A 2015 census identified 33,000 daily, full-time journalists and 306,500 PR managers and specialists. What does this mean for your business, exactly? There is no doubt the world of press and marketing have changed dramatically in the last decade. Digital technology has advanced at seemingly faster rates, and now competition for local and national press is at an all-time high. The number of people paying to tell their story exceeds journalists 10 to 1. By adhering to the following 7 tips regarding press releases, your business will be able to compete with the numbers, build credibility, and reach a wider audience.
No. 1: Research your business’ audience. It is imperative to identify your target audience and topics that will grab their attention. For example, if your business is aiming for more local media coverage, you will want your press releases to highlight community involvement, charity participation, or any news that truly impacts the community, as this is what remains most attractive to local journalists and editors. Everyday, bloggers and media professionals encounter a plethora of press releases. Understanding the subject matter and writing style they are looking for will greatly increase your press releases’ searchability.
No. 2: Remain timely and relevant. Understand that the market for your press release will surpass journalists and encompass bloggers, your industry, your partners (suppliers, marketing, etc.) as well as the general public. Keep in mind that even though journalists and editors still have the greatest impact when it comes to your press release, it will be your suppliers and clientele who invest more interest in your story. Thus, they will be the ones most likely to take action. This is why it is crucial to integrate your press releases into your business’ social media and email marketing campaigns. Sharing these announcements with your customers and clients will establish third-party validation and increase a sense of loyalty.
No. 3: Find out what propels search traffic. Look into keywords and phrases that are trending on the Internet and in your industry. Identify the buzzwords that are increasing online searches, as well as the competition for those words and phrases. Then, choose the words that are most relevant to your press release announcement, as well as the ones that will boost your rankings.
No. 4: Pay attention to word placement in your press release. The first 250 words of your announcement are the most critical. Headlines and subheadings are perfect moments to fluidly present a keyword or phrase. Although you might have to get creative with this, the end product should read naturally. Trying to force or cram keywords into these sections will ultimately be detrimental.
No. 5: Use mixed media in your press releases to engage media professionals. An online press release that includes photos, links, as well as audio and video links is 77% more likely to generate interest and interaction than a release with just text. Also, two-thirds of surveyed media professionals look for supporting evidence in press release announcements. Your business ought to have a newsroom that contains contact information, videos, a photo library, executive bios, past releases, and any other pertinent information a reporter might need. Put yourself in the media professional’s shoes. Think of what your business can do to engage this busy person and make their job easier.
No. 6: Calculate and analyze the results of your press release on the web. Your business’ press release should be constructed in a manner that you can track its overall reach. Ways to do this include: looking at your distribution service’s report, observing website analytics for page visits and quality traffic, adding social monitoring and listening to the buzz, as well as evaluating your sales data. Using these reports and analyses will give merit to your PR campaigns.
No. 7: Consider using a distribution service that will share your press release on social media and email it to industry influencers and local media outlets. This will ensure that your press release surpasses your website and online newsroom. Major search platforms such as Google and Yahoo do not pull news from business websites, so it is necessary to have your press release in the right hands and delivered to the appropriate parties.
Written by Melissa McElhose, NALA Blog Writer