To get into the papers
Well, you don’t; but try telling that to the Women’s Institute, your local Rugby Team or just about any organisation who thinks there’s only one way to produce a charity calendar. To be fair, yes, taking your clothes off and positioning your petunias in the right place might still get you into the papers. It has been, shall we say, overdone, but often the editors of local papers are a pretty desperate breed. The alternative is to write a press release. Apart from baring all it’s one of the oldest tricks to getting media attention and getting your story covered by the local press or by industry publications. Whether it’s a community event or the launch of a new product, writing an effective press release will go a long way to get the message across to the audience you’re looking for.
What is a Press Release?
A press release is not just a scrap of paper posted through the door of your local newspaper, it’s a standard communication bulletin used to contact journalists and editors. Most newspapers, even relatively small ones, will get rather more leads than they can cope with on a daily basis and making your press release stand out is the best way to get their attention.
Standing Out From the Crowd, Without Taking Your Clothes Off
The first, most important, factor that makes for a good press release is the content. The basic rule is it needs to be interesting and newsworthy. The newsworthy part of this is the easiest bit to understand: press releases should be prepared in advance of the event you want publicised. Old news is no news as far as most publications are concerned so prepare press releases well in advance of launches or event.
The ‘interesting’ part of this factor is more complicated. This will depend on your target publication and its main focus, but there are certain principles that sell and newspapers know it. Here’s a checklist;
Human Interest; f it’s a charity your raising funds for then a story about the people/person you’re raising money for will go down a treat. If it’s a product the principles the same, why the product is going to help/improve people’s lives, with real life examples is the way to go.
Scandal’s always Interesting; yes, we’re back to the clothes thing again, aren’t we? If there’s an element of controversy that you can work into your story then go for it. Journalists eat this stuff instead of lunch.
The local touch; this particularly applies to local events, charity fundraisers and groups. If you can find a local celebrity and get them into the story, perfect, but always look for a local angle. This can work well combined with the human interest; for example the story of the family who’ve run the local grocery for seventeen generations and are now faced with the workhouse thanks to the proposed new supermarket.
Think carefully about the newspapers or publications you want to publicise yourself in. Understand who the readership is and aim to get your story in as many local papers as you can. In some areas there is more than one paper and there may also be a range of community publications published by local organisations and councils. The latter are pretty safe bets as they’re normally desperate for content. For specific products you’ll need to approach appropriate magazines and industry journals.
How to Get some Attention
Newspapers and journals will nearly always take unsolicited press releases, whatever they say. However, don’t just send yours in; check their website, find out the details of the appropriate editor and then ring them. Yes, I know we’re all connected directly to wireless devices, but an email doesn’t stand out in the mind of a busy editor, a delete button does. Simply ask them if they’re able to take unsolicited press releases; they’ll normally say yes, be secretly grateful that someone has bothered to ask, take your name and ask what it’s about. Don’t go into detail but summarise. This phone call will make you stand out from the masses in their overloaded brains, and they’ll actually read your email. Trust me, this one works.
While taking your clothes off can still work when you need to launch a new product or promote a local event it’s not the only way. Effective press release writing can work equally well. Creating an interesting piece that stands out, using human interest, controversy and approaching the right publications in the right way, will help to get your story into print.Read More
Press release writing is a way for businesses to achieve maximum success through online marketing. They can write a press release relating to the services they offer or new products they are putting on their shelves, this is normally written by professionals who follow the ABC’s of writing to ensure the copy is always superior.
How can you use the ABC’s in writing? This sounds ridiculous, but why not uses letters to form words? Why not choose letters to help you stay on track when writing a superior press release?
This is how it’s done:
A Is For Attractive
Attractive copy is always important. The use of subheading and bullet points make it easier for the reader to read through the press release and get the full idea of what is being portrayed.
B is For Basic
You need to always ensure the basic information is available to the reader. This information must be given in an easy to read and understand format that is informative and makes the reader want to find out more.
C Is For Creative
Everyone can write, but writing with a creative flair is an art form that only professional writers have a knack for. The words when doing press release writing need to be as creative as possible, while remaining informative to keep the potential customer reading and staying on the page.
D Is For Dominating
The whole aim of writing blogs, articles and press releases is to dominate the online market. You will probably have thousands of companies to compete against now that every business trades online, you need to ensure your company ranks near the top in search engines in order to maximise your website traffic and sales.
E Is For Edgy
No one wants to read a boring press release. The reason they read it is to find out more and when the copy is edgy it will keep them glued to the page for longer, exactly what you are looking for. If they like what they read they will click the link, visit your website and hopefully buy your product.
