Press release distribution landscape has changed through the years. A study found that more than 80 million of people now prefer to get news online, while over 60 percent of reporters go online to find sources of information and to find angles to their story.
A press release is an effective branding and credibility tool to spread the word about your company, products or services. If written well, it can offer more benefits, including boosting traffic to your site, generating social media signals, improving brand awareness and getting media coverage.
However, not all marketers can receive publicity. Although you want to make writing releases a part of your marketing mix, you need to follow the rules.
You can receive the benefits of writing releases, if you follow the journalistic style of writing. Aside from that, remember these 10 rules to improve your chance of getting publicity:
Understand how to write a release.
You may hire a press release distribution service if you find it hard to craft your story. You need to master some techniques to be able to write a story with a journalistic approach.
Keep in mind the 6 AP style guide in writing a newsworthy story, including: writing your goal in a clear way, include the 5 W’s, use the correct grammar and style of writing, take note of the spacing and writing the names and titles the right way.
Follow the inverted pyramid style of writing of journalists, where the most newsworthy information is mentioned first. Answer the who, what, where, when, why and how of events.
The important details are presented after to support the facts. You may include the answer to why your news matters. Explain why readers have to pay attention to your news.
Include quotes that give the news a human perspective. It validates your claims, so it boosts your statement’s credibility.
Don’t forget to give information about your company. It’s also a must to include the media contact.
Identify the audience.
You cannot write an effective content, without realizing who your audience is. You need to understand and do a bit of study to know your target.
Knowing who your audience is important for crafting a release. You can only write a newsworthy story if you know your audience and their needs.
Select the right press release service.
When you know which service can help you achieve your business goals, you are most likely to have a successful campaign. You have to identify which wire service can help you boost traffic to your site, promote brand awareness, improve leads as well as sales.
If you’re reaching out directly to reporters, ensure that you developed relationships with them prior to pitching. Take note that media relations matters in gaining media coverage.
Get ready with an effective pitch.
When you already chose the reporters to target, make sure that you have done your research about them. Knowing information about them can help you personalize your pitch better.
Know the reporter’s beat, most recent work, latest social media post and interests to better craft a pitch. Mass emailing reporters the same pitch is useless. You can’t please reporters that way as it is the best way to be treated as a spammer.
Make sure that you include a catchy headline. Reporters check the headlines and the subject line each time before anything else. You have a few seconds to win their attention with your headline and the subject line.
Edit your content before submission.
Editing your pitch is a strict rule. You don’t want to be rejected on the first time.
Luckily, if you are using a press release service, they have their own editors to edit your work. If you are writing it on your own, you have to make sure that you use the different tools available online to check the grammar, punctuations, style of writing and spelling.
Hire quality distribution sites.
“You get what you pay for. Cheap distribution isn’t quality, and effective distribution isn’t cheap.”
There are several popular distribution sites that syndicate a press release. It includes Marketwire, Newswire, BusinessWire and PR Web.
When choosing the distribution site, consider the quality of service they offer and how much you are willing to spend. Add-ons, such as images, videos and hyperlinks may cost another fee.
Syndicate on your own.
After distributing your releases, it’s time to syndicate it on your own. Just ensure that you measure the results.
You have to find the social media channels where your target customers exist. Have an established platform before syndicating. You want to ensure that you can access each dashboard.
Be active on the social media.
A great social media tool that you can use to syndicate your story is Pitch Engine. It is a platform where you can write a different copy of your release, use images, video, or links and share it with reporters, bloggers and other influencers.
Improve your content with SEO and images.
If you are using wire distribution services, you may opt for the add-ons they offer like the SEO feature. Choose the do-follow hyperlinks.
You may also want to consider a wider distribution like AP Newswire syndication. If you are a local business, target the national level to ensure that you’re reaching the major news and media outlets.
Don’t forget to incorporate images, video or sound files into your content. It is the best way to make it interesting, engaging and viral.
Distribute your release by not copying the exact release where it was published. Instead, create a unique paragraph and link to the content where it was originally published.
Copying the exact content can affect your search engine ranking and authenticity. It may be treated as a duplicate content by Google and other search engines.
Linking improves brand credibility and customer trust. Your customers are definitely happy to see your brand being covered by a popular media or news publication.
Follow the rules in writing a release to improve media relations and the possibility of getting publicity. Study the rules and improve your efforts. Everything is in you if you want to reach your marketing goals.