Release a Press Release Expertly
It takes a special kind of skill to release a press release that people read, remember, and share, which is the whole point of writing it in the first place. Do you have what it takes?
Go through the following expert pointers on how to release a press release successfully, and see if it matches your own PR style and strategy.
Not the Peter Pan villain. In PR lingo, hook is that special quality of a written text that makes a press release irresistible. Have you ever heard a song that just sticks in your head? It’s the same principle in action.
Seasoned writers have a knack for hooking readers when they release a press release. What you can do is study how they do it.
One of the characteristics of a good press release is that it takes a unique and fresh perspective. Your first audience when you release a press release is the editor of the online or print publication. These professionals go through a great variety of materials everyday so you have to be creative in finding a way to elbow out your competition.
Let’s take this CNN headline for example: “Video game may help aging brain.” What is it about this headline that hooks readers? This headline has several great characteristics: it’s short, it’s to the point, and it clearly highlights the benefit.
Let’s take another example from Forbes: “Forget smart phones, Samsung wants to dominate your whole house.” This headline introduces a new product in a new and creative way. It’s not your typical A launches B although that classic format is not exactly so bad. It’s boring but not bad.
Another good tip on how to release a press release is to lead with a concept rather than to focus on your company. Nobody cares about your business unless it offers something new, interesting, and beneficial.
When you release a press release however, do not exaggerate claims in an effort to hype up a product or an event, which leads us to the next point: to release a press release successfully, you have to be credible.
Credibility and Authority
Press releases are effective promotional tools because they are basically news, and as such, they are meant to be factual. People are more likely to believe what they read if it is written in news format. The reason that Time, BBC, CNET and so many other media companies succeed is that they have developed a reputation for accuracy. Over the years, they have earned the trust of readers.
When you release a press release, and you find yourself torn between being interesting (shocking, amazing, exciting) and being factual and plain, always go for the latter. You must never manufacture or exaggerate claims just to add wow-factor to your prose.
This, for instance, is one of the worst things you can do to yourself when you release a press release: “These new earphones will instantly change your mood from blue to sunny.” Not in a press release. You have no way of knowing how a product influences someone’s happiness level. Readers won’t only ignore you; they’ll most probably dislike you too.
There is a balance between promotional and factual. The next time you release a press release you have to find that perfect mix. Something like this might work: “New earphones flaunt smart noise isolation features.”
As for authority, it would be smart to add quotes into the body of your press release. But don’t quote some random guy. Choose an expert in the field who can intelligently comment on your subject when you release a press release.
At this point, you’re probably telling yourself to sound smarter the next time you release a press release. Well yes, but refrain from big and unfamiliar words just to impress the online crowd.
Jargon refers to a set of words or phrases that only those in a specific industry can understand. In order to connect to a wider audience, you have to use words that everybody can understand. The next time you release a press release, try to use layman’s terms or simplify complex and highly technical words.
Back when people used to release press releases to paper publications, there were not a lot of opportunities to provide additional resources. But online, you can provide links to other source materials to help people have a more in depth understanding of your story. That’s one of the characteristics of the modern day press release.
So when you release your press release, support your text with resources in multiple formats. You can use cloud-based websites like YouTube and Flicker. This comprehensive information package makes your story more appealing and credible.
Grammar and Format
We all make mistakes whenever we release a press release or any type of PR material but in this highly competitive market, slips in grammar and format are unforgivable. It means you didn’t try hard enough to provide quality.
Proofread! If it’s possible, have someone you trust go over your work before you release a press release to journalists and editors. Errors in grammar and format will destroy your credibility as a writer.
At the upper left corner of the page, type: “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.” It should be followed by the headline, which is written in bold and small caps except for the first letter and the beginning of proper nouns. It may be followed by a sub headline, and the date and place of the story. Any PR writer should abide by standard rules of grammar and style whenever he tries to release a press release.
Finally, write your press release with basic key wording techniques in mind, another characteristic of the new press release. Keywords positioned in the right place at the right density make your story more search-engine friendly. When you release a press release, use your strategic keywords at the title and in your lead paragraph.
How many of these techniques do you follow whenever you release a press release for your business or organization?
Whether you are a beginner or you already have some experience, we hope you have learned from these tips on how to release a press release that’s truly effective.
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