It won’t help your cause if you write a press release just because you want to submit one. Ask yourself if you have something interesting to share with your readers. Is the release newsworthy and attention-grabbing? Once you have these aspects covered, the other important thing is to create a compelling and reader-friendly news release. Once you get the basics right, all the other things fall into place pretty much by itself. A press release is not an advertisement for your company. It is a powerful tool that shares news about various developments and happenings in your company and your industry with your readers.
There are seven steps that a professional press release writer must follow for making it effective and achieve the purpose of the news release.
1. Is Your Story News?
The first and most obvious step is to have a newsworthy story to share with your audience. This has to be your prime consideration. Don’t come up with anything that the industry and the readers already know. You will run the risk of being labeled a spammer.
2. Know Your Audience’s Interest
You must know that those who read your press release first are experienced journalists and editors. They want facts presented as they are. It is recommended that you come straight to the point in the first paragraph itself to avoid losing the interest of your readers.
3. Grab Attention with a Powerful Headline
The headline is the most important part of a press release because it’s what people will read first. Headlines show up first on social media sites too. If they are not attention grabbing, you will lose your audience. Make sure your headline is short, crisp and includes the most important keyword. Research shows that headlines with numerals attract more interest than one without numbers.
4. Search Engine Optimization
Choose the most important keywords in the lead of your press release and optimize the early paragraphs to make the release more effective. You must link your keywords to relevant pages of your website. Experts recommend adding of high quality images, videos and other best SEO practices so that they are found quickly by major search engines. Other aspects that you must not forget to add are subheadings, bulleted lists, and bold lines to give your SEO efforts a substantive push.
5. Include Quotes
It helps when you include quotes from the top management professionals of the company in your press release. It conveys the importance of the message. Quotes from clients can also add to the legitimacy of what you are trying to convey.
6. Include Company Information
You may have created a perfect press release but if the company information part is missing, the whole effort will come to naught. Readers must know where and how to contact you. If possible, include some lines about company mission. Your URL address and contact details such as an email address and phone numbers are a must.
7. Double Check for Errors
Quality makes a huge difference to the chances of a press release being grabbed by editors. Grammatical mistakes, misspelled names and errors in contact details are red flags to journalists and can seriously affect your credibility. That’s why it helps if several pairs of fresh eyes go through the release before they are submitted.