F Is For Frills and Fuss
There is one thing you don’t want when you do press release writing and that is frills and fuss. You want the copy to be informative, yet to the point. You don’t want it stuffed with words just to bulk it up; this is pointless and won’t help improve your website traffic.
G Is For Geared
The press release writing should be geared towards a specific target audience. The target audience is the people who will buy this product or service, this can usually be determined through statistics and analysis before writing the piece.
H Is For Helpful
Every press release should have some helpful information. This may be what the company offers, their services or how to contact them. There should always be a little bit of helpfulness included in the piece.
I and J Are For
Interesting and general. The information provided in the press release must be general information about the product, service and company while it must remain interesting for everyone to read. You cannot have copy which is not geared towards a specific subject or goal.
K and L Are For
Knowledge and Lessons are what K and L stand for. Every piece of writing you write especially when doing press release writing should be based on the knowledge you have gained through research and the lesson you have learned. If you can portray this to potential customers you have a winning piece.
M and N Are For
When you are doing press release writing you have so many factors to consider. You must never put information in that you do not have confirmed, this is what the N stands for. You must try and get your message across as simply as possible without getting too technical that the reader moves on because they do not understand what you are trying to say.
O, P and Q Are For
O is for organized, p is for penetrating and q is for quest. Now you are probably wondering why these three would be important in press release writing, well it’s simple really. An organized writer will have the ability to put words together to penetrate the market and achieve the quest they were set out to do.
R, S and T Are For
Keep your writing real, this will keep your reader glued for longer. Make the writing spectacular to read with loads of information and facts and ensure its tangible information that is written in such a way that they can see it, taste it and smell it.
U,V and W Are For
You need to understand the audience you are writing for. Younger readers will appreciate laid back writing while professionals will enjoy to the point writing. You must always bear in mind that will be viewing the press release and if you don’t it will be time completely wasted.
X, Y and Z Are For
See your press release writing as an X-ray machine, you are looking deep into the depths of words to create informative copy that will keep the reader on the page. You want to yell out your information and zap them with all they need to know to make an informed decision about the product.
As I said, you probably think I’m crazy using the ABC’s for press release writing, but by following these letters you can enjoy the fact that you will have spectacular copy that will inform the reader of the product or service and get them on the website and ordering.Read More
A well written press release can be a fantastic way to spread the word about your business, get exposure to media outlets and obtain quality links back to your website. However press release writing is harder than it looks and capturing the right message to generate the maximum interest can be a challenge.
If you are a freelance copywriter crafting a press release for a company, here are some tips which will help you create a piece of writing which stops potential readers in their tracks and grabs their attention right away:
Grab Their Eye with Your Headline
Most of the time when we are reading through a blog or news website we don’t tend to read the entire website one post after another. Instead, we scroll through the headlines until one jumps out at us and we will read that one first. If your headline doesn’t immediately catch the reader’s eye, they will likely skim over your press release and not even take the time to read it.
Your headline should be a little bit shocking or eye-brow-raising, while still reflecting the content of the press release. It should make the reader want to click on it and learn the rest of the story.
Hook ‘Em with Your Lead
The next part of the press release is the lead or the first paragraph. This is also one of the most important parts of the press release for catching the attention of your reader. If they start reading the press release and are bored or disinterested by the end of the first paragraph, what are the odds that they will want to carry on reading, especially when there are so many other more interesting things to read on the internet. In the first paragraph you should have told them exactly what the most amazing and impressive thing about the subject of your press release is and why they should care.
Reel Them In With Stories That Affect Them
Sure you could tell the reader all about the various details of your organization and what you do, but why should they care? People are usually only interested in what matters to them and their life. So as you are describing the news of your company, think about how you can make this information relevant to your readers. How does it affect their lives and make their day to day existence easier or more enjoyable?
Deal with the actual facts, such as events, services, products, targets, goals, plans and projects. However, be sure to give these facts a human spin and relate them back to the reader.
Motivate Them with a Call to Action
Now that you have caught the reader’s eye with an inviting headline and got them interested with an engaging lead-in and a story that is interesting to them, what do you want them to do? All of your hard work is for nothing if there is no clear call to action in your press release, so now that you have their attention you shouldn’t waste this opportunity. Do you want them to buy your eBook, sign up for a newsletter, call you for more information, sign up for a free trial, or attend an event? Tell the reader what action they should do and why they should do it.
These are just a few ways that you can make your press releases eye-catching and engaging. If you keep these tips in mind you will be able to write press releases which generate an exciting buzz about a product, service or company and draw in plenty of interested customers.Read More
The main goal behind PR is to get lots of good press and stay away from bad press. However, the saying is that there is no such thing as bad press. Not just that, PR itself seems to have gotten seriously bad press itself lately. People see them as nothing but paparazzi filling our brains with images of Britney Spears, telling us about rehab schedules and affairs that we don’t really want to know about anyway. In order to be good at PR, you need to know what the common misconceptions are and how you can get away from these.
