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Press releases have been around for a long time. While we may be well past the days of sealing envelopes, licking stamps and trekking down to the post office to release our statement to the world, press releases are still relevant to any public relations strategy.
Let’s look at how press releases benefit businesses and brands and what the ingredients to a newsworthy press release are.
What Is a Press Release
A press release consists of newsworthy information traditionally distributed to journalists and the press. It has changed a lot over the last two decades due to the use of new technology. Nowadays, most PR professionals use online press releases to raise the profile of a company or brand using online channels. You can distribute your press release to millions of people around the world through email and social media.
What Is the Purpose of a Press Release
The main purpose of a press release is to get your news in front of as many people as possible. They are a way to proactively manage the news about your company or brand. Think of it as an opportunity to articulate what’s important to you, share your intentions behind a new service or product, explain your offerings’ unique value or respond to claims that others have made about you. Press releases are an excellent public relations tool that helps you build and maintain your brand image.
Digital press releases are a great way to get out your message to your audience almost in real-time!
What Makes an Effective Press Release
It’s important to remember that not all press releases are created equal. With the advent of technology, low-quality news releases have flooded the market. There are also simply not enough journalists compared to PR professionals. Employment data from the US Department of Labor, for example, shows that there were nearly 6 PR professionals for every journalist in 2018. To cut through the noise and attract media coverage, you will have to craft a winning PR pitch and a high-quality, newsworthy release.
Public relations is the art of storytelling. The key is to present your story with interesting soundbites. Adding new or interesting statistics and data is a great way to make your press releases more interesting. The most successful releases also contain multiple media types. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since 49% of journalists (PR Daily) will pay attention to a press release if it contains an infographic, and 13% will consider a release that contains a video.
Another secret to a great release is to make it relatable. You can use testimonies from community leaders to gain traction with local media professionals. Quotes from influential people or industry experts can also help capture the interest of journalists and your target audience alike.
It’s critical to remember that a press release needs to be more than just another company or brand announcement. It also shouldn’t read like a sales pitch. Your emphasis should be on what makes your announcement newsworthy.
Press Release Rules
A newsworthy press release requires considerable planning and effort. We aren’t saying this to dissuade you from adding news releases to your PR and marketing tools. We just want to help you create a well-written press release that will set you apart from the noise. Here are some rules you can follow to ensure your success:
Know Your Audience
You need to know who will read and engage with your release to tell an impactful story in your press release. Perhaps you assume your audience is mostly male and then, later on, learn that moms, wives and daughters are actively reading your content on behalf of their loved ones. To avoid this mistake and connect more deeply with your audience, conduct target audience research before crafting your news release.
Know How to Write and Edit
Press releases are PR tools. They are about telling your story. You will need a journalistic approach to write a successful one. You will also need to write a pitch for your release. Pitches can make or break a press release campaign. Did you know that 85% of publishers (Fractl) will delete a pitch based on spelling and grammar errors? If you have never written a news release or PR pitch, hire a public relations firm or professional to compose one that is newsworthy.
Standing out in the crowded field of press releases is a challenging task. Every successful release is targeted in its distribution strategy. Proper targeting can mean the difference between hundreds of reads and lots of traffic to your website or Amazon listing or the lack thereof.
You need to send your release through distribution channels that reach all or as many of your potential customers as possible. A good public relations firm will offer distribution services along with writing services that will help you reach a large, targeted audience of journalists, bloggers, influencers, media outlets, etc. Distribution can be targeted based on tagging, keywords, filters, industry, journalistic interests and more.
You can even track your release audience data to uncover new audience segments for your brand or company.
Track Press Release Performance
A great advantage of an online press release is that you can track its performance. You can do your distribution via an email marketing platform that tracks metrics such as open rates and link clicks. This way, you will know exactly where, when, and how the media is interacting with your release. This will help you improve your public relations strategy and craft better releases each time around.
What Can Press Releases Be Used For
Press releases have been around for more than 100 years (Colorado State University). But what makes them so effective? Let’s look at some reasons businesses and brands use them. We are focusing on digital releases as we break down the benefits for you.
1. Build Credibility
Other publications can pick up a press release. This builds credibility for your brand. When your potential customers see your press release in a reputable publication, it will increase their trust in your business.
2. Boost SEO
News releases don’t directly affect your SEO. However, they can attract editorial coverage, which can be great for SEO. This is because most coverage comes with inbound links back to your website.
3. Refine Messaging
It keeps everyone on the same page regarding your brand or company. All other content creators will draw upon a unified message set forth when you were drafting your press release. You remain in control of your story when you send out a press release.
4. Provide Accurate Information
It helps journalists find all the information you want them to know in one place. Many releases include links to further reading and supplementary media that helps journalists craft stories around your press release.
5. Create Easy Content
It can provide content for your marketing channels. Press releases nowadays are media-rich. You can repurpose the content for your email newsletters, landing pages, blog posts and social media posts. For example, you can use an infographic from a news release to create a blog post that dives deeper into the topic.
6. Go Viral
Online press releases have the chance to go viral if people start sharing them over a social media channel. This can create a buzz that was never possible with traditional releases. Before you know it, thousands of people will have viewed your release. You will have to make sure your release is well-crafted and carefully distributed but more on that later.
7. Staying Power
The digital world is amazing. Your news release can get saved, shared, stored and archived. It will serve as a digital record of your brand’s journey and build top-of-mind awareness for your audience.
8. Manage Your Reputation
Releases are sometimes used to alert the public to product recalls, safety concerns, security breaches and more. If done well, these consumer alert releases can help mitigate a public relations crisis.
If done right, news releases can pack a punch. If you need some help crafting and distributing your next press release, get in touch at http://pr.prreach.com/.