Writing Press Releases With Clout

September 13th 2011       Sally Ormond       how to write press releases, Press releases

boxing gloves

Press releases are a valuable marketing tool for any business. So how come so few businesses use them?

They are fairly easy to write, you can even publish them online so avoiding the impenetrable newspaper editor. Yet many companies turn their backs on them in favour of other forms of marketing.

Whether you write them in-house, or you bring in a professional copywriter, creating an eye-catching, informative press release will get your company noticed.

Writing powerful press releases

Unlike other marketing forms, press releases have several elements that must be present if they are to be successful.

1. Temptation

If you want someone to read your press release, you’ll need a hook to tempt them to read on.

Before you start, think about why you are writing and who you want to read it. As with any marketing, tying it into your readership will boost your chances of it being read.

If it is for a local market, try to tie it in with local events. Arouse their curiosity so they’ll want to know more.

2. Headline

As with everything, your headline will be the deciding factor in whether your press release is read or not. If you just head it up ‘News from [Company name]’, no one is going to be interested. But if you design your headline around a concept that is a bit more creative and piques curiosity, you’ll give it the edge.

3. Forget jargon

Jargon is for chatting with your colleagues, not your marketing materials.

If you fill your press release with jargon it will instantly turn off your reader because you are limiting your readership. Granted, someone in the same industry as you will understand what you’re saying, but potential customers may not.

Keep your language simple. And if you have to use technical language always provide an explanation so your meaning is clear.

4. Link out

If there are any outside sources (such as video, articles or images) that will help add clout to your press release, link out to them.

If you’re publishing online it will add value to your reader. If you send your press release to a magazine editor, it will help  them put a story together as you would have effectively done their research for them.

5. Proofing

The last thing you want to do is send out a press release full of errors. Make sure you get someone to read it for you to check for any typos or grammatical slip-ups.

A sloppily put together press release will reflect badly on your company.

6. Sharing and distribution

If you want people to read your news, you have to make it accessible by:

  • Sending it to local publications and newspapers
  • Distribute it to online outlets
  • Email it to your mailing list and other interested parties
  • Promote it through social media
  • Turn it into a blog post

The key to writing a good press release is to make sure it is something newsworthy. Then make sure you push it out to as many outlets as necessary.

And don’t forget the SEO aspect for online publications. Get your primary keywords into the beginning of your headline and the first paragraph of your text.

Next time something newsworthy happens, make sure you issue a press release – what have you got to lose?

Tags: how to write press releases, Press releases
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