“I’m just a small company, I don’t have anything newsworthy to share.”
That’s the common misconception many small business owners have.
In truth, there are many reasons to write and share a press release, with only one of them being to get into the news. Yes, that’s possible, and it can be a great thing for your business. But it can also:
- Drive traffic to your website
- Gain new followers for your newsletter
- Introduce a new product or service
- Drive up the popularity in the ranking of your website
- Connect you with potential partnerships
And that’s just a start.
If you’ve never included a press release in your marketing planning process before, maybe now is the time. There is a definite formula to writing a press release; one that can make the difference between making an impact and getting very little traction.
Start with a great title
Just like other things in your online content strategy, start with a great title – your blog posts, your social media profiles and posts – your press release follows in their footsteps. Your titles sets the stage for the coming content, and quickly gains traction in the online world. If the title doesn’t capture attention, nobody will read it. If its not written in an online-friendly way, it won’t gain traction.
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Think specific rather than general. Niching it will make it stronger and make people notice it more. It should provide a reason to pay attention to it, and be able to evoke interest with both readers and the spiders in the search engines.
Sum it up
A press release isn’t the whole story. It isn’t a sales pitch. It isn’t a deep explanation. Instead, a press release simply drives the reader to take action; to move forward to gain more information in some manner, whether its clicking through to a website, or making direct contact through an email or phone call.
To do that, you have to answer the most important parts of your press release in as few of words as possible. What are the who, what, where, when, why of your story? Why should people care? Summarize that in a sentence or two, in the first paragraph of your press release, and you’ll give readers a chance to determine quickly on how best to move forward with the information you’ve provided.
Just the facts
Press releases aren’t about hype. They cover just the facts and figures to gain attention. You want readers to be intrigued with the problem presented, and how you are solving the problem at hand. The more statistics you have the better.
Why should they care
What makes this a newsworthy event? Why should the reader care? What promises do you deliver on? How should readers react to what you are doing?
Remember, a press release isn’t about sales. That said, you still have to “sell” your concept to the reader. You have to give them a reason they should care about what you are doing. You have to provide reasons why this would make a great story to read or listen to in another portal or channel. Explain what you offer and how you help those in your business; this isn’t your opportunity to brag. Its your opportunity to provide help to those around you.