated. This counts for everything from the formatting of the press release right down to the style and tone of the piece. Fluff, hype and shameless promotion do not belong in the press release. Only the facts will be told, nothing more and nothing less.

A good press release consists of three main areas:

 

1. Headline and introductory/tagline

This should be captivating enough to pique the reader’s interest and make them want to know more about your app. Once they are interested, they should be impressed enough to want to use, review and write about your app. But remember; no hype.

2. Main body

Here is where you describe the features and benefits of your app in more detail. Remember to use as much factual evidence as you can gather and present it in a way that is easy to understand.

3. Contact and information

At the end of the document you should include a little background information about the company and include contact details.

Some key points to remember before you send your press release are:

  • Check, check and then check again (and again) – A press release full of spelling and grammar errors will at the very least irk the writer who is expected to review your app. At worst, they could put you and your company and all of your future apps on their very own mental block list. Not exactly a great way to celebrate the launch of your shiny new app. You’ll also need to check that you’re not waffling at any point throughout the press release. Long press releases are often discarded, and as a rule, it’s best to keep all information on one page, two at the very most.
  • Lay everything out upfront—include the press release in the body of the email. Many companies actually have policies preventing them from opening attachments. Others simply find the extra click too much like hard work when they’re receiving (and binning) a multitude of emails every single day. Have your information laid out easily in the body of the email with an attachment as well so the journalist can skim the content and save the attachment if they like it.
  • First come, first served – All the most important information needs to be right up at the top of the document. First paragraph should include the most important facts about your app. Not all of the information presented in a press release is read. So if some of the facts that will essentially clinch the deal are left to the end of the piece, they may never be seen. Nor might your app.

 

A Comprehensive PR Writing Guide with Press Release Examples

Press releases are pretty straightforward. They only deal with facts and you don’t have to worry about convincing people to buy a product that they’re not really interested in.

So, writing a PR shouldn’t be any trouble at all, right? Wrong.

pr writing guide

Here you go!

Why You Need To Follow Press Release Examples

A lot of writers that happen to be brilliant creative writers can still struggle with Press Releases. One of the main problems that some writers come across when writing press releases is trying to keep everything concise. A lot of writers might be used to padding out their work and looking for extra little tidbits that will help them reach their target word count. The press release is a completely different beast though. Sometimes the best idea is for a writer to look at a press release example to get a feel of how a good PR should look and feel.

The Search Is On

Now, you would think that looking for press release examples would be fairly easy. Uncle Google provides plenty of answers to more complex questions every day. But then when you type those three small words in to the little box and hit enter — you get more than you bargained for.

Which Example Is Best?

There are small press releases and large press releases. There are press releases by industry and press releases by date. With all these examples, how do you know which one will suit your specific needs?

In order to figure this out, you’ll need to know what your needs are. How much do you really know about writing a press release? What kind of questions do you need to have answered before you can write the perfect PR? Let’s start from the beginning.

What Do You Need to Consider?

Press releases are solely for newsworthy events. This is an extremely strict rule (although one that many people break regularly); but that doesn’t mean that PRs can’t cover a whole host of subjects. They could be about anything from a merger between companies to a business offering a discount for some reason.

1. What’s it about? Make a note of the news that you need to write about in the press release. If a company is opening its doors for the first time in a while, look for similar PRs by typing in search terms that might be used for your company.

2. How should it read? The examples that are thrown out from this search will more than likely give you an idea on the style and tone of a press release (hint: it’s not conversational like a blog, PRs are serious stuff!) as well as how the press release should be presented. Generally speaking, a PR should be made up of around 4 paragraphs that give details of a company’s news to interested parties.

3. What should it include? You’ll notice that PRs won’t use any more words than necessary to tell the facts of the story. This is for two reasons. One: the structure of a press release is designed to give all the major details at the very start of the article to make sure the reader gets all the important information even if they don’t finish reading the full piece. And two: to make sure the important information isn’t cut off if the editor decides to shorten the article.

Templates

Because the basics of press release writing follow the same rules, the structure of PRs can be quite uniform. So it stands to reason that as well as studying a live version of a press release example for content ideas, many writers like to use templates to write their news releases as well.

There are a number of good programs that utilize press release templates:

  • Word – As part of the Microsoft Office suite, Word is a popular choice for many writers. Typing “press release” in the search box for online templates will give several options for PR templates that the user can fill their own details in for a quick and professional look.
  • Microsoft Publisher – Writers can follow step by step instructions from one of the thousands of ‘How To’ articles online and make their own template using a program like Microsoft Publisher. They can then save the template and use it every time they need to write a press release. Due to the uniformity of PRs, writers should be able to use the same template each time with minimal amount of tweaks.
  • PRWeb: PRWeb is one of the top leading sites to distribute press releases online. It has the highest amount of traffic and the most-shared news stories in terms of press releases. Here’s an example of a press release we wrote for PRWeb (note the correct title, subtitle & formatting overall):

prweb

Anyone Can Write a Press Release

This is absolutely true. Anyone can have a go at writing press releases — in the same way that anyone could have a go at driving a car or walking a tight rope; not everyone can be successful at it.

Anyone trying to write a press release and knows how to follow good press release examples needs to remember some fundamental points about how it should look, how it should read and what it needs to contain. Looking at one press release example can help with this. But looking at a number of examples that show both ends of the spectrum will give an even better idea.

Things to Remember

Press releases don’t have to be the most complicated thing in the world. Remember to:

  • Use a bold headline to grab attention
  • List the news first and tell people everything they need to know in detail
  • Look at other PRs for a similar event within the same industry. Make notes on what does and doesn’t work
  • Answer the main questions that everyone needs to know “who, where, what, why, when and how?”
  • DO NOT sell anything to anyone. A press release is always objective and only offers the facts

 

If you can remember these points and learn from other press release examples then you might well be able to write a useful, informative press release that gets noticed.

