Content is king and this applies to the good ‘ol public relations tool known as the press release. Or as I like to call it, the news release.
Traditional Press Releases
Traditionally, press releases were created to inform media—formatted for businesses and individuals to issue news to reporters and editors. It was assumed no one else would see, or cared, about the press release except targeted press. Jargon and buzzwords were rampant, and in some cases unfortunately still are. Enter social anything and that press release is now seen by millions of people worldwide who are searching the Internet for solutions to their needs. Bye-bye old school.
Press releases in a digital world have been forced to evolve thanks to the Internet and SEO, to name a few. It’s not just reporters and editors reading the press release for news bites, but bloggers, buyers, competitors, marketing, PR, and other professionals and influencers. Gone are the days of speaking to only journalists, and structurally writing them with no call-to-action in mind.
Below are six basic steps to help you better understand what makes for a modern-day press release that is still alive and wanted.
- When writing the press release release, keep in mind there are more people reading it than reporters and editors. Speak to each audience you are targeting and be clear, concise, and focused on delivering the news. It is also appropriate, and optional, to write the press release as a blog post on your website.
- Leave the marketing speak at the door. It’s not about hype and spin, but rather delivering content that focuses on the need and how you meet that need. Overselling and losing the news in buzzwords will go on deaf ear.
- Place links that direct to your website landing pages to further educate and inform your audiences to take action.
- Optimize news releases with keyword-rich content so audiences searching on the Internet can find you, your company and product/service, and in higher ranked in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Note: It is highly recommended to have your website properly optimized with titles tags and meta descriptions to ensure search engines identify them.
- Embed links to videos, images (ie., headshots, product shots), podcasts and infographics to give as much information as possible to enhance the news, and support the buyer’s journey.
- If you have a social presence, be sure to include social links to help audiences find, share and push your content.
In essence, be authentic and transparent with your news releases. If they find you, they will come. And that’s what you want to happen. Read more how to launch a successful public relations campaign using the news release.