As you may know, a press release is an official announcement made by a company. It is NOT a method of improving your rankings in Google. Yes, it used to work that way several years ago, but it doesn't work anymore. Get over it! These days, most businesses use press releases to promote their new products and services, new partnerships, etc.
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The A to Z Guide to Press Releases
So, to write a press release, you will need a strong reason to do it. Because if you write one for the sole purpose of advertising your business, it will be ignored.
No matter the topic, be sure to start with a powerful title, which forces people to read your announcement. No, titles such as "XYZ LLC Celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary" aren't good enough. Yes, it is true that your company is now 10 years old. Congratulations! So, this news has the potential to make everyone jump with joy, right? Wrong!
When you craft the title, be sure to use the "WIIFM" formula. That acronym means "What's In It For Me", get it? In other words, what benefit do people get for reading your press release?
Cause if they don't get anything in return for their time and effort, they'll never read it.
A much better title would be "XYZ LLC Celebrates its 10th Anniversary with 80% Discounts on All Products". No, I don't want you to go broke. I know that you can't afford to discount your merchandise by 80%. But I want you to craft a press release title that will draw people's attention! I want your title to be noticed, to make the headlines.
As you can imagine, most reporters get dozens of press releases each day. And they won't have any reason to write about your company anniversary, especially if it's similar with all the others.
Now that you've got the title out of the way, move on to the next paragraph. You already know the rule: apply the WIIFM formula, make it interesting for your readers. Begin by telling them who you are, what you are announcing, and why you are announcing this news.
Often times, a press release includes a quote from the CEO or another company official at its middle. The quote should reinforce the announcement you've made initially.
The last paragraph should give readers more information about your company. This is the place to add the official company name and address, your media contact info, phone numbers and email addresses. Don't forget to include a link to your company's website URL; otherwise, people will have a hard time trying to discover it. Resist the temptation to use key words for your press release; you want your plain website URL here. Period!
Oh, and be sure to spell check the text. Ask a colleague to help with that as well! Journalists will ignore materials that include spelling errors, need to be revised, and so on.
Don't forget to end your press release using three hash tags, just like this: ###. I know it looks strange, but it's exactly what the press industry is using to specify the end of the release.
Once that your press release is written, it is time to distribute it. Begin by publishing it to your blog, and then share the link to it with your followers and email subscribers. Then, reach out to industry-related journalists and send them personalized emails. Find out their names, read some of the press releases they've published to ensure that you aren't missing something important, and then contact them.
If you've got some exciting news, it may be worth it to announce a few journalists in advance. Email them your press release, and then give them a day or two to write their articles, before posting it on your blog.