Modern Press Releases

In today’s world, the way the press release is actually released is slightly different — actually a lot different. People can skip the pitch part of the process and go right to publication. For example:

1. The client requests a PR

2. The writer writes the PR

3. Client sends the PR to an online press release distributer

4. The PR will be sent to journalists and bloggers relevant to the particular industry of the press release, but it will also become live on the Internet exactly as it’s been written.

What Does This Mean?

Press releases must be written exceptionally well so that they could actually be an editorial story. In the past, the only people who saw press releases in their raw form were the journalists and the editors who were being asked to run the story. Now, online press releases mean everybody gets a shot at being seen. While this might sound nice, the harsh reality is that people might have stood a better chance of their PR being read with the old way. As harsh as the journalists might be on a PR, at least the ones that made it would have gone to press in the best light possible. Now, it’s up to companies and their marketing team to come up with a PR that wows the public all on their own. That might sound like a fairly easy task to a writer who hasn’t had much experience with writing press releases, especially with some good press release examples to follow, but the fact of the matter is that press releases are written in a very particular way.

Press Releases in a Nutshell

When it comes to writing effective press releases that people want to read, there are a few things to remember:

  • Use an attention-grabbing headline that tells the reader exactly what to expect in the PR itself. It’s best to be direct here and get right to the point. Press releases aren’t about leaving people guessing.
  • Lead with the news. The most important factors should be right at the top of the PR. Taking three paragraphs to let people know the purpose of the press release just won’t cut it. In fact, if a writer waits three paragraphs to explain the news in a PR it’s unlikely that they’ll even have a reader by that point.
  • Keep everything factual. It’s not a personal account or a fictional story. You’re reporting a news event for a business or company. The PR should answer the “who, what, where, when, why and how?” questions. Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to get an idea of the structure of the piece. Once the basic structure is down with the answers to the 5 “W” questions, it’s a matter of putting the story together in a logical order.
  • Check and re-check your work. Any PRs that show potential for being legitimate news stories still have the opportunity to be picked up by journalists, editors and bloggers of various publications. However, if the PR is full of errors, poorly-written and generally tosh, then nobody will want to touch it with a barge pole. Not the public, not the media, not even your own grandmother who’s always been your biggest fan.
  • Write for your audience. You might not be selling anything, but you still want people to read your work. You need to think about the information that the reader will want. Part of this will come from the 5 “W” questions, but it will also come from the details that you use to answer the questions.

If you get stuck at all, there are plenty of press release examples online that will show you what you should be aiming for. Just make sure you pick a good example though, because there are plenty of horrendous press release examples that are enough to make your toes curl.

Some of the Worst Press Release Examples Ever

To understand the worth of something, sometimes you have to see the worst example ever to truly understand.

 

Examples of Bad Press Releases

You know when you’re in class, everyone’s reading from the same book and there’s always that one kid that’s on a different page than everyone else? That kid gets every project slightly off skew because they’re always using the wrong information. In school, this can lead to bad marks. In a press release, it can lead to a writer being black listed in the media.

If you’re wondering what bad press releases look like, then here are a few real life examples of press releases where the author has clearly been reading from the wrong page of the ‘how to write a good press release’ book.

Content Marketing Today revealed the incredibly gripping PR about the ‘ACME PRIVATE BANK MOVES TO SEVENTH FLOOR’ that is a real headline for a real press release. Wow. Just wow. The most obvious question here is, “who cares?” Under no circumstances is this considered news to anybody on the planet, which is why this PR can be classed as a fail.

Another site revealed gems such as:

  • “A Truly Innovative Way to Lose Weight” Breaks the fundamental rule of not pitching a sale to the reader. The last paragraph could have been taken straight from a landing page. Bad, bad, bad.
  • “Supreme Key used for Grease Removal and Cleaning Services” This one will need to be seen to be believed. The main problem here seems to be the fact that although the words are indeed English, the way they’re put together doesn’t form one single English sentence throughout the whole PR.

For new PR writers, it’s a good idea to look at both good and bad press release examples to gain a better idea of how to do it, and exactly what to stay clear of!

Overall, the humble press release has been used to grab people’s attention and bring companies into the spotlight through factual, newsworthy stories. Journalists and editors all over the world have become accustomed to receiving hundreds of press releases each week, reading through them and picking out those that will appeal to their readers. Press release examples that tick the boxes will be published, and hopefully the company will benefit from the exposure. At least that’s how it used to be.

press release content strategy

Content Strategy Tips: 6 Ways An Amazing Press Release Works

Have you ever wondered what sets a press release apart from an ordinary article? What makes them so special and how do you format a press release to serve its purpose? In order to achieve the goals set forth by a press release, it can be helpful to know what it is supposed to do in the first place. While there are many good press release examples, there are also plenty of poorly written ones.

A Press Release: The Start Of An Amazing Content Strategy

When writing a press release, there are several goals you should keep in your mind in order to stay on course with the word count and purpose.

1) Write the Right Type of Headlines.

Too many times a writer may say something like, “Samsung to Unveil a New Product” and while that title isn’t the worst title ever, it doesn’t draw the reader in. What if the reader doesn’t recognize Samsung as a provider for the electronics they use? You may encounter people who will associate Samsung with TVs but in reality, you are writing a press release for an innovative new phone. The audience will glance over the release and move on if they are looking for a new phone. Try a headline like this instead, “Samsung Launches never before seen Features in a New Phone.”  This type of headline gives the reader an exact idea of what to expect when they continue reading.

2) Provide the Necessary Info Quickly and Succinctly.

