How to create great press releases
Press releases can be a great way of promoting your business. Press releases can be cheap to do … and also very effective. If just one newspaper, magazine, TV or radio channel, website or blog runs your press release it can bring you high value publicity for free!
But, much more than that in today’s content marketing world, getting your press release used in a news story, feature or blog can be an incredibly effective form of content marketing.
Here are a few of my favourite strategies for creating great PR campaigns:
Start with a story worth having a press release about
You could announce a new product or service. Or a customer offer. Maybe launch a draw, or offer a freebie. But human interest stories are always good. Even better if they have local interest. A new member of staff perhaps …. or your 1,000th/10,000th customer. Or try running a survey and publishing the results in a press release.
Don’t exaggerate. Keep it factual
There’s nothing wrong with using a teeny bit of creative licence and/or showing your product/service in the best possible light – but don’t go overboard. And even if you’re selling, use a ‘soft sell’ approach – editors can spot marketing hype a mile away.
Have a great headline
Preferably one that editors can lift and use as is. Study headlines in the type of newspapers/magazines you’re thinking of sending your release to. Then use something similar.
Include facts and figures
These make your press release more interesting and give it credibility. Tip. Check that your facts and figures are accurate.
Include some quotes
These are really popular with editors …. notice how the vast majority of newspaper and magazine articles include quotes. It’s easy to do too: Ask a person connected with your story to answer a few questions and print their answers. But … don’t make your release all quotes.
Include at least one good image
This could be of the person who’s supplied the quotes. Or, better still, of your product/service or some aspect of it. Supply your own pics wherever possible – library shots are always second best.
Infographics can be worth considering too.
Offer editors a free sample if you can
For example, if you’re promoting a book offer a free book. If you’re promoting a restaurant offer a free meal and so on. It’s a great way of not only currying favour with editors but of showing confidence in what you’re trying to promote.
As well as being used as a press release this can be effective in obtaining reviews – another good form of content marketing.
Making your press release campaign really effective:
Before you can launch your PR campaign you’ll need a mailing list of editors who are likely to be interested in your news. Go for named individuals if it all possible.
Next, how to deliver your press release? Email is fast and free. But if you can’t find the correct email addresses to use post is still fine. You could also use a distribution service to distribute your releases for you.
Over the years I’ve written press releases on everything from property investment and pyrotechnics to financial services and pet care. If you’d like help with creating and writing your press release campaign get in touch with me at mark @ markhempshell.com
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