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You have a business that you built from your great ideas. But getting ideas and turning them into a business is really only half the battle. Once you open your business, you need to start marketing it. You may have already learned about things like SEO on your websites or creating ads to raise brand awareness, but have you written a press release?
Why should I send a press release?
Press releases are the perfect way to get information about your business and its products and services out to potential customers and to websites. You may be skeptical at first. Here are the top three reasons why your business needs a press release.
Press Releases Help Build Authority
One of the biggest things that businesses need to have is authority. Having authority in your industry earns the trust and respect that your business needs to be a huge success. This is important for a few reasons:
Build Trust with Customers – This will make you the first company or brand that they turn to when they need the product or service that you sell. Press releases allow you to share information on various topics that are related to your business in addition to information about your own specific business.
Establish Importance – Customers want to work with the best and when you establish authority, you become exactly that. You can use press releases to discuss your opinions on hot topics that involve your specific industry, especially news about the industry or responses to any recent developments. When written effectively, your press releases can be included with other articles of information on a specific topic. You’ll get to join in on these important conversations, which can help your business gain the popularity it needs to be successful.
Being an authority on a topic can make a huge difference in your business’ success.
Press Releases Create Awareness
Creating awareness is especially important if you are a new business. A press release is often sent to journalists and posted on websites. This alone will give you greater brand awareness on these media sites before even being covered by editors who are interested in your topic. You cannot sell your products or services if they don’t know you exist.
You can better target your customer base by making sure that specific sites and potential customers can come across your press release. With methods like tagging or placement, you can make sure that you get the attention of the customers you’re looking for. Choose to share your press release on websites that are relevant to your industry and get high amounts of traffic. Pick websites that customers trust, which will attract more people.
Press releases are also beneficial when they become archived and saved for future reference. This record shows how your business has evolved and grown, similar to a resume. Having this available reference helps to build trust with customers and promotes greater awareness.
Press Releases Help Increase Profits
Making a profit should be on high priority of your business. Marketing is a key piece of increasing profits. Press releases are an incredible marketing tool that you may overlook in favor of more modern methods of marketing like social media and ads. If you want to have a highly effective marketing plan, a press release can be very helpful.
But press releases are so much more than ads. Press releases are so effective at improving sales because they help generate new sales leads that bring in greater business.
Press releases can also be distributed across more platforms than other things like ads with little effort. What does this mean for you? You are going to end up saving money in the long run because you are not wasting resources in multiple areas through different ad campaigns that may not be successful. You save money through press releases and how they are able to target exactly the potential customers you are built for. Plus, press releases are a less expensive marketing tool.
Press releases can also increase traffic to your website. Since we already know that press releases are a way to get stories and news about the industry out there, we know that this makes people aware of you. Much like an SEO-rich blog, press releases can draw much-needed attention to your business. They also have SEO benefits that will draw attention to your company though tagging and other keywords. You will end up getting backlinks that will bring even more traffic to your website.
Components of Successful Press Release
Press releases are just as important for startups as they are for more established companies. All industries can benefit from press releases, from creative self-employed entrepreneurs to people in the technology sector and everyone in between. Press releases can get you the media attention that you need to get your brand out there.
Understanding just how important a press release is and how to write a great press release are two different challenges. You can’t just put together a few different catch phrases and witty commentary on a release and expect it to get attention. A press release must be properly written in an effective manner if you are going to gain any benefits from it. This can be tricky, but by following some tips, you can write your own highly effective press release.
- A main image that helps you to tell the story of your press release. People love visuals and also helps the reporter when writing about the release.
- Include quotes from important people in the topic you are writing about. This will give you some authority to help make your press release have a bigger impact.
- Reliable links to statistics, facts, research, and other things that will aid the journalist in writing a story about your press release by providing accurate information from reputable sites.
- Available on RSS news feeds. Reporters rely on RSS feeds to get news stories so it would greatly benefit you to do this to get your message out there.
- Additional information such as case histories, human interest stories and links to other credible sources to help your reader better understand your message.
- Social media. Stay up on current trends to attract the attention of reporters who are scouring the internet for interesting news topics.
- Follow a template. A template will make sure your press release looks authoritative and professional and so that you don’t forget valuable information.