No guesswork and no digging. You wrote the press release to disseminate information, yet sometimes the press release can leave the reader wondering where to buy the item, when it will be released, what to expect, and even who is responsible for the release. This works for the release of a new item, opening of a new venue, and even the announcement of a new hire. Maintain the fine line between giving away all the information and luring the reader in to read the website, in depth feature list, and obtaining more information. You want the reader to be alerted to the news item but to also desire to find out more.

According to several journalistic sites, the shorter the press release, the better. Keep it under 400 words. In fact, you will probably be forced to narrow it down if it comes in over that word count. Short and sweet will get the point across and not consume the reader who just wanted to know the quick version of the news.

3) Make it Fun!

When constructing a press release, it is vital to keep in mind the purpose is to release news, but the balance between interesting and professional can be met when you learn the correct way. A fun headline, quirky quotes, and even humor about the past can bring the audience into the story in a humorous manner.

Consider writing a headline that twists the words around to create an angle that will be clicked on such as: “Brave Mountain Lion Fends Off Group of Hikers” instead of “Hikers Injured Fleeing from Mountain Lion.” There are other examples where the author has sensationalized the headline a bit but the article itself still has the facts and necessary points to make it a worthwhile piece. Check out some of the controversial and eye-grabbing headlines on the Mirror.

4) Create Headlines, Sub-headlines, and Other Techniques To Help The Reader Skim.

Not only will this help the reader glean the necessary information, but also it can give the reader a quick idea if this is an article they really want to read. With so many authors writing misleading headlines, the sub-headers can assist in the overall goal of the piece for the legitimate press releases. By making the release digestible for the reader in a tablet form or even on a cell phone screen, you are ensuring the maximum amount of exposure. When was the last time you got a link for an interesting article, clicked on it through your phone, and closed out of it based on the fact that your screen was full of text that didn’t let you scroll through it quickly?

5) It Should Be Worthwhile Reading.

The Internet is not called the “Information Superhighway” for nothing! It isn’t called the little dirt road of information but rather denoted as the biggest mode of transportation, and your press release can get lost in the midst of all the options. Not only will there probably be other articles on the same topic but some will have graphics, charts, and crazy pictures to go with it. What will yours have? If a reader can get the main idea through skimming bullets, headers, and quotes, your press release can be the one referenced in their encounters throughout the day. Not only will they use your information and possibly spread your link, but you can have the satisfaction of knowing the public is learning about this news worthy item through your work.

6) Quotes!

Use quotes—but only the ones that matter. If the company is opening a new store, hiring an exceptional new employee, introducing a new product, it is safe to assume they are happy with it. So by stating the obvious, “the team is happy with the news,” you are wasting good space and the reader’s attention. Would they really be announcing the news if they hated the new hire or were embarrassed by the new release? Probably not, so steer clear of the obvious so as not to offend or annoy the reader base.

You’ve probably read some great press releases examples in your search on the web. One of the best ways to create that catching piece is to go back and read the ones that caught your eye.  What was it that made you continue reading? The title, the headers, the pictures, the easy to understand terms, or the way the reader engaged you throughout? By emulating those features, you can write an outstanding piece with the potential to go viral within hours of posting.

 

si robberson rule #1 press release

Rule #1: Write A Good Press Release

What’s the one golden rule for writing the press release that makes reporters wish they’d written it and readers rush to know more about the business? There isn’t one. There’s no one fantastic, all-encompassing rule that tells you how to write a good press release.

If You Write a Good Press Release – It WILL Get Noticed

Why Bother?

Does the press release still matter? With every Tom, Dick and Harry seemingly spewing out releases everywhere, does anybody even take notice of them anymore? The short answer is, “yes.” Press releases still have the potential to make a huge positive impact on a business.

Press releases will wind up on the Internet in the likes of Google News. Good press releases will catch people’s attention and get a couple of browsers to read the article. Brilliant press releases will catch people’s attention, get them to read the news release and then get them clicking on the link to the website to see what all the fuss is about.

Now, there’s been a lot of hoopla on the Internet about whether or not a press release can help a website’s SEO. No, no it can’t. It’s really that simple. So stuffing your press release with keywords and phrases, or using perfect-match links won’t do you any favors at all. Writing natural, useful content that looks at the news angle will appeal to people, however. What’s more, the news might create a “buzz” around the company, and now thanks to online press releases, there’s every chance that the release could become viral. The dream!

So now that we’re all clear on how press releases can positively impact a business, you’ll probably want to know
how to write a good press release.

The 7 Golden Tips

Report, don’t sell

The world of online press releases allows articles to become live online immediately as they are. This means that it’s up to the author of the press release to think and act like a journalist. To put it simply, a press release should be a piece that reports the news. I know, shocking right? But the fact is that some people write PRs and it looks like they’ve copied and pasted half the sales brochure for the company. The chances of a press release that reads like a sales pitch being picked up by a journalist for a story are absolutely zero. Randy McClain, reporter for The Republic told Raven that, “Good press releases have the facts, a coherent presentation and zero hyperbole.” Brilliant advice.

Write for the reader

Even though people have been told this a thousand times there are still writers out there who feel the need to write purely for the Google bots. STOP IT. Press releases don’t do much for SEO in the traditional sense. The only way to use a press release to increase web traffic to a company’s site is to make sure the press release provides the reader with newsworthy content that they feel compelled to learn more about. That’s when they’ll check out the company information and click through to the website. So if the readers don’t like it, then they won’t be popping along to the site. Write for readers, not for robots.

Short and sweet works a treat

A press release needs to deal with the facts of a news event. It doesn’t deal with opinions or sales pitches. The sole purpose of a press release is to tell people something new. To do this, writers will need to answer the following questions:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the news?
  • Where will the news have maximum effect?
  • When did the news take place?
  • Why should anyone care?

