The Public Relations (PR) world is massive and many companies have long used PR firms to help them manage publicity aspects of their businesses. Yet what about smaller businesses who may not have the need for full-blown PR services – like my websites, for example?
Many smaller businesses like mine handle a lot of things ourselves. This can be a major stumbling block where press releases are concerned, often due to a lack of experience in the field.
Thankfully, resources exist that can help us out.
What is a Press Release
Traditionally, press releases were official communications from companies to media outlets. The latter would then take those press releases and consider them for rewriting and publication as news. Yet due to the evolving landscape of the media industry, press releases have changed a little over the years.
How to Write a Press Release
When writing a press release, your biggest challenge is to identify the right angle to come from, in order to grab the attention of your readers. For press releases, your readers will be journalists who have to sift through dozens each day.
You need to stand out with something extra special and uniquely interesting.
Finding the right angle to catch a journalists’ attention can be challenging since various publications have their own priorities.
Try making sure your press release meets some of the following criteria:
- Resolves an issue especially something that impacts most
- Shows good progress in achieving something beneficial to the community
- Achieves a significant goal
- Gives new insight into something relevant with new findings
- Discuss something a mass audience cares and would want to know
- Address something in a timely manner or is trending
- Presents something new and refreshing
Once you find the perfect angle for your story, do keep your press release tight and focused. Your reader’s attention may be limited, so you need to get your message across as quickly and clearly as possible. Inform the readers why your story is relevant and why.
Simply put, finding the right angle for your story from the start is important as it lays the foundation for your press release success.
Let us help! Rather than a “spray and pray” methodology, WebRevenue offers professional PR services and targets high end distribution points more strategically, resulting in a better value. Talk to us today and get tailored PR strategy for your business.
What is the Purpose of a Press Release?
The main purpose of a press release is to communicate something through an official channel. It comes direct from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. In some cases, they promote something significant or specific.
In others, they can also be used to help build credibility and trust with your stakeholders. Ultimately, the purpose of a press release is to create the necessary context for members of the media to expound upon – and hopefully, tell the story you want.
Your objective is to create that ‘wow’ factor in the audience, journalists, and stakeholders while remaining professional, truthful, and factual. Although there are many types of press releases for various purposes with their respective requirements, they all have one thing in common:
- To intrigue and pique the interests of all audiences.
- Objectively showcase the newsworthy angle.
- Provide journalists a plethora of resources to develop their respective angles, hoping they will spread the word.
- To promote your business’ appearance/image
Press releases have shifted from the physical to digital and today are spread via so many different channels. Whatever the medium, as long as a press release achieves its objective, this is what matters – or doesn’t it?
Should You Go with DIY Press Release?
Pros with DIY Press Release
Online press release submission sites are typically services that can quickly deliver your press release to tons of individuals and organizations, giving you a reach far beyond what you can imagine. You gain immediate access to their vast and established database of contacts and channels, upon which they’ll continuously update.
Your task becomes much easier as all you need to do is drop your press releases into the streams they’ve created, and they’ll handle the rest. Some even provide you with an all-in-one service that includes everything from writing and editing to submission.
Some sites provide you with added value services such as preparing your announcements to meet the guidelines of various platforms and mediums. This feature is handy in ensuring proper deliverability so that your press releases land in Inboxes rather than in Spam folders.
Additionally, some provide you with analytical tools that will report on various distribution statistics. It’s a helpful ROI yardstick for letting you know how much bang for the buck you got.
There’s also a mild SEO benefit if done right. SEO is far-reaching, and one element search engines pick up on is “chatter” – how many people are talking about what you released. By amplifying the volume of chatter via press releases, you can get small SEO boosts.
Cons with DIY Press Release
As with many services, DIY press release sites are available in free and paid variants. It is normal to try and minimize cost, but free isn’t always the best option.
Almost everything good has associated downsides. In general, press releases published via this method appear on multiple websites. As such, Google sometimes penalizes companies for having the same content on more than two websites. This duplication of content can result in slight Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) penalties.
Another factor to consider is the cost involved – it may not be a viable expenditure if not done correctly. Using press releases to gain the proper traction is a skill that is easy to get wrong, resulting in poor ROI.
Although press release distribution sites ensure the broadest reach, chances are, it can still fall on deaf ears. There’s no guarantee that a relevant news outlet will publish your piece. Even if they do, the press release may show up on a media outlet’s website for a short period before it disappears.
When you deal directly with a journalist, the chances for better coverage are higher, but these relationships can be tough to nurture.