Contrary to what the naysayers believe, press release distribution is still an effective way to get your name out there, build links back to your website, and increase your search engine presence. But of course, there’s a right way and a wrong way to write press releases. Most of them are written the wrong way. Just check out any news wire online and you’ll see what I mean.
The good news is writing better press releases is actually pretty easy. I’ve broken it down into 7 simple rules. Follow these and you’ll be golden.
- Write a clear, compelling headline that hooks readers—Reporters and customers alike will decide whether or not to read your press release based on its headline. The headline needs to clearly explain what the story is about in a way that sparks the reader’s interest.
- Get to the point—Your first paragraph should immediately answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions. Start with this overview of the story, and then delve into the tiny details as you build out the rest of the press release. Don’t bury the lead!
- Make sure all links are relevant—Yes, press release distribution is good for building links back to your website. However, that shouldn’t be your sole purpose for writing them, and you shouldn’t cram the press releases with links just for the sake of doing so. Links should, of course, be keyword-rich, but they should also be relevant and add to the story.
- Break free from the traditional press release template—9 out of every 10 press releases begins with the same old “XYZ Company, a leader in (insert industry), is proud to announce (insert news). This is then followed by a bunch of superlatives and buzzwords as well as a few lifeless quotes from executives. Zzzzzzzzzzzz… Feel free to mix things up by injecting life into your story.
- Ditch the buzzwords—Speaking of buzzwords and industry jargon, they have no place in your press releases. Write in a way that a regular person (reporter or customer) can understand it.
- Make your quotes count—Too many times, the quotes in press releases are just there. They add nothing to the story, and they’re used to repeat what’s already been said or to inject some bias (superlatives usually follow). Don’t you think you should get more from your quotes? Dig deeper to find quotes that add to the story and bring the news into context.
- Always include contact info—Every press release should have contact info for your company’s PR contact. This should include company name, web address, PR contact name, phone number, email, and address.
Are there any other rules people need to follow when writing press releases? Let us know by leaving a comment!