Human desire for news; that is one aspect that will never fade away from the surface of this world. In today’s world, that thirst is quenched online. According to a recent survey by PR Web, over 80 million people prefer to get news online. For companies, that is more than just statistics. It shades light on why press releases are important now more than ever before. Over the years, press releases have established themselves as credibility tools. Only few people view them as SEO tools (which is true anyway). Otherwise, press releases are effective ways of passing information about a particular product, company, or even service.
An engaging and fully consuming press release comes with multiple benefits. For instance:
- Good press releases generate appropriate social signals through shares and comments
- Drive organic traffic back to the website
- Sparks interest amongst target audience
Most importantly, you get to send waves of news and enjoy wide media coverage for as long as the content of the press release remains relevant. To enjoy these enticing benefits however, you must have exceptional press releases. To achieve that, you have to play by a given set of rules. You have to do things differently.
Alter your Timeline
One undeniable advantage of press release is that it is possible to build a distribution list and deliver your content to your target audience within the shortest time possible. What if the target audience isn’t there or is no longer interested in your weekly news? Changing the tactic of the game will work in your favour. If you have been doing it weekly, reduce the trend to monthly or once every two months. Unless you are handling breaking news, give your audience time to miss your news. Even more, that time will be useful for your PR team to get something substantial rolling.
Relationship First, Release Next
If you have been in the PR industry long enough, by now you understand that there is no greater mistake than pitching a journalist without first making contact. If you think you have a great story, get the journalist or blogger interested first. However perfect a journalist is, there are certain topics he wouldn’t juts make the most out of. The sixty-day break is for you to establish a relationship with the journalist. If you have an ‘in-house’ team, choose the best person for the job. Ensure they are interested in doing it. At the end of the day, passion always beats experience.
The world is changing and the trends are shifting. Long narratives are dying. People are no longer interested in stories. They want precise and concise content. To break the boredom and increase interest, you must have interesting content. Include pictures and videos in the press release. Stories with less succinct visuals are less likely to cause massive impacts on the social arena or anywhere else. To achieve this, you can take advantage of various tools such as PitchEngine to compile your story and other used media into a single press release. You will have an easier time distributing your content.
Think of Search Smart
Getting the best writer/journalist to cover your story and using convenient tools like Pitch Engine is just half of the work. To ensure your content is picked by search engines and distributed accordingly, you need more. You need the appropriate keywords in the right places. Take advantage of Google being the best reporter in the world and optimise your choice of content in order to maximize search results. Tools like WordTracker can be instrumental in achieving that. Find out the search terms that guarantee maximum SEO benefit and use them to your advantage.
Track your Success
You depend on other journalists, reporters, and readers to share your content. That is never guaranteed although it will happen, eventually. You need to track its progress. Many companies make the unforgivable mistake of releasing press statements and forgetting all about them. The release might generate bad press. Unless you have a secret strategy of handling media crisis, you should follow up on all your press releases. Use social media trackers to keep track of the number of re-tweets and likes. Such information can be important in