Most people working in PR and marketing have written a press release or two. And while writing press releases may be familiar territory for many, knowing how to make them effective—from writing to sending, and everything in between—can still be a little baffling.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing, optimizing and distributing your press release. We also help you determine what kind of news is really newsworthy.
OK, so that’s all great, but just what, exactly, is considered newsworthy these days? Online news sites and search engines have made it easier for anyone’s news to grow legs, but what if you really do want to make an impact? Try answering these questions when you sit down to write your next press release:
If you can affirm your story with one or some of the above, you’ve likely got a newsworthy topic in hand.
Press releases tend to follow a standard format as it makes it easier for readers to get the details they need in an efficient way. But before you can just churn one out, you need to do a little prep work.
As you start to write your press release, come up with the creative angle first. Take off your sales hat and think about it from the reader’s perspective: why should I care, and what makes it special? Once you have your angle, then state the facts which support the news as objectively as possible. This will help give your press release the right tone and allow you to fit it more easily into the accepted format.
The standard press release format includes the following:
Sending a press release attracts attention from the media to your company or client, and provides publicity for the product, service or event that you’re marketing.
For businesses, a press release goes one step further by acting as a direct “touch” to consumers, which can help generate more sales.
Because of this, the Web plays an important role in who has access to press releases. And also begs the question: With the popularity of viral marketing techniques and the widespread use of social media to get your message out there, why would a seemingly old-fashioned PR tool like the press release still be used?
There’s no denying that press releases serve a purpose when distributed directly to journalists over the wire. Press releases get sent to the attention of assignment editors at newspapers, television and radio stations, magazines, trade publications and other news outlets, and follow a specific format designed to work well within this type of news generation system (see “Format for a press release”).
However, your audience is likely comprised of more than just the media. That’s why newswire services (such as PR Newswire) also post press releases online, where they get indexed by Google and other major search and news engines and can then be found not only by the media, but also by the general public. That’s why traditional wire distribution and online posting both work to increase the reach of a press release.
And by offering budget-friendly Web-only distribution options, PR Newswire has made it easier for small businesses, especially, to send their messages to a wider audience, getting in front of both journalists and consumers, and making their news searchable online.
While press releases tend to follow the same basic format (see “Format of a press release”), how they are written depends on what kind of news is being announced. Many online PR resources recognize the following six types of press releases:
Here are some other press release types: local human interest stories, problem-solving tips, community events, tradeshow and conference attendance, feature stories, people profiles and book reviews.
Submitting your press release online with iReach is simple.
Go to ireach.prnewswire.com. If you’re a returning user, login to your account as normal and proceed with your order. If you’re new to the service, click the “Choose a Plan to Get Started” button.
When determining where to send your press release, consider your goals and budget:
iReach’s distribution options start with a basic, budget-friendly plan (SearchReach) and build from there (WebReach and WebReach Plus). Check out the plan comparison page for details about what’s included with each one.
Click the “Start With” button associated with your chosen plan and continue with the ordering process:
Once you’ve submitted your order, your registration and press release will be checked for content acceptability. iReach and PR Newswire maintain their reputations as credible news delivery services by adhering to acceptable content guidelines.
iReach requires up to one business day turnaround from the time your release is submitted. After the editorial process is complete, your release will either be sent immediately or on the date and time you specified when ordering.
Do something smart for your business. Get started today by distributing your press release using iReach.
"We could not be more pleased with the recent distribution of our press release via iReach. The reach, combined with timing, made our product, Facebook AETracker, receive fantastic coverage throughout the web. We were overwhelmed by the leads -- which we cannot complain about! This one ranks among the best marketing dollars we spent ever when it comes to ROI."
— Siva Nadarajah, CEO