The release should be long enough to cover each point and no longer. Writing a 3000 word essay is not going to cut it for a press release.

All about the title

 Have you ever zoned out on a conversation with somebody because it’s so boring you can’t concentrate on it no matter how hard you try? Well people do that all the time when they’re reading too. Only they don’t try half as hard to stick with the story. If it doesn’t interest them then they turn the page, click back or close the magazine. Your press release title will mean the difference between people reading it or not. Long-winded titles that don’t tell the reader exactly why they should be interested in the rest of the release will fail. It’s that simple.

Save the best till… wait… don’t save it

When you a read a novel and the story builds up until you reach the climax and find out “whodunnit” or if the couple got married, its genius writing that takes you on a perfect journey. When a press release leaves all the juicy bits until the end, it fails. Not everyone reads the whole release. In fact many people will stop reading it after the first paragraph. That means that writers have one paragraph to hit the nail on the head and get all the major points in those first few sentences.

The devil’s in the details

 Some people think that to keep content short and precise, they need to shirk on details. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Firstly, it’s the details that will ensure the readers receive all the information they’re looking for from the press release. Secondly, if the details are incorrect (name of company spelled wrong, wrong dates for events etc.) then the reputation of the author is immediately tarnished.

Leave them asking for more

Just because a press release needs to deal with facts and be written using a reporter style tone, that doesn’t mean that it can’t build interest. A well-written press release will be worded in a no-nonsense way that encourages people to want to know more about the company behind the news.

It takes time and effort to learn how to write a good press release that will benefit a business. But with the 7 golden tips, writers can at least create a credible news release that will intrigue and inform their readers.

 

press release and seo

Can A Press Release Still Benefit in Today’s SEO?

Back in the day just about everyone had a press release. In fact, a lot of companies abused the value of press releases by “releasing” anything and everything — whether it was truly newsworthy or not. But, when Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team, announced that PRs won’t help SEO ranks, website owners went into a panic. Now business owners and other professionals are worried the time and resources they put into press releases won’t do them much good anymore. Or will it?
 

Press Release, SEO, We Think So.

 

PRs Back Then

Back in the day, before Panda, PRs were miracle workers. Search engines indexed press release distribution sites higher and links from those sites helped boost SEO ranks, according to AuthorityLab.com. As more SEO experts caught onto this nifty trick, press releases were exploited. The number of useless, copied and poorly written news releases on the web grew exponentially.

Think of the last time you searched through a PR site. How many newsworthy pieces were there versus useless junk? You can thank that exploitation for all of the useless posts. So, is this why Google is telling you press releases are worthless today?

Not necessarily. While there is some truth to what Google has to say about press releases, there are a few details they’ve left out.

 

Don’t Use Press Releases as a Sole SEO Tool — It Won’t Work

PRs today are about the news — not quick distribution of keywords and links. When you publish a release for your company and/or website, it should talk about newsworthy content — such as a company promotion, new product release, sale coming up, etc. Press releases are, however, searchable by Internet users looking for a particular topic, industry, company or product. So, they can still boost your SEO, but if you send out hundreds of useless press releases you’ll get back little to no results for it.

 

Yes, You Can Still Link Up

Press releases can still have links, but the number of links and what’s considered safe is still up for debate. You should, however, include one to two links back to your website, blog or product, according to Cheryl Conner in her article on Forbes.com. If you’re going to put links in your news release you need to do so strategically and when it’s contextually necessary. Don’t just add your link randomly; instead, add it where it makes sense to add it, and where the reader can benefit from the link being there.

 

How Press Releases Have Been Effected

The Panda and Penguin releases have taken their toll on traditional press release SEO, but SEO specialists still report higher rankings with the use of effective newsworthy releases. PRs, however, don’t have the same short term effects they used to have; instead, are used for long-term benefits.

 

Go Big or Don’t Go At All

If you’re going to write a press release, write a high-quality, relevant one. Most companies ignore how critical the PR process is and they waste money on low-quality, useless writing attempts. Press releases are still successful, if you’re willing to invest in them.

 

Press releases, according to SearchEngineWatch.com, fuel the fire for social media. They encourage engagement and social interaction and can be used as a launching pad for company information. Press releases are all about getting the message delivered to the audience, encouraging clicks to outside sites and increasing social sharing.

 

So, if you’re going to spend the money and take the time to make a press release, it needs to be something people:

  1. Want to read
  2. Want to share on social media
  3. Want to click and learn more about

 

Before you release your press release, make sure it’s well-researched and creatively written. A quality press release is something that:

  • Is newsworthy  and something that must be announced
  • Isn’t selling someone something, but still has a purpose or call-to-action (i.e. follow on social media, visit the website, contact the company, etc.)
  • Doesn’t focus solely on keywords
  • Is authoritative and pleasant
  • Is written in a professional, journalist style

 

Press Release Reality Check

Now that you know the PR is still valuable, it’s time for a reality check. While press releases encourage visitors to click through and can increase traffic, that’s not their sole purpose. They help increase your company or brand’s social exposure and they increase user experience. Press releases build your company or brand’s authority and reputation and they inform your audience on what’s new.

Press releases, however, cannot do everything. They’re not meant to make inbound links nor should they be your only SEO marketing tool. If PRs are part of your link building strategy, you’ll be disappointed in their limited (or nominal) results. And, lastly, press releases are not meant to target or increase SEO based on keywords.

Google might have limited what press releases can do, but one thing that is for sure is Google didn’t limit the impact a quality press release can have on your company or brand.

 

Reasons Why Your Press Release Isn’t Working

These days’ news releases are just a way of life for companies and brands. Hired someone new? Distribute a press release. Have a new product? Get a press release. Planning a sale? Well, everyone wants to know about that.

