Question: I feel like most press releases are dull and boring. What tips do you have for crafting a press release that really stands out?
Question by: Donna
Upgrade Your Press Release
"Now that everyone has a mobile device, new tools exist for you to upgrade your boring press release into an interactive and exciting one. The release itself should still be in standard format and convey a clear message, but use the footer to include QR Codes that link to videos or images on your website that help illustrate your message."
Try Actual Networking Instead
"I tend to stray away from using press releases at all. Sure, they CAN be handy, and CAN get your message in front of the right eyes, but I find that having a strong network that includes members of the press allows for much better (and more predictable) exposure. Just make sure the relationship isn't one-way, and you'll be able to continue helping each other out for a long time."
Tell a Real Story
"Use your press release to tell a story that the reporter can dig into and elaborate on. A great press release uses all the tenets of effective marketing - curiosity, authority, social proof. Your press release is a marketing piece for a reporter, it should be written with the goal of getting coverage, not just sharing a piece of information."
Would You Read It?
"Whenever I write anything from a blog post to a press release, I use a simple test to see if it's good enough -- would I find this interesting if I were asked to read it? If you run this test on your own press releases, that should be a good starting ground to create one that really stands out."
Choose an Angle
"Decide who you want to run your story before you begin writing. If you know who you want to interest, you can tailor every aspect of the release to your target. Use buzz words that will be searched for, provide statistics that will support the story you are telling, and make the news visceral by using examples and anecdotes. The reporter then has everything needed to run with it!"
Create a Press Video
"Press releases are boring and most don't always read them. Take what you would write in a release and tell the story to the camera. If you have other videos to use, then include them for extra content. There is nothing like seeing the person behind the company telling a story rather than reading it in a boring press release."
Give With Statistics
"Most press releases are dull and boring because they are full of business buzz words and don't really impart any information. Fix this with a statistic that will get people talking. Take some time and think creatively about what you can show with numbers and include it at the top of your release."
Always Offer Knowledge
"The key to crafting a press release that stands out is offering the reader invaluable knowledge. Reporters are always looking for statistics and research they can quote and use in their stories. Tools like SurveyMonkey make it easy for you to conduct your own research. Every press release should feature usable data. Don't just talk about your new restaurant or service -- focus on info they need."
Social Media Friendly?
"Traditional press releases are dead. We live in a social media driven world so it's no surprise that press releases have to embrace the social web too. Also, if you have a small budget, PitchEngine offers a service to build a more interactive press release."
Think Like a Journalist
"Every press release should read as a journalistic piece. You should consider your audience and include punchy words, phrases and ideas that will pique their interest. Also, my personal rule is a one-page maximum per press release. Every word that can be cut out should be. Less is more. People don't have time anymore."
Optimize It for Search
"If you want your press release to stand out and be visible for a longer period than your launch, then you need to optimize it. Choose a few keywords and use them often within the release. This way, your investment will pay off over a longer period of time and drive more traffic."
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