- Clarity, simplicity, and precision. They should be between 500 and 800 words. The shorter and simpler the read, the more likely the masses will want to read it.
- Factual and newsworthy. It should also be something that is exciting and relevant to get people interested in your press release.
- Headline. A great headline draws the reader in and gets them to read your press release. If you make a press release with a dull headline, you are going to reduce your chances of getting your press released published. By coming up with something catchy, you will get the views that you need.
- Contact details. Have contact information and your website link so readers can reach your staff easily.
- Sources. Credit and cite the sources you use when creating your press release. This will show that you used credible sources and made sure that you checked the information for accuracy.
- Edit. Have your press release looked at by a few different people to ensure the information is correct and that there are no mistakes.
- Make your press release stand out from others in your industry. By standing out, you will attract the attention that you need to get people interested in your company.
- Leave your readers wanting more from you by the end of your press release. Think of your press release as a teaser to attract a mass amount of interest in your company.
- Summary. A lot of people will not want to read the entire thing and the summary will give them the gist of what the press release is about.
- Focus. Make sure that your press release centers around the news that you are trying to get out and not your brand. It will seem less like a sales pitch and more like an informative piece.
- The Four “W’s. You should always answer the why, when, what, and where of the situation or event.
- Written in the 3rd person. This is an objective point of view that gives more authority than another point of views.
- Stay current. This world is rapidly changing and your press release needs to reflect the most current information. Press releases should be used anytime your company reaches a specific, noteworthy milestone. If it is a moment that you want to celebrate with your customers, send out a press release.
- Headers and bullet points. This will break up the text and make it more readable.
- “About the Company” section. Make sure this section is added in a way that doesn’t distract from the actual press release. This will help readers know just who you are, which will give you the brand awareness that you have been looking for.
Things To Avoid in a Press Release
Just like how the important components in a press release can benefit your company, mistakes and errors in crafting a press release can remove those benefits quickly. Follow these tips of mistakes to steer clear of in writing an effective press release.
- Don’t be too wordy. Consider it like a general summary of the topic. If you are too wordy, you are probably going to lose the attention of the readers.
- Don’t get too technical. Unless you are targeting your release to industry experts, releases with a lot of jargon will leave people feeling lost.
- Don’t use clichés, superlatives, or generalizations. Boring language can be a turn off for your readers and they will not be interested in your press release. A press release is no good if you cannot get an audience to read them.
- Don’t use a generic company link as your contact. You will want to make sure that you link your press release to an actual person that people can contact directly.
- Don’t forget things like infographics, charts, slide decks, whitepapers or PDFs. There should be links to them in your press release so that you can get your point across in a visual way.
- Don’t include the history of your company. They only want to read relevant information to the press release and they can’t do this if you spend more time talking about the history of your company rather than something new and exciting that your company is involved in.
- Don’t send an outdated press release. An outdated press release typically has information that people have already read.
- Don’t send out a press release on every single thing that happens. You want to make sure that you only send out a press release for information that is important, otherwise, you are going to be wasting everyone’s time.
- Don’t send without editing. Never send out a press release that has not been looked over by the appropriate members of your staff. People will not want a press release that is not well-written and full of grammatical and spelling errors. You also do not want to send out a press release that does not contain accurate information.
- Do not use language that is too “salesy.” You want to use your press release as a way to get information out about your company, not to over-sell your product. Your press release will already be a great marketing tool for your products, but it will sell your products or services in a more subliminal way.
- Don’t send out multiple press releases at the same time. This is information overload and will distract from your other press releases. Space out your press releases in enough time to get the full use of the sales benefit from them before moving onto the next topic.
- Don’t ask questions, give answers. By asking questions, you are going to lose the benefits of making your business look like the authority in their industry.
- Don’t assume you’re readers will read everything. You want to make sure that the important information stands out so that they catch the important information while glancing through the press release.
- Don’t bury your important quotes. Quotes offer information that your readers want so you need to make sure that it stands out.
- Don’t link to unreliable websites. This is something that could ultimately hurt your reputation and weaken your authority.
- Don’t send to journalists not a part of your industry. This will be a waste because it will likely not get published since their readers would likely not be interested in it.