You might be thrilled about your newsworthy content, but if you don’t write a quality newsworthy release, your news isn’t going to attract anyone — including those who might actually be interested in what is going on with your company. The reason most press releases flop is because the person writing a press release doesn’t understand the difference between a press release and a general blog post, article, or social media announcement.

 

Press releases are:

  • Created to inform the public about an event, product or something that has occurred in your company.
  • Written in a concise manner that gets to the point and doesn’t drag on with useless sales content.
  • Written short — about 300 words will do just fine.
  • Have a sense of urgency — there’s a reason you’re releasing the press release today versus six months from now.

 

So why do you need a press release? The reasons for a PR vary depending on the company or brand, but some common reasons press releases are out there are because:

  • You need to announce something
  • You need to tell people about developments
  • You need to highlight or summarize something
  • You need to remind the public of what you do

 

You might have newsworthy content every minute of the day, but there is a line that you have to draw on what is urgent and reader-worthy and what can stay internal. If you start releasing press releases over every tiny bit of news, you’ll flood the system and readers will quickly lose interest. After all, why would they jump all over news that isn’t critical news, right?

 

I Wrote a Newsworthy Press Release, So Why Isn’t It Working?

Most companies make the mistake of writing their own rather than hiring a professional to do the writing for them. Or companies put too much emphasis on SEO and links in their press releases, which doesn’t benefit them long-term, according to SearchEngineWatch.com.

why my pr sucks
 

The common reasons press releases don’t work:

 

You Wrote It Yourself

Even though you’re saving money by writing your PR in-house, you’re actually costing your company more because your press release isn’t going to pack that media-worthy punch a professional press release service can provide. Professional writers don’t just write something newsworthy, they make it seem urgent and interesting. Skilled PR writers can even slide in a few sales pitches that no one will notice, but everyone will remember.

 

Your PR Doesn’t Have News Content

Just because you received a reward or you gave your assistant a raise doesn’t mean you need a press release — unless the reward was for something nationally recognized or revolutionary. Press releases should answer the who, what, when, where, how and why. Why are you releasing this news? Does it answer a question? Solve a problem? It should, otherwise it’s not news.

 

It’s Just a Sales Advertisement

There’s nothing worse than opening a press release and feeling like you stepped into a car dealership. Press releases aren’t supposed to sell — they’re meant to inform. Sales copy should never be in a press release, which means words like “you”, “our”, “we”, and “us” need to be erased.

If you’ve over linked your press release, remove those too. According to an article by Forbes, you should only have one to two links back to your blog, product or website. More than that is pushing it with the readers and search engines.

 

Your Headline is Long and Boring

Headlines capture attention, so they need to compel readers to keep going, but they don’t have to tell them everything. When you’re crafting a headline, remember that:

  • Search engines only show the first 65 characters — anything after that isn’t going to be seen.
  • According to PR Newswire, headlines are best at 120 characters for readers and social media.

 

Your Press Release Drags On and On

News releases are concise and to the point. If your press release goes on for 500 words, you’re going to lose your readers. Stick to just one page — 400 words max. It should also be meant to encourage the readers to get more information elsewhere; not receive it all in the PR. Yes, your press release should cover the news that you need to share, but any fluff details should be left on your blog or website for the reader to follow up with later.

 

You Skipped the Quotes

Press releases need to quote someone. Whether you’re quoting yourself or someone else, quotes add insight and opinion to your newsworthy piece. Also, quotes add emotion and give a touch of storytelling. Don’t use quotes to announce facts and figures either.

A quality press release will get you noticed, bottom line. Learn more about what makes a PR pop in Entrepreneur’s article. If you don’t have the time to invest into your press release, hire a press release company instead. They’re skilled copywriters can generate a newsworthy press release that embeds keywords, links and sells while still getting your message across.
 

press release boilerplate

A Few Tips in Press Release Writing: Precision in your Boilerplate

A boilerplate is a succinct summary of your company that is included in every press release. When you decide when to release a press release, it is imperative that the boilerplate embodies everything you want your target audience to know about your company. It is basically a one-paragraph-version of your mission, vision, and about-us page.

Press Release Writing Tips For Your Success

According to the University of Washington’s listing of the essential parts of a press release, your company or organization’s boilerplate should be used in all publications you circulate, and it should be strategically written. The first impression your company projects to a person unfamiliar with what you do depends on how well the boilerplate was written in these publications. So how exactly can you come up with a strategic boilerplate that reflects everything good about your organization when you release a press release? Read on for some tips.

Remember:  Press Releases are Formal Journals

The first press release was printed out on the New York Times in the early 1900s. Unlike now where your press release can be read by your target audience seconds after it is posted in the Internet, print media dominated the early days of press releases. This means that essentially, every press release is a publication written and edited by a professional journalist released through the press via newspapers.

It is sometimes easy for companies nowadays to forget this fact because of the ease by which information can be created and shared through the Internet. So the first thing you have to remember for you to be able to write a succinct boilerplate when you decide to release a press release is this: write using professional journalistic styles.

Be Objective When Writing Your Press Release’s Boilerplate

When you are writing about yourself, it is very hard to be objective. Of course it isn’t a bad idea to let people know your skills and everything great about you, but you don’t just go ahead and say, “I’m the most skilled in my niche. With my track record and experience it’s no question that I’m your best choice!” to every potential client you meet right?

The same is true in the process of writing a boilerplate every time you release a press release. Be as objective as you can and accurately list your company’s achievements, goals, and expertise by presenting your credibility with minimal to nonexistent egoism and sales lingo involved.

Focus on your company’s unique qualities and write your boilerplate using adjectives and phrases that don’t imply false greatness; a common mistake made by organizations who think too much of selling themselves when writing their boilerplate.

