When small businesses launch a new product or a new service it’s essential to let everyone know – shout it from the rooftops – otherwise how will existing or potential customers know you have a new offering.
That’s why press releases are an important marketing tool – although by no means the only marketing tool in this world of online content promotion and other digital marketing techniques such as search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising. Here are some tips from digital marketing experts and SEO consultants on how best to create that perfect press release.
What Is A Press Release?
Quite simply a press release is a relatively short company communication whose original intent way back in the pre-digital era was to attract the attention of journalist who might print your story in the printed media (magazines or newspapers usually). They had to be newsworthy and not overly promotional and are just the same in our digital era. They could still get picked up by the print media journalists but with a much wider spread of opportunities given the masses of online media now available they are more important than ever. They are a key part of any digital marketing strategy and often checked as part of a technical SEO audit.
Keep it concise
Whether you are targeting a professional journalist at a well-known national newspaper or and online press portal they literally receive hundreds of press releases each and every day so your content needs to stand out from the crowd if you are going to be successful at the promotional marketing trend.
Keep your content under 350 words and make sure it fits on a single A4 page (printed or not). Use clear language, perfectly written with no spelling or grammar mistakes; and also avoid technical jargon at all costs. Reader probably won’t know, or be interested in, what you are talking about if it’s too specific to your industry.
And, as I’ve already said, don’t be overly promotional – if your new product has a particular benefit then by all means mention it but not in exaggerated language.
Plan your headline
Your headline is your best change to attract interest from publishers – don’t waste that chance. Make it short and snappy – and, if necessary, use a sub-heading to explain a bit more.
Use your very first paragraph to summarise your story in no more than 100 words. Readers may get no further than this so don’t waste it with unnecessary introductory sentences or background information. Don’t save the best bits to last when you are writing content for publication. People have short attention spans – especially if the target publication site is online.
Remember the classic tenets of a perfect press release: who, what, where, when why and how.
Liven up your press release with an interesting, authentic quote from someone senior in your company or from a subject matter expert – but no techno-babble remember and nothing overly-promotional.
Spelling and grammar
In order for your press release to appear professional, always check your content as much as time allows for spelling or grammar mistakes. Word won’t pick up on everything so trust your own judgement too. For particularly important press releases get someone else to double check before submitting it for publication