Having a press release is one valuable step to get your information out to your target audience. By following the tips included here, you will be able to write an incredible press release that will get you noticed.
How to Distribute a Press Release
When you create a press release, you are obviously creating it to be seen by others. Once you have it written, you’ll need to figure out how to send the releases out to the right places. By not doing so, it is likely that your press release will never be seen.
Find a Press Release Distributor
Wherever you send out your press release, it needs to be where your target market base will come across it. You need to target journalists and media outlets in your specific industry. For example, if your industry is baby clothing, you don’t want to send out your press release to media outlets that specialize in gaming computers.
Emphasize quality or quantity in sending out releases. Focus your efforts on sending your press releases out to a few high-quality journalists rather than just mass send them out to every journalist that you can. Being particular about the skilled journalists you select will increase your chances of having your press release seen by your target market. Your releases should be individualized to give them a more personal feel and allows you to connect to the journalist.
Thanks to technology, you can go online to send out your press releases via email. In some situations, you can also personally fax or mail out as well if releases get lost in spam folders.
Before you distribute your release, make sure it is concise, clear and error free. If the press release does not need to be edited or rewritten, it can be immediately released to the public. You also need to remember when writing your press release that a press release is supposed to start a conversation about your brand and its offerings.
Targeting Your Press Release
Who are your target customers? Your answer will determine where you send out your press release and how you tweak the content to fit your audience. Targeting your distribution will help you get your message out to those who you want to hear it.
Properly targeting press releases are such an asset to your company. This can make the difference between getting thousands upon thousands of reads and barely getting any reads. These additional reads will result in those readers going to back to your website, increasing your traffic and sales.
Why Use Press Release Distribution Services?
There are so many benefits to distributing your press release through a specific service. Since you have written your own press release, you can save money by just using these services to get your press release out there without incurring the additional causes of having them write one for you. These are often quite inexpensive, especially when you compare the costs to various other methods of advertising. As a business owner, you know just how expensive advertising is and you can really save your money here.
You are also going to establish yourself as an authority on the industry. This is going to be so important if you want your customers to trust you and take you seriously. You will also raise awareness for your brand, which will increase based on just how far this distribution goes. Every company, big and small, can greatly benefit from distributing their press releases.
When you think about it, press releases are not just about getting more customers but it also can help you gain media coverage for your business, which many companies would love to attract. If you put out great enough press releases, you may find that you are going to have investors trying to work with you.
Choosing Where to Distribute
You can write great content in your press release, but if you can’t distribute it effectively, your work won’t accomplish your desired goals. Finding a source to share your press release to get it in front of the people you want takes intention. There are several options where you can distribute your press release. But each outlet has features and elements that may make choosing one better than the other.
Here, we share an overview of what to look for in choosing a place to distribute your engaging and well-written press release.
Different press release distributors may offer unique features that may fit better with your industry and goals. Below are some features you’ll want to look into in determining what distributor will help you reach existing and new customers and generate greater awareness.
Media and Reporter Reach
Will you be able to determine which regions will see and read your press release? Targeting your location of readers will help bring you the best results in distributing your press release. In addition to geographic location, do you have the capability to target your readers based on your industry? Using a service that allows you to focus on the readers in your industry will also bring better results and generate better awareness.
When you submit a press release to a distributor, your work isn’t quite over. You’ll want a service that allows you to continue to track where, when and how your precious press release is shared. Many services allow you to access to in-depth analytics that will help you know what’s working with your release – and maybe some things you could improve on.
You’ve probably spent quite a bit of time writing, re-writing and editing your press release so it’s perfect. You don’t have hours to spend trying to figure out how to submit a press release to a distributor, learn an in-depth process of measuring analytics from the reach of your press release and other steps involved. Many press release distribution services emphasize being user-friendly so that you can easily write, send and track how your release is making its presence in your industry.
Relationship with Journalists
Journalists and news reporters are key personnel who can help you reach your intended audience. They’re the ones who decide whether to write and share your story or ignore it by seeing is as irrelevant or not credible. Make sure the press release distribution service you utilize has a solid reputation and has beneficial relationships with journalists and the media. Make sure your press release will be sent to larger organizations, if intended, including sources such as Associated Press, Newswire and Google News.
Press Release Requirements
It’s also helpful to look into what the press release distribution service requires of submitted press releases. Some have differing requirements for the word count of the press release. This would be an important limit to know before you craft the perfect press release. Other noteworthy numbers to look into prior to selecting a distributor include the number of media sites your release will be posted to and how many targeted lists you can utilize.
There are both paid and free versions of press release distribution services. Both paid and unpaid services have their benefits – but it’s also important to understand that free services are often free for a reason. Paid services often have better connections and standards that will typically bring better results to creating awareness of your press release content. And, there are services for all price points.
The Best Press Release Sites
Now that you understand these basics about distributing your press release, you need to understand all about distribution. You have some options when it comes to distributing press releases. There are quite a few options that are available to look for. Here are some of the options that you can consider for distributing your press releases:
If you are a local business that mainly deals out of a brick and mortar store rather than a solely online business or one that operates in many locations, PRWeb is the perfect choice for you. They specialize specifically in regional and local distributions of press releases. There is also no annual fee with this option and your fee per press release option is dependent on the chosen level of distribution.
This is a popular distribution option that you may not have heard of. Ereleases has been listed as among the best press release options out there. It is a paid option but you are actually able to access such great press release distribution companies like PR Newswire without having to pay the higher price for it since eReleases has PR Newswire included on their list of distribution locations. Their distribution list also includes many bloggers that can really help you to get your press release out there to your target market.
This website offers free submissions for press releases and free distribution services. From here, these press releases are then distributed to different search engines, can be found on the PR.com syndicate feed, and distributed to various news sites that are online. The great thing about the PR.com syndicate feed is that it is published on quite a few news sites. This company will also send out press releases via email to journalists and other media professions who have opted in on this mailing list for new press releases.
Here you will also get free press distribution services. They will put the press releases on their website as well as distributing the press releases via email to the media outlets on their email lists. What makes this website unique is that this website actually tries to eliminate spam submissions by having a strict editorial process when it comes to press releases submitted to them. They also do not allow free provider email sites such as Google in their submissions either. They want to make sure that your message gets out there.
Free Press Release
This website offers both paid and free options for you to look at for your press release distribution. The press releases on this website are actually keyword-indexed through Google and the website is very easy to navigate around.
As far as press release distribution sites go, this one is the most popular option. It does require money to distribute your press release but they do offer various packages so that you can find something that really suit the needs of your business. They offer things like a Small Business Toolkit, which has packages that are perfect for small businesses. They charge users on an annual basis but they also charge fees every time that you use their services to distribute a press release. One of the best things here is that you are able to get your company’s press release to both online and offline media locations. You are also able to better target your market more specifically, which is also incredible.
This website is another website that you also have to pay for their distribution services. There is no annual fee but you do have to pay for each press release that you send out. It is among the cheaper options, which is great for those with a limited budget, but you do sacrifice in terms of where your press release can be distributed.
This is a leading blog on women in business and if you have a press release that is related to this target audience of women business professionals or entrepreneurs, you can submit it here. They will post the link to your press release for free on the website right on the home page as well as publishing the press release itself.
Small Business Trends
SmallBizTrends.com is a very popular website for news, tips, and other valuable information that is related to small business. You have probably even read it a few times in your life as a business professional. You can submit your press release for them to publish for free, which is great if you can actually get your press release published.
Google and Yahoo! news sites are very popular for readers, so it makes sense that you would want to get your press release on these sites. This is one company that can send your press release to not just Google News, but to somewhere over 50 other websites. This is a pretty inexpensive option in comparison to other choices.
24/7 Press Release
This is another pay website but you can have access to both traditional media and online media for publishing your press release. Your press releases will be sent to several thousands of newspapers and magazines while also having access to numerous news sites including Google and Yahoo! News websites. It is also available for bloggers and journalists to browse through on their own. These are only a few of the great things that you have access through this particular distribution service.
Writing a press release is only half the battle; the rest requires you to get it out there and published. Using press release distribution services can be an important tool for helping you to get your press release out there. These services will not guarantee that you will get noticed, but you will greatly increase your chances of visibility by going through one of these companies. Or, you can find ways to distribute your press releases on your own. Either way, a press release is no good if you do not get it out to the masses.