How to Write Incredibly Awesome Press Releases
 

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If you know you need to be issuing press releases, but aren’t sure exactly how to do it, this class will provide the pragmatic steps you’re looking for. From researching a topic, to choosing words ...

If you know you need to be issuing press releases, but aren’t sure exactly how to do it, this class will provide the pragmatic steps you’re looking for. From researching a topic, to choosing words to describe your news, to sentence structure and paragraph length, these slides will cover it all in a fun and non-intimidating way. No longer fear the blank white page and have confidence when distributing your press release.
Who Should Read This: Anyone who wants media coverage. Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners, MidMarket Executives, Executive Assistants, Public Relations Professionals, Marketing Professionals, Social Media Professionals, and Interns.

About the Presenter: Rebecca Bredholt is a Manager of Vocus Marketing Consultants, the parent company to PRWeb. Rebecca helps her clients to grow their marketing, public relations and social media efforts by designing campaigns and creating deliverables. Rebecca focuses on assisting clients make a successful transition from traditional marketing to digital marketing. As her client’s consultant, she works one-on-one with companies and communication professionals to guide them through every step of their online marketing, from strategy to set-up to execution. Please note that PRWeb was acquired in 2006, as Vocus’ online news release service. PRWeb is the leader in online news distribution and publicity. http://service.prweb.com/about/

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How to Write Incredibly Awesome Press Releases Presentation Transcript

