Every business needs to have a public relations strategy and press releases are crucial parts of this strategy. They are short documents but extremely detailed and compelling about new products, services and announcements from your company. Working with a public relations company is one of the best ways to ensure that you employ the best PR strategies for your business. There are various companies in the San Francisco area that you can choose to work with. There are several steps involved in the process of creating a press release and distributing it.
- Writing a great press release
A press release is not just about keeping the media and the industry informed about the latest products and developments in your company. It is also about attracting the interest of journalists who can cover the topic further in a magazine or even a television show, which will give your greater visibility to your prospective customers. Journalists get tons of potential stories every day and this is why your press release has to stand out from the rest. The press release writing format is very basic and uniform across the board but content should be unique, informative and engaging. The following are some things you should consider when writing the press release:
- Attention grabbing headlines: The headline and the beginning of the press release are crucial to grabbing and maintaining the attention of the reader. Even the email subject line when you send out the pitch should be extremely compelling. Remember, the heading should be as catchy as it is accurate.
- The first paragraph should contain the point: you need to get your message out as soon as possible. The first paragraph should get straight to the point while the rest of the press release supports the information in that paragraph.
- Give factual data and hard numbers: a press release is not a general read, so do not focus on creating a colorful narrative. Instead, your press release should contain hard facts and numbers that support the product or announcement you are making. There should be a lot of verifiable information to quantify and prove your argument.
- No room for grammatical errors: there is no letting loose on this, proof read the document and ensure that the press release is a flawless read.
- Include quotes: quotes add a human element to the press release. They are a source of information from someone in the company or someone who handles the product.
- Include contact information: Lack of contact information is a common oversight that makes your press release almost useless since reporters do not have any means of following up with you. An email address and a phone number should be enough.
- Keep the press release brief and provide access to more information: Shorter is always better when it comes to writing press releases. You should try to maintain the one page limit and two pages as the maximum. You can give access to more information by providing links to relevant pages in your company’s website where people can learn more.
- Audience and targeting
For whatever kind of written piece you create, it is always important to write for your audience. You may need to carry out demographical research in order to put the right kind of content into your press release. Every press release should be targeted when setting up for distribution. The right level of targeting will mean the difference between getting a lot of attention for your new product/announcement and getting none at all. Before setting your company’s distribution targets, research every industry that your product applies to.
- Cross promoting
Cross promoting is a free form of advertising that enables your company to gain more credibility. Cross promoting is a big part of public relations, and you need to find a cross promotion partner that is reliable. It could be another company that you are already doing business with. You can split the cost of press release distribution and promote a dual effort that can attract a greater number of customers while also enhancing your businesses credibility. Reach out to few business partners, you may find one that is willing to be part of your next PR Campaign.
- Quality distribution channels
This a very crucial part of the press release issuing process. It is quite obvious to tell that cheap distribution is not always the best distribution. You should know that distribution will cost you money and you should be willing to spend a pretty penny on it too. There are so many distribution channels online that claim to offer the best distribution title but only a handful can actually stand to the challenge.
- Social traction
You should syndicate your press release on social channels prior to distribution. Social branding and marketing is a crucial element in online business advertising. You should track your social network analytics and traction. Boost your posts on social media and spread awareness if your brands on social networks to create a buzz about your business on social networks.
- Content discretion when reposting
You should not post the actual press release on your website. This is because it makes your content appear less authentic. It can also reduce your page score ranking with search engines such as Google. You can create a unique carbon copy of the press release for reposting or create unique teaser paragraphs with links to the press release on the site that distributed it and the media outlet that picked up the story. Instead of visitors reading your great coverage on your website, they can read more about you brand from the media outlet website, which makes your brand more attractive and credible.
- Complement your press release with SEO
You can enhance your press release with SEO, such as hyperlinks and high PR back links. You can also add pictures, videos and sound files to your press release for enhanced credibility, branding and good content marketing. Your brand’s reputation is in your hands; therefore, you should make the most of any opportunity that you get to boost it.
Frank McMahon is a freelance writing veteran cum PR guru. http://www.finemanpr.com/ is the home of the best public relations services in the San Francisco area.