One of the best things you can do to bolster your online marketing efforts is to develop interesting, informative, search engine optimized press releases that people actually want to read. Writing about the history of your company, the hard work you put in — let’s face it, that’s the boring stuff you say when you have nothing to say. On the other hand, people may enjoy hearing about the grand opening of your new branch, your latest product offerings, or even something as simple as the story behind your new logo.
That’s where a great press release can really shine. Press release copywriting combines the best of news article writing, content marketing, and search engine optimization, and you can learn the basics without going to journalism school.
Know Thy Audience
Your audience is the first thing to consider. Are you writing your press release for potential B2B or B2C customers, industry experts, or investors? What are their needs and interests? Your customers may want to get a taste of what it would be like to experience your products or services. On the other hand, if you’re writing for industry experts you may need to delve into the technical aspects and benefits of your products. Potential investors may want some of each, but they’ll be especially interested in how well your business and its products and services are positioned for future growth. Your press release copywriting should cater to the needs of your core audience while creating enough interest to also satisfy a broader audience.
All Killer, No Filler
Press release copywriting, as with online writing in general, relies on one rule above all others: economy of prose, sometimes referred to as “all killer, no filler”. If a sentence reads well when you remove a word, then remove it. Repeat the process until you can’t pare it down any further, and then place your verbs at the beginning of most sentences to keep the story driving forward quickly.
A Pyramid Scheme, But in a Good Way
News articles, press releases, and other copywriting styles are written using the Pyramid principle. Place your most important details at the beginning, followed by the second most important, and so on. Press releases are unique in that they should also feature a summary statement appearing directly below the headline. Some online sources will display your summary statement word-for-word in the search results, and an enticing summary may be the hook to getting the reader to click through to your full release. The end of your press release should contain a well-crafted boiler plate statement about your company’s mission and a link to your website.
The 5 W’s Apply
You probably recall the five “W’s” from your high school writing courses: who, what, when, where and why. They often apply to press release copywriting as well. Press releases for businesses are usually about “what”, “when” or “where”. When you open a new branch, introduce a new product, or reveal the release date of an anticipated service, consider the other “W’s” that may be important to your story. For example, “who” can be important if you have recently hired an executive, a sales team or celebrity. Likewise, further developing the “where” or “why” may add interesting details that encourage the reader to share your press release with others.
So Much to Say, So Little Space, So Make it Count!
Copywriting experts know that you have a very small amount of time to catch people’s attention. If your first sentence contains all people need to know, then you’ve wasted your time writing the rest of the release. Good copywriting includes a strong teaser statement at the beginning that doesn’t reveal all the juicy details, but draws the reader through to the end, adding interest along the way. The best copywriting is informative and compelling, yet spartan in its prose.
Search Engine Optimization for Your Press Release
SEO may be the most overlooked tip for writing a great online press release. We did say ONLINE press release, right? Any time you are writing for an online audience, search engine optimization should be among your foremost goals. Do your keyword research so that you know how most people search for the information you are planning to communicate, and then build those keywords into your title, your opening and closing paragraphs, as well as the paragraphs in between. SEO is too detailed a topic for this short post, but you can find additional SEO tips on our blog.
Press Releases to Reach a Large Audience
Press releases are unique in that they are capable of reaching a very large audience within days. By engaging a paid online press release distribution service you can send your release to literally thousands of online news feeds, depending on your level of investment. Many of those feeds will appear in the news section of Google, Bing, and other search engines, particularly in the first 4 weeks after the release goes live. A well-written press release may even open doors to additional press interviews and other speaking engagements.
Need help in developing an effective online strategy that includes press releases? Contact us today for a free initial consultation for qualified customers in Reading, PA and far beyond.