9 do’s and don’ts for writing a press release
In the world today, getting a press release out there is more important than ever. It used to be that you could just write a press release, pay a fee, it was distributed, and you got some decent press from it. These days, the internet has changed all of that. It’s easier than ever to do a press release, but that also makes it harder to get noticed, as there are a zillion people throwing press releases out there that have no real purpose. It takes a lot more effort these days to get noticed and actually get something out there that works. Trust us, the press is overwhelmed by useless press releases these days so if it is something worthwhile they will jump on it. Here are a few do’s and don’ts.
Do use a real service
There are a ton of sites online where you can submit press releases and most of them are junk. They will post it on a few sites and that’s all you get. Many of these services don’t even have a human look at it as it’s all automated. That is not what you want, you want it in front of eyes that will be interested and get it on A ranked sites or A rated magazines that will make a difference. Pay for a real press release service.
Do make it something newsworthy
Don’t just write press releases because you think you should. It will only hurt you in the long run. You need it to be interesting and newsworthy. If you are bored reading it, others won’t even get past the first line. Imagine reading a news story where a company just got a new copy machine. You would wonder what the hell has happened to the news. Take that into account for your own press releases. Make it something that people want to read.
Do contact the press writers before sending
Even if you use a fully respected press release service, it is a good idea to contact the news writers in your industry before you send it. The more personal touch you can do the better. They are always looking for good content, so just make sure that that is what you have and they will be more than happy to look at it. Often your press release can get lost among the other hundreds of releases that they get unsolicited, so a little heads up never hurts.
Do use quotes
Feel free to quote sources in your release, as it will also help the writer when they publish it. The more personal and interesting you can make it, the better a chance it will be promoted. Just getting it in their email isn’t enough, you need them to want to publish it.
Do write it well
Make sure there are no grammatical errors, and everything is spelled right. Make it interesting. Hire a professional writer and editor if you have the budget for it, but it has to be good. The title and the content have to grab the reader and have them want to find out more information. This press release is not a dry, cold, statement of fact, it is an article that you want someone to read and get interested in your company.
Don’t make it overly complex
Keep it simple and about 600-700 words. Give them links or phone numbers for finding out more information. If you have written it well, they will want to find out more and come to you. A press release is a taster, it tells what is happening, but does not get into dry details. Unless you are publishing it in a science journal, keep it simple.
Do provide contact information
The goal of them wanting to find out more only works if there is a way for them to actually do that. Make sure there are alternate ways for contacting you or the appropriate people. Make sure that those people know their contact information is in the press release and that the information is accurate. The press writer might call you themselves if the release is interesting enough and they might do a feature, you never know.
Do summarize, and don’t make it too long.
Just like making it simple, write a summary. This way the press writer can read it and decide if he wants to read the rest, and he will thank you for saving him time. The easier for them, the better. Obviously, you have to make the summery interesting as well.
Don’t keep submitting the same press release or one that’s similar over and over. Don’t submit multiple releases on the same day even if they are for different things in your company. You don’t want to get a name as a press spammer, as then they will just delete you in the future without reading it no matter how good you think it is.
Remember what a press release is, and how they are used. It will take you a long way. Talk to the reporters, make sure it is interesting and can be printed as it is and still be good. Make sure you have the correct contact information in case they want to write something in a follow up. It’s the same rules as always, get it in front of the right eyes, make it good, and good things will follow.