  • 1. How To Write (incredibly awesome) Press Releases Rebecca Bredholt Marketing Consultant Manager
  • 2. Agenda 8:30-8:45am Introduction to News 8:45-9:00am Headline Worksheet 9:00-9:30am Introduction to Press Releases 9:30-9:45am PR Worksheet 9:45-10:00am Q & A Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 3. What is News? “If you really want to get the attention of a serious journalist working at a serious publication , talk realistically about impact. My editor always asks, ‘So what, who cares?’ Tell people in that industry why they should care.” — Andy Ashby, Memphis Business Journal Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 4. What is News? • Hard News • Soft News • Timely News • Evergreen News Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 5. Hard News Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 6. Hard News Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 7. Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 8. Soft News Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 9. Timely News Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 10. Evergreen News Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 11. Headline Worksheet Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 12. Introduction to Press Releases • Newswires are meant to distribute hard news. • Press releases are not long advertisements. • Some content is better off as a blog. • Your news competes with everything online. • Most businesses have news & don’t realize it. • Typos and spelling errors last forever online. • PRWeb Editorial Guidelines are definitive. Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 13. Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 14. Steps to Writing Press Releases 1. Have News 2. Do Your Homework 3. Write the Body Copy First 4. Write the Summary Next 5. Write the Headline Last 6. Edit/Proofread 7. Publish! 8. Begin the “real work” Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 15. Headline • Short (no more than 80 characters with spaces) • Provides information; not a marketing pitch or advertisement • Clarifies timely news • In Title Case • Gets a reader’s attention quickly • Makes the reader want to learn more • Third person objective voice • Company name and/or keyword prominent • Place specified, not just “local” • *SEO Tip: Google may not index the release if the headline is longer than 22 words Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb Necessary Components of a PRWeb Press Release
  • 16. Necessary Components of a PRWeb Press Release Summary • One to two sentences long • Contains the essence of the release, useful for skimming the copy • Use to your advantage – make it enticing enough to compel readers to read on (the summary and headline are visible in search engines) • Keyword, or alternative, should appear • *SEO Tip: For complete Google indexing, 152 characters Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 17. Body • Neat, tidy, error-free and not too long • Divided into paragraphs of roughly 3-5 lines • Often contains a quote after the first or second paragraph • 300 – 800 words long, or roughly one single-spaced page in a standard word processor • Keeps to a single news event, offering supporting information in reverse importance from the top down • *SEO Tip: Be careful to avoid the appearance of keyword stuffing; more important to have well written, compelling content Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb Necessary Components of a PRWeb Press Release
  • 18. Everybody hates writing the first sentence • Fact: “Rare personalized paintings from Jon Doe will be auctioned off at the South County weekend fair.” • Fact: “This is the only opportunity to purchase one of these paintings before the National Museum hosts them indefinitely.” • Fact: “The paintings are valued at more than $100,000 and the bidding will start at $100.” • Fact: “The fair will take place at the downtown convention center and parking is free.” • Fact: “The fair starts Friday at 9 p.m. and runs through Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in cash at the gate.” Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb Necessary Components of a PRWeb Press Release
  • 19. Boilerplate • “About the Company” • Keyword prominent • By definition, “A unit of writing that can be used over and over without change.” • Establishes special credentials, awards, appearances, etc. • Followed by a safe harbor statement, if it is a financial release • *SEO tip: Good for SEO to have keyword included here. Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb Necessary Components of a PRWeb Press Release
  • 20. Search Engine Optimization • Optimizing a press release means making sure your content contains the same words/phrases that your target audience is going to use when searching for said content. • The best way to be optimized, is to be relevant and write naturally. • Bad tactics include cramming words/phrases in an unnatural way into headlines and sentences. Please read this article: http://www.bloggingprweb.com/building-the-press-of-the-future Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 21. Choosing your Release Options • Date and time • Regional focus • Industry focus • Media Lists • Financial information Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 22. Expert Tips • Newsjack • Publish early in the morning • Pitch journalists offering an exclusive quote to go with online release • Tweet your own horn using a popular/relevant hashtag • Offer statistical context Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 23. PR Worksheet Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 24. Questions? How To Write (incredibly awesome) Press Releases Rebecca Bredholt Marketing Consultant Manager
  • 25. Resources Synonyms http://thesaurus.com/ National Events/Holidays http://www.holidayinsights.com/everyday.htm Grammar Guides http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/style-and-usage/affect-effect- grammar.html PRWeb Editorial Guidelines http://service.prweb.com/learning/article/editorial-guidelines/ Help a Reporter Out www.helpareporterout.com Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 26. Questions to help you find your news Has anything happened in national news, local news, or industry news in the last 60 days that you could offer an opinion on, insight into or context around? Have you noticed one area of your business growing/shrinking more than another? Is there anything happening in the current political or economic environment that might be contributing to this? Are there more competitors or fewer competitors in your industry today than a year ago? Why/why not? How have your customers’ needs changed in the last year? Why? How has your product or service evolved to meet that changing need? Are there any local or national political/government changes taking place that could affect your business? If so, how to do you plan to respond or adapt? What advice would you give others in your same situation? Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 27. Questions to help you find your news Have you or your business made any charitable contributions lately? Or anyone on your staff? Have there been any weather events making headlines that your product, service or expertise could speak to? What are the top 5 or 10 mistakes that are common in your industry? How can one avoid or fix these errors? If you’ve implemented a social media campaign as a small business, what lessons did you learn? Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 28. Questions to help you find your news If you have content on your website, which sections are the most popular? Have those sections increased or decreased in visits over the last month or quarter? Why do you think that is? Has a national or local event happened that may have affected that page’s popularity during that time? Ex: National Spa Week causes increased website traffic to Spa Directory website. If you’re an entrepreneur, what 5 pieces of advice would you offer other entrepreneurs in your local area? In your industry? For your gender? For your marital status? For your age in life? What tips can you offer people looking for your product or service? What qualifications in a service provider should they look for? What product guarantees should be standard? Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb
  • 29. Questions to help you find your news Tweet with us: @Vocus #PRWeb Has anything happened in national news, local news, or industry news in the last 60 days that you could offer an opinion on, insight into or context around? Have you noticed one area of your business growing/shrinking more than another? Is there anything happening in the current political or economic environment that might be contributing to this? Are there more competitors or fewer competitors in your industry today than a year ago? Why/why not? How have your customers’ needs changed in the last year? Why? How has your product or service evolved to meet that changing need? Are there any local or national political/government changes taking place that could affect your business? If so, how to do you plan to respond or adapt? What advice would you give others in your same situation? Have you or your business made any charitable contributions lately? Or anyone on your staff? Have there been any weather events making headlines that your product, service or expertise could speak to? • What are the top 5 or 10 mistakes that are common in your industry? How can one avoid or fix these errors? • If you have content on your website, which sections are the most popular? Have those sections increased or decreased in visits over the last month or quarter? Why do you think that is? Has a national or local event happened that may have affected that page’s popularity during that time? Ex: National Spa Week causes increased website traffic to Spa Directory website. • If you’ve implemented a social media campaign as a small business, what lessons did you learn? • If you’re an entrepreneur, what 5 pieces of advice would you offer other entrepreneurs in your local area? In your industry? For your gender? For your marital status? For your age in life? • What tips can you offer people looking for your product or service? What qualifications in a service provider should they look for? What product guarantees should be standard?
  • 30. Thank You How To Write (incredibly awesome) Press Releases Rebecca Bredholt Marketing Consultant Manager