Facts are Your Friends

For your decision of when to release a press release to bring in great responses from your niche, keep in mind that facts are your friends. Your boilerplate should revolve around verifiable information about your company, products, or services. Exaggeration is a no-no when you are writing your company’s boilerplate. When a potential client reads about you and does his research of what your company is all about, he should be able to verify all the information written in your boilerplate.

As previously mentioned, a boilerplate holds the first impressions of your company to potential clients. Have you ever heard of the forked tail effect and the halo effect? These are psychological concepts that indicate how people perceive you from the first meeting: either in a negative light or a positive light respectively. Who holds a pitchfork and has a tail? On the other hand, who sports a halo and has wings? You’d definitely want your company’s first impression to be associated with the latter.

Include only the verifiable facts about you and your company to avoid misleading your readers.  Doing so will equip your boilerplate to bring about a halo effect whenever you release a press release. After all, if the first impression your boilerplate, and your press release as a whole, gets is a forked tail impression, you’d have to start from the beginning and re-think your strategy. Better to tread carefully and write a factual boilerplate than go through that don’t you think?

Remember: Statistics Change

If you want to include numerical data in your boilerplate, go ahead and do so. It’s good to have a well-written boilerplate you can use it in every type of publication about your company, but if you included some numbers in there, be sure to review it periodically.

Whenever you decide to release a press release, remember to check if the statistics you indicated in the boilerplate are still accurate. Are you still operating in 9 locations? Are all your products or services still available in specific divisions? Statistics change, and so should your boilerplate if it has them.

Use Major Keywords in Your Press Release’s Boilerplate

If you can’t decide when to release a press release because your boilerplate seems incomplete, think back on the most basic components of publications: words. Write your boilerplate using words that can relay what your company stands for and what you do in a single line or phrase.

Distinguish the core function of your company and find the keyword that can accurately encompass that function, and then go from there. For example, if your company offers business-consulting services, write the boilerplate in your press release describing yourself as a “business consultant.” Work from there and include other ways of referring to your services like “business analysis” or maybe “business process specialist.” In any case, if you are a masterful with your craft and niche, knowing the best keywords to include in your press release’s boilerplate will come with ease.

Before deciding when to release a press release, keep these things in mind to come up with a concise but effective boilerplate about your company. Write information about your company formally and objectively. Use keywords and verifiable facts to present your credibility, and stay on top of things to ensure that your boilerplate is accurate in every statement. When you compose an effective boilerplate each time you publish a press release, you maintain the loyalty of your old clients, and will be perceived in a positive light by new ones.

avoid these things

10 Press Release Mistakes To Avoid

There is no shortage of “how to” press release articles available on the Internet today. With all the instructions for what to do, sometimes it can get confusing. Sometimes you may have all the correct elements but need to know what not to do in a press release. The ability to edit your own work is critical when you’re on a time crunch and when you’re aware of the “don’ts” you can have more confidence in what you have written and how you present it.  By going through a quick list of dos and don’ts after writing a press release, you can help ensure your work has the opportunity to go viral and reach millions.

Elements to Avoid in a Press Release

While there is no complete list with every no-no in the world of press release examples, there are some easy elements to avoid and to cross off of your list. One of the best ways to write an article is to just start writing, and after you’ve said everything necessary, go back and edit. This can mean cutting down the words, rearranging the paragraphs, and going through this quick list of things to avoid.

The hype

Yes, you are writing about something news worthy but no, you don’t need ten exclamation points. The hype should be in the content itself, not in the excessive punctuation or filler words. Don’t overuse words like: free, limited time offer, act now, awesome, and repetitive words such as very, very, very. The spam filters will catch these quickly and the readers will associate your piece with a used car sales person approach and probably be turned off.

Ignoring junior high English class

You took the class; why not practice what you learned? Marketwire lists grammar as #1 of its 7 most common PR pitfalls. Your teachers didn’t drill punctuation, syntax, and spelling into your head for no reason; they wanted you to be a successful writer, so make them proud! Check your grammar and spelling at least three times. It can be helpful to have a colleague read over the piece too to check for grammatical problems. Be sure to do the same for them when asked.

Mindless content

Answer the questions of the reader. Think back to a press release of the past and answer the five questions of: who, what, when, where, and why. Your reader should know exactly what they read but also want to learn more by your direction to a website or person of interest.

Talking directly to the reader

Write in the third person. Use descriptive titles such as: the real estate agent, the welder, the singer, instead of you, or your agent. The audience may pick up the “you” pronouns as advertising, and that is not the case.

Infomercials

A press release is sharing information but should be written in a professional manner. Read your piece out loud and if it would fit in right after the commercial for “Magic Putty,” you may want to rewrite it. Press releases are promotional but not gimmicky.

This list may seem simple enough, yet it is violated on a regular basis.  Browsing the internet you will see pieces written with titles that are ALL CAPS or followed by unnecessary punctuation!!!!!! While these may be legitimate press releases, be wary while reading them and understand the source.

While learning what NOT to do, it is important to also know what TO do so your press release is successful. In the spirit of balance, here are five tips on positive ways to construct a PR:

Check your title

Does it draw in the reader? Does it make you want to read it? Or could you skim the title and live without reading the rest? You want a reader to be so attracted to the piece that they have to see what the rest of it says; even if they searched that term specifically, they should want to keep reading.

Make it reader friendly

Use small paragraphs so it can be skimmed. Headers, bullets, numbering, separation of large sections are ways to keep it simple and readable.

Stay relevant within the topic

Too many “bunny trails” within the content will cause the reader to turn away from the article with no real grasp on what they just read. It is common in a news release to try to convey too much information and writers often stuff the article full of keywords, information, links, dates, names, and other tidbits that are important but put the reader on overload.

