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Press releases continue to be a viable way to keep the media and specific industries informed while getting journalists interested in writing about your company – but not all press releases are created equal.
Top reporters receive hundreds of press releases a day. That why it’s important to use certain tactics to cut through the noise and get noticed.
Here are six ways to make your press release stand out from the crowd.
The headline is the most important line in the press release. Take the time to make sure it pops. The headline often determines whether a journalist will take the time to read the release, can encourage social sharing, and has an impact on SEO when the right keywords are used. Make it exciting so it grabs attention and inspires readers to learn more. Finally, keep it short. Headlines with 70 characters or less are best optimized for SEO because Google only displays around 65 characters in search results.
Often, reporters will skim through your release in pursuit of information that catches their eye. That’s why it’s important to include the most important information within the first few sentences. Answer “who, what, when, where, why” succinctly so journalists don’t have to finish the whole text before deciding if the news is something they would like to learn more about.
The press release should be written for the reporter, not the company. Keep marketing speech to a minimum while focusing on facts that may interest the reporter. Better yet, focus on what makes your story “newsworthy” and why the reporter should share it with their readers. Also, be aware of your audience. Use technical or scientific terms only if you are exclusively targeting a technical or scientific community. Otherwise avoid jargon and write simply so that a broad audience can understand your message.
Quotes are a great way to add color to a press release. Not only do quotes from company representatives break up monotony, they stand out by providing a more personal view of the topic at hand. Plus, it’s smart to have quotes available in case a reporter wants to cover your story but doesn’t have time to conduct an interview.
Even if your press release contains all the necessary information for a news story by itself, the point of the press release isn’t to say everything there is to say on the topic. Instead, use the press release as bait to lure reporters into requesting an interview. Make paragraphs short and use lots of white space while keeping the release to a single page if at all possible.
Deliver your news on a day and time that is convenient for reporters, as it can have a major effect on the visibility of your release. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are typically the best days to send press releases, but use common sense and do your research. When targeting weekend reporters, it makes sense to deliver your news on the days they work. Identify where in the world your audience is located and reach out early in the day, if possible. For nationwide and global distribution, a staggered timing approach is recommended.
Follow these tips and watch your company secure all sorts of new coverage. Don’t have the time or ability to create a press release, research media contacts and distribute it? It may be time to enroll an expert strategic communications partner to do it for you!
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