A Press Release Doesn’t Work
Nonsense. They work really well, in fact they are the least time consuming and the most cost effective of all the types of PR. A well written, nice and basic, short press release that captures a really strong angle is all that you need to grab your readers’ attention. If you have the right talent, they are relatively easy to make and have the biggest possible impact. Having the right talent is very important, of course. Don’t get involved in this line of work if you don’t know when to use to and too, or if you mix up your there, their and they’re. You need to know how to be engaging, how to write something that someone else will not only read, but that will move them to action.
Everything That You Hear in the Media Is True
Oh dear… If you believe everything you see or hear in the media, you live a very sheltered life. Some people think that everything in the press has to be verified and checked for accuracy. That is a complete lie to begin with, there simply isn’t the time. Not just that, however. Even if a story is a blatant lie, but it sells, then people will get to hear the story. At best, press releases get checked for grammatical correctness and punctuation, but it is very rare that the accuracy of the story is checked. So does this mean everything you read is a lie? Probably not. However, freedom of press means anything can be written down, so long as it’s not slander. You also need to consider why somebody is writing something. Think, for a minute, about the news. All you need to do is switch on the news and look at a story about the latest deaths in Syria. What do you think is being shown on Syrian television? Think as well about why you are being told about Syria. Are you being called to action? Does the government want you to support something, such as a military action in Syria? Anything that is released in the press is done because we are expected to react to it in a certain way, it is not because we are simply owed the truth.
It’s all about Luck and Timing
Too many people still think that being able to achieve publicity is all down to luck and timing. This isn’t true, it is about being seriously good at what you do. It is only those who have tried and failed at being good at writing who say that it is down to luck. They are too insecure to admit to their own failures and blame it on others instead. You need to know how to reach your target market, your prospect and your media contact and you need to know how to do this on time.
A press release writing is a combination of extreme talent and knowing what is important and what is not. Don’t be fooled into believing that press releases are there to tell us the truth and remember that there is no such thing as bad publicity.Read More
One of the best ways of expanding your audience is by becoming headline news. You can become famous and find a great following just by making the news. You don’t have to be loved or adored, you can be controversial, and you can make people think. If you use the news you can make anything happen. The chances are if you are in business you will want to use the news to bring a positive light on your company; read on to find some great tips on how to make it to the headlines and start reaping the benefits of being in the big time.
When Will I Be Famous?
The simple press release can be used to help your company thrive. This is used in SEO as a way of building backlinks to your website. Raising awareness in the masses has other benefits besides search engine optimisation. You can transform your company image, improve your reputation, rebrand your business, raise awareness and improve your network. So how do you go about writing a great press release?
- Research – If you know where you want to publish your press releases find out how to get yours accepted. Read other content and discover the tone and voice which seems to be used the most. Some sites accept posts with two links, some like the links within the content while others want them at the end in a bio box. Tailor each release to each website to improve your chances of getting the work published.
- Ask questions – You need to make sure your story is actually news worthy or is it more suitable to a blog post. Opening brand new Headquarters is news, holding a Christmas party isn’t. Think how you can make the news, what’s new? What stories are in the headlines that you can relate your business to? Finally think ‘why do people care about this? If you can’t think of an answer come up with a different topic or a new angle.
- Work on the headline – Make it short and to the point. You want to make sure it can fit into a Tweet on Twitter to help your story grow viral.
- Use plain language – Press releases are aimed at the masses therefore you should avoid using any jargon or in-house terms. Keep things simple so everyone can read your news and understand it. You should be able to say everything you need in 500 words or less.
- Use bullet points to summarise your main points – This is great for online press releases as people like to have the news instantly.
- Avoid writing pages of content. News needs to be short and sweet. Make sure someone can read it quickly while they eat a quick snack at their desk. Deliver the information and leave it at that. If you need to say more add a link to further reading. Not everyone wants to know all the ins and outs.
- If appropriate add contact details of someone who is going to be available to speak once your press release writing has been published. If anyone wants to contact the company to find out more it is important they can do so. If the contact details are not your own make sure the person is up to date on the press release and that they are prepared to answer any enquiries that come in with the right responses.
- Edit and check for mistakes – After you have completed your news worthy story go away and have a cup of tea or walk the dog. Come back with fresh eyes and take out anything that doesn’t need to be there. Check for grammar and spelling mistakes and try and cut out any words which aren’t necessary. Think ‘short and to the point’ while going through the editing process