Make sure your links work

Double check any links you may have used in the press release to ensure they work. There are few things more annoying than reading an interesting article and when you click to learn more, the link is broken. Your piece will instantly lose credibility. Your reader will want to double check the date it was written and even who wrote it to see if they are still an expert in the material.

Not Identifying yourself

Your reader should be able to see your credentials and understand why you are writing about this topic. Even if you are not considered an expert in the field, you should still be sure to alert the audience as to your ability to write and gather information on the topic. This is usually accomplished through writing a short bio to go with your name on the press release sites.

Strong writing is the cornerstone of all Internet content but there are some mistakes even the best writers make while constructing a PR. Consider reading other press release examples that have gone from a small publication to the big time presses. What did they have in their piece that you don’t? What is it about their piece that draws in the readers? Add those same elements to your press release and you will have a solid article to begin circulating. With some practice and editing, you can become a master at the press release.

timing is everything in PR

When to Release a Press Release for High Response

Timing matters in love, conversations, and in PR distribution strategies like deciding when to release a press release. What you want is to be at the top of the inbox the moment a news editor sits down to begin his search for the newsworthy. When asked when to release a press release, we always say there is no guarantee, but you can increase your chances by making sure your perfectly-written PR is not buried under loads of spam.

10 Factors To Consider When Strategizing The Best Times To Release a Press Release

Let’s start our discussion on when to release a press release with a couple of fast facts about editors (your first audience). The information below may seem obvious and silly, but they will impact your PR distribution strategy.

  1. Most people, including editors, are at sleep at 4 A.M.
  2. People don’t check their emails and read PRs while driving.
  3. Very few check their emails while they are eating.
  4. Sunday is a rest day.
  5. Other countries may be in different time zones.
  6. People hate working at the end of the business day, which is sometime between 6 P.M. to 8 P.M.
  7. People check their email first thing in the morning, but not before they’ve had their first cup coffee.
  8. Holidays are not business days.
  9. People love holidays, so they think about holidays the day before holidays.
  10. Most people are asleep by midnight. If they’re not, they’re doing something more fun than reading PRs and checking emails.

 

The best tips on when to release a press release are the painfully obvious ones, and the same is true when deciding when to release a press release. If you were an editor, on what day and at which time are you likely to be checking your email in search for an interesting new story?

In strategically planning when to release a press release, remember that editors usually begin the business day by checking emails, but if you send your PR too early, expect to be outranked by other emails within an hour.  Entrepreneur writes that 23.63% of all emails are opened one hour after they are sent, and the rate drops as the minutes pass. This tells us that very few editors make the effort to dig into the bottom of the pile.

You should be distributing your material within the hour that it is most visible to your target audience when strategizing when to release a press release. The same Entrepreneur article adds that 8 to 9 in the morning is when click-through rates are at the highest. This is an advice that GetResponse echoes so 8 A.M. to 9 A.M. is a pretty safe period when to release a press release.

Distributing a PR sometime before 9:30 A.M. is especially critical when you are writing a material that impacts stocks trading.  You have to be able to send it in before the Wall Street bell rings.

Is there an ideal day when to release a press release? Definitely. Editors will check their emails all throughout the business week, but you should try to avoid three things:
 

1)    Heavy communications traffic

2)    Holidays in other regions which you may not be aware of

3)    Days when editors and virtually all types of workers are eager to skip out

 

Mondays are busy days for everyone, not just editors, so prepare to be elbowed out by a ton of competition. Because of the influx of all types of communication on a Monday, working people have developed the habit of cleaning out their inbox on this day. If your PR title and email subject are not as strong as they should be, there is a greater chance of your work ending up in the virtual trash bin. So Monday’s not exactly the best day when to release a press release.

 

The problem with Fridays is that most people are thinking “Thank Goodness!” TGIF. In their eagerness to end an exhausting week, most editors are not keen on going through a long roster of PRs. In the case of paper publications, press releases picked out on a Friday are published in the weekend edition, so that’s not an ideal situation either.

 

Saturdays and Sundays are slow days for press release engagements. Unless you historically have a high success rate on weekends, don’t go for weekends in deciding when to release a press release.

 

Finally, you have to take note of all the holidays that might affect your PR distribution strategy. In deciding when to release a press release, you should avoid releasing PR the day before a holiday and the holiday itself. The key is to catch editors when they are in work mode, which means they want to seek out great and informative PRs to publish. On holidays and the day before one, people are thinking about rest and recreation, and quality time with their families. So even if you have a brilliantly written PR, your target is just not in the mood for it. Include international holidays in your Smartphone or computer calendar so you get instantly alerted as you decide when to release a press release.

 

Especially if you are targeting a global audience, you should be aware of time differences and special holidays. What time is it in London? What day is it in China? Deciding when to release a press release also involves studying business schedules in other regions not just your home city.

 

The consideration when to release a press release has become an integral part of PR distribution especially now that competition is tough and audiences are global. If you don’t develop a keen sense when to release a press release, your well-written PR may never get the attention it deserves.

 

Timing may not be everything in love, and conversations, but in PR distribution, strategy is everything in knowing when to release your press release.
 

The best pointer on when to release a press release is to religiously track your own success, and to study the rhythm of your own target audience. If you do that and keep the above tips in mind, you should be able to decide when to release a press release that records the highest response rates.

 

what all the PR buzz is about

A Friendly PR Reminder: The Buzz Says When to Release a Press Release

The format most (if not all) companies use when they release a press release can be simplified by their answering these questions: What’s the buzz? Where’s the buzz? Who’s in the buzz? When did the buzz happen? and How did it happen? A skillful combination of all or some of the answers to these questions makes up the entirety of your press release. Moreover, notice that all of these questions ask about one thing: buzz.

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how to write a press release for a movie

How to Write a Press Release for a Movie

Need to boost your press and learn how to write a press release for a movie?

