While press releases may no longer be the best tool for increasing your search engine rankings, they still play an important role in a successful PR and marketing strategy. With a smart press release distribution plan, you can get your story noticed by reporters and position yourself to get free media coverage in newspapers, blogs, and on radio and TV.
Of course, the problem is that most press releases suck. Seriously. Have you ever read the crap that companies put out in their press releases? It’s garbage. It’s either boring, not newsworthy, self-promotional, irrelevant to anyone’s interests, or all of the above.
How can you write press releases that get noticed?
- Find a creative news angle—Instead of writing the same old “XYZ Company Announces blab la bla” press release, try to find a compelling hook for your story that grabs the attention of reporters. You have to think like a reporter. What story would their audience find interesting? Rather than focusing on promoting yourself, shift your focus to finding a story angle that the general public would find interesting, such as a real story about a real person (e.g. an employee overcoming great odds).
- Create a clear, compelling headline—Here’s a secret: most reporters look at the headline of the press release first to determine if they’re going to spend time reading the rest of the story. If your headline is boring, generic, or unclear, they’re not going to waste their time; your press release will end up in the trash. Think about the headlines in news stories and magazine covers that grab your attention, and try to use that as inspiration for creating your own compelling headline.
- Keep it short—Reporters are busy, and they don’t have the time to read a long, boring press release that’s filled with tons of details. The goal of your press release is to get the reporter interested in learning more about the story. You don’t have to provide them with everything in the press release. Just tease them with enough information that they have to contact you to learn more.
- Use a different format for your press release—Rather than relying on the old, boring press release format, try mixing it up. You could present your story in infographic form, or you could embed video in your press release. These are just a couple of things you can do to make your story pop and stand out.
What are some of your best tips for writing better press releases? Share them by commenting below.