If you’re like a lot of the small business and solo-practitioner clients I work with, you probably don’t have a lot of experience writing a Press Release or reaching out to the media…if any! So in Part One of this series I’d like to provide you with some very helpful tips for crafting a Press Release that will grab the media’s attention.
And in Part Two we’ll dive into where to deploy your Press Release so that the media actually sees it…and so that it shows up in Google searches to provide on-going traffic to your website and builds more awareness for you and your brand.
Ready? Let’s get started…
Make Sure It’s Newsworthy: Some people want to write a Press Release about everything and anything they do, and that’s not a good strategy. Save writing one for bigger, worthwhile news. For example, my third book, “Boomers into Business: How Anyone Over 50 Can Turn What They Know into Dough Before and After Retirement”, was released this October on Amazon. So I wrote a Press Release announcing this because it’s newsworthy. However, writing a Press Release announcing you joined the local Chamber of Commerce is not…but you’d be surprised how many people would think that was worthy of a writing Press Release about!
The Headline: Make sure it’s compelling, but not like the headline of an ad, eblast or direct mail piece. A Press Release is not a “marketing” promotional piece; it’s meant to share news in a factual, straightforward way. No fluff!
The Body Copy: I have read many Press Releases that read like an ad or marketing brochure. Wrong! Again, using hype, exclamation points, marketing speak, etc. is not appropriate.
Basic Structure: Headline, intro paragraph that covers the “5 W’s” (who, what, where, when and why) because some media may only run your first paragraph and not the whole thing, second paragraph with more support info or a quote from you, a third paragraph with more support info and details, a fourth paragraph with a quote/testimonial from a client (or expert) about you, a fifth paragraph with boilerplate info about your company, and a short final paragraph with contact info. Keep the paragraphs short and try to keep the length to no more than 2-pages!
Add Testimonials: It’s always good to include at least one Testimonial so that someone else is quoted in your Press Release saying how great you are. It gives you more credibility.
Get Client, Organization, or an Individuals, Approval: If you want to mention a client, or any other organization, business, or person, in your Press Release, get approval first! This is BIG. Example: You may have just landed a big newsworthy client, or landed a keynote speech for a high profile company or organization, and want to tell the world about it. Yes, this type of news would warrant a Press Release, BUT those entities may have strict policies about being mentioned in someone else’s Press Release (mandated by their legal departments), and you can get into A LOT of trouble sending out a Press Release with them mentioned in it without approval. A LOT of trouble.
Optimize Your Press Release: Add 5-10 keywords or phrases that have received good search results because when you deploy your Press Release through an online service, those keywords will help it get found by people doing searches related to the topic of your Press Release. You can use the free keyword search tool that Google offers (simply search Google Adwords Keyword Tool to find it). You can type in keywords and phrases into this tool and it will tell you how many searches were done that month for them. This will help you determine which ones are worth putting in and it will also provide you suggestions that are variations of the ones you came up with.
Alrighttyy! There is your crash course in writing a killer Press Release. And don’t miss Part Two of this series where I’ll explain how and where to deploy it once you’ve written one. The media is always looking for news and interesting story ideas, 24/7 365 days a year, so give them some!
Cheers & Happy Marketing,
Author Byline: Lisa Orrell, The Promote U Guru, is an in-demand Branding & Marketing Expert and Certified Success Coach with over 20-years of experience. Recently she was voted the “Top 30 Most Influential Brand Gurus in the World”, and she is also the recipient of over 75 awards for marketing excellence. Lisa works with small business owners, coaches, consultants, entertainers, academics, speakers and authors. Plus, she herself is the author of 3 popular business books and a professional speaker. Based on her expertise, she has been interviewed by countless media, including: ABC, MSNBC, NPR, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Cosmo, China’s HerWorld Magazine, BNET.com and WomenEntrepreneur.com. For more info visit: PromoteUGuru.com.