You’re in the right place – and the right direction. A well-written press release for a movie will significantly ramp up its viewership by helping spark interest in its production or by generating media buzz about a particular aspect of the film such as a reclusive indie director, a controversial actress playing a cameo role, or an ingeniously crafted screenplay. But, you have to know how to write a press release for a movie.

Like everything else these days, a movie—however exquisitely produced or complemented by big-name stars—will make a terrible mistake if it solely relies on its internal merits to boost its bottom line. In fact, a few critically acclaimed films performed poorly in the box office, while movies with less artistic or technical credentials unexpectedly raked in millions of mind-blowing dollars in gross sales. In many cases, well-written press releases spell the difference between a movie that attracts high viewership and one that miserably misses its revenue targets.

Knowing the secrets of the trade in how to write a press release for a movie will boost your PR readability and power.

How to Write a Press Release for a Movie

Raindance, an international organization of filmmakers, has recognized the importance of marketing and public relations to a film’s success, clearly stating that a movie—even one that has bagged major cinematic awards—is worthless without a viewing audience.

This is from an organization that helps train directors such as Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins), Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) and David Yates (Harry Potter), as well as produce brilliant and strongly marketed films such as Pulp Fiction and The Blair Witch Project.

Raindance-Logo

Press Releases vs. Ad Copies

That said, what factors should you consider when how to write a press release for a movie? Press releases represent the main tool outside advertising, which movie publicists and marketers can use to generate viewer interest about a film. Unlike true-blue ads, press releases are deemed more objective and are far more affordable.

Strictly speaking, press releases are pseudo news articles that aim to showcase the newsworthiness of an event, service or product—a film in this case—to a decision maker in media such as a reporter or an editor. Failing to pique the interest of these decision makers will prevent the publication of the press release in credible and widely used channels such as established newspapers and online media portals.  Compare the impact of a press release published in The New York Times and the effect of one just wallowing among thousands being hosted by a PR aggregator, and you can see the importance of why press releases should be written and deployed by trained professionals. You can read a related post to get more insight on how to create effective press releases.

Six Key PR Writing Tips for Films

As has been established, the process of writing and distributing press releases is very important in the box office success of a newly produced movie. If you are tasked to create one, here are a few tips to help you achieve your PR objectives:

1. Recognize your role.
Trained press release writers for films are aware of the potential impact of their output on the overall profitability of the movie they are handling. Remember that press releases can backfire instead of propelling a movie’s gross receipts, and failing to get published on widely read channels is not the worst outcome a press release can generate. At their worst, badly written or deployed press releases can create negative publicity for a movie, which often results to a major dent in its box office revenues. Poorly crafted press releases can also damage the PR agency’s reputation and—knock on wood—ruin your credential as a press release writer.  The key is to take your role seriously and to deftly navigate the potholes that block the development of good, effective press releases.

2. Package the message.
A movie has a message. For PR purposes, the message could be one that is not intrinsic in the film but in the process of making it. However, the best message a movie can communicate is the movie itself. This means that writers tasked to craft a press release for a movie should have a panoramic view (pun intended) of the material whenever possible, including attendance at prescreening sessions whenever there is one. If there are limited prescreening sessions, make do with the information the filmmakers are willing to share and use your ingenuity to package the message. To do this, you can showcase the film’s major draw such as its director, cast, story, or special effects.

Remember to be especially creative, original and clever when deciding on the press release’s title. The first few sentences should also deliver your message in a way that readily catches viewer attention and entices readers to wait for the film’s theatrical release in eager anticipation. If you are new in the trade, it’s a great idea to snoop around the Internet for excellent press releases for films that you can use as models.

3. Follow the standard formats.
Press releases for films generally conform to a more or less standard template and it’s good practice to follow industry-accepted formats in knowing how to write a press release for a movie. Doing so not only reflects professionalism but also lends the press release with a sense of credibility. Commonly, a press release for a movie has the following major elements:

  • Company name and contact info of press release agency
  • Date of PR publication (this can either be for immediate release or for a specified date)
  • Press release title
  • Location and date of the press release (usually a major city followed by a dash, the date, and a final dash)
  • Press release body (should not only showcase the film’s major merits but answer the standard questions of Who, What, Where, When, Why and How in the journalism parlance)
  • Boilerplate (this is where information about related companies — the press release agency and the film outfit, for examples—are given)

4. Whet your audience’s appetite.
Movies are sensory treats. Leaving too much to the imagination by just submitting a text-based material to PR channels is rarely a good thing. Perk up your press release with production stills, video clips, or poster images to ignite anticipation among potential viewers.

5. Review the final output.
Employ a proofreader or editor to review the final iteration of your press release. This is a critical step for how to write a press release for a movie, prior to submission to PR and media channels and should never be bypassed.  Grammatical and factual errors greatly erode a press release’s credibility and its intended positive impact. At worst, errors can put your agency and your reputation as a writer in a bad light, which can cause your client portfolio to suddenly shrink. At the very least, you should review your own work thoroughly and become your greatest critic before submitting your press release.

6. Deploy your message.
Once you get a go signal from your editor (or if you already feel highly confident about your work), you can distribute the press release to the appropriate channels. Note the term “appropriate.” Similar to a game of chess, strategically deploying your pieces means a higher likelihood of winning. In the PR world, haphazard deployment often results to useless but cost-incurring efforts.

Next is distribution, which we’ll recap later. Be smart and use distribution that is high quality, relevant, and targeted. Distributing a press release for a movie to a food magazine will hardly gain traction for your campaign. However, things could be different if the film strongly uses food as a symbol or its main cinematic platform. Strongly targeting niche magazines, popular blogs and online portals that focus on food and the culinary arts can then be very powerful.

Need great press releases? Let our pro team of PR journalists help you today. Check out our PR services in the Content Shop!

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