You've Submitted to All Of The Major Search Engines, Now What?
|Table of Contents|
How Writing Press Releases can Boost Your Internet
Seven Elements of Press Releases
Top 10 Press Release Writing Tips
Format of a Press Release
Press Release Promotion Resources
Promoting a web site consists of more than just a great optimization job, and submitting to well trafficked search engines. You have to do a little bit more work in the promotion department, if you want a successful site and boost your sales turnover if you're an eCommerce site.
Writing a Press Release can help a great deal. This gets the word out to media sources about your products or services and can result in a fair amount of traffic. When considering writing and submitting a press release, look at the sites you will be sending them to. Do they publish the release online? Is it archived? Is it reachable by search engine spiders?
Check the press release sites out as well. You can do a keyword search for them in Google, or whatever your favorite search engine is. You can also check the backwards links to the press release site, as an indicator of how much traffic and relevance the site may have.
A good press release starts with the basics. You need to know what media it will be sent to, and write specifically for that target market.
Writing Press Releases for e-mail distribution is a bit different from writing for Fax, or Snail Mail distribution. It's best when sending an e-mail Press Release if you send it to somebody at the news media service department with whom you have a name for.
You can always call them via telephone early in the business day and speak with the Receptionist. Tell her that you have a newsworthy event you'd like to submit for publication, what department it would best be suited for and then ask her for the name of this person this should be sent to as well as the correct e-mail address.
The subject line of the message you send should be the Press Release title angle. Think of this as your hook to peek their interest, to where they will actually open the release and read it. Most releases are chucked within 2 seconds of the reporter getting the release because the release was not written well enough.
Try to send in your release at least a week in advance of your event. If it's a breaking news article then it needs to be submitted before 3:00 PM Central time because that is deadline hour for newspapers and media sources around the globe.
Your event must be new. If it's more than a week or a month old, it may not get coverage because it's no longer new.
There are several services which will submit your press release for you. This is generally not the best approach. The best method is to contact the person in the department first, yourself, before submitting an e-mail release to them. Cultivate your own media relationships because later on, where future press releases on similar subject matter, this can prove to be beneficial to you in the long run.
There are seven basic elements that every press release should have in terms of content and how it appears:
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: These words should appear in the upper left-hand
margin, just under your letterhead. You should capitalize every letter.
- Contact Information: Skip a line or two after release statement and list
the name, title, telephone and fax numbers of your company spokesperson
(the person with the most information). It is important to give your home
number since reporters often work on deadlines and may not be available
until after hours.
- Headline: Skip two lines after your contact information and use a boldface
- Dateline: This should be the city your press release is issued from and
the date you are mailing your release.
- Lead Paragraph: The first paragraph needs to grasp the reader's attention
and should contain the relevant information to your message such as the
five W's (who, what, when, where, why).
- Text: The main body of your press release where your message should fully
- Recap: At the lower left hand corner of your last page restate your product's specifications, highlight a product release date.
- Make sure the information is newsworthy.
- Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it.
- Start with a brief description of the news, then distinguish who announced it, and not the other way around.
- Ask yourself, "How are people going to relate to this and will they be able to connect?"
- Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective, as they are the most important.
- Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language.
- Deal with the facts.
- Provide as much contact information as possible: Individual to contact, address, phone, fax, e-mail, Web site address.
- Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release.
- Make it as easy as possible for media representatives to do their jobs.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Contact Person Company Name Telephone Number Fax Number E-mail Address Web site address
City, State, Date — Opening Paragraph (should contain: who, what, when, where, why):
Remainder of body text - Should include any relevant information to your products or services. Include benefits, why your product or service is unique. Also include quotes from staff members, industry experts or satisfied customers.
If there is more than 1 page use:
(The top of the next page):
Abbreviated headline (page 2)
Remainder of text.
(Restate contact information after your last paragraph):
For additional information or a sample copy, contact: (all contact information)
Summarize product or service specifications one last time
Company History (try to do this in one short paragraph)
# # #
(indicates Press Release is finished)
Here are some media resources where you can research the best options and target markets for your press release:
http://www.gebbieinc.com : Online searchable database of 1000s of USA Radio & TV Stations, Daily & Weekly Newspapers, Trade & Consumer Magazines.
http://www.newspaperlinks.com: Online searchable database of 1000s of US Daily & Weekly Newspapers, Canadian Newspapers, International Newspapers, College Newspapers, Newspaper Archives, Newspaper Groups, Associations and Media Organizations.
You can also add your Press Releases to your own web site to be indexed by search engines and also to be seen by your visitors.
The best way to get your Press Release read by the media, and actually published, is to avoid the hype and be honest. Don't submit an article unless it's newsworthy.
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