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What is a Press Release?A press release or news release is a public relations tool that is usedto make suggestions to journalists, editors, bloggers or other thought-leaders. The goal is to get others to publish, broadcast, post, or shareinformation you want others to know about. In the digital age, pressreleases are also used as fresh content for your website and forupdates on your social media platforms.
What Press Releases DoPress releases are the most cost-effective way of buildingawareness about your business and what you do. Press releaseshave more credibility than paid advertising because they areregarded as news and are often delivered by means of a thirdparty, i.e., a newspaper– creating the impression of anendorsement.If you write them and distribute them yourself (using free distributionsites) they are free.
Return On Marketing InvestmentSuccess MeasuresData from Google Analytics – make sure you have this installed beforerunning your press release campaign in order to measure direct referraltrafficNumber of people completing Contact Us form or an RFPGoogle Alerts – create a Google Alert using the title of your press release tosee where it ranSocial Media activity – Invitations/Likes on Facebook, Invitations/Views onLinked In, Twitter, Houzz and Pinterest followers, etc.Data from email marketing serviceCase Study from Business Wire on Rutgers Center for Management Developmentdemonstrated that an investment of $23,230 for press releases during a 3-month periodresulted in $55,600 in revenue.
When to Issue a Press ReleaseTo share important news about your business Examples: adding new services, hiring key employees, moving/expanding, offering new products, winning an award, launching a new website, etc.To announce upcoming brick-and-mortar or other event (so thatpeople show up, write about it, blog about it, or to get mediacoverage). Examples: An open house, a ribbon-cutting, an awards- ceremony, a grand opening, a speech or presentation, an exhibition, a webinar, etc. (distribute 30-60 days or more before the event)To help manage negative publicity or a crisis Examples: To clarify information, dispel rumors, explain an unpopular action or unfortunate occurrence, correct misinformation, to reassure partners/clients, etc.To promote your company’s products, services, brand identityand position (not related to a single event, more from a generalawareness perspective).
How to Create a Press ReleaseA press release is presented as a pseudo-news story written in thethird person following a particular style that is familiar to all journalists.
Journalistic StyleA good press release places the newsworthy angle at the very top(much as the lead paragraph of a well-written news story does), and isfree of hyperbole and overt promotionalism.Subsequent paragraphs in the press release provide the supportingmaterial; the 5 W’s and an H; spokesperson quotations; other facts andbackground information; in a top-to-bottom hierarchy of importancereferred to as the inverted pyramid style.
Examples of Press Release TypesThe Business Activity Release• Not about selling• Positive, create excitement• Fresh, newsworthy activity• Share on social mediaplatforms
The Event Release• Used to promote an actualevent whether in person or virtual• Date/time/place specific• Share on social mediaplatforms• Allow for lead time
The Crisis News Release• Can be used before or after anevent• Urgency• Share on social mediaplatforms
The Backgrounder Release• Used to initiate awarenessabout a company/organization• Non-date specific• Often used as part of a mediakit• Longer form than other pressreleases• No boilerplate needed at theend
Examples of Keywords, Deep Links, Company Boilerplate
Constructing the Press Release• Keep it 1 to 2 pages in length• Keep it in Word doc format; not a pdf or image doc• Include “boilerplate” information about your company at thetail-end, as well as info about other key persons andorganizations germane to your story• Always include phone numbers and email addresses where aspokesperson can be reached on evenings and weekends• Always embed backlinks to your website, Linked In, Pinterest,Houzz, Facebook and Twitter profiles• Include quotations and statistics• Make relevant images easily viewable and available fordownload• Keep headline to 60 characters or less• Use bold and italic text for keywords in the body of the release
Distributing the Press ReleaseIn the digital age, WE ARE ALL PUBLISHERSPost your press release on your website, your Facebook page, yourTwitter Account, Your Linked In profile, etc. The fresh CONTENT alongwith BACKLINKS enhances your authority with SEARCH ENGINES. Italso sends REFERRAL TRAFFIC directly to your website, and is a also ameans of ENGAGING with your existing customers and allies.
Distributing Press Releases (cont.)Utilizing Email Marketing PlatformsEmail marketing platforms such as Constant Contact allow you to sendyour press release to all your contacts, embed images into the body ofthe email, and track results. There is also seamless sharing on yoursocial media platforms.
Distributing Press Releases (cont.)Paid Services and Free Serviceswww.prweb.comwww.massmediadistribution.comwww.prnewswire.comwww.pressreleasecircle.comwww.businesswire.comwww.pr.comwww.24-7pressrelease.comwww.free-press-release.comus.cision.comAnyone can register to distribute their own press releases.Fee-based services provide more refined targeting, allownumerous images, backlinks, and are sent via RSS feeds.Free services offer some of those features on an a la carte basis.Do not send during holiday weeks or Fridays
Utilizing the Services of a PR ProfessionalPublic Relations professionals have proprietary media lists notavailable to the laypersonPress releases go directly to the publisher, editor or writer, not into abig bucketThe press release will be well-written – the WOW!, print-ready andoptimizedwritely yours. marketing + public relations Denice Shuty firstname.lastname@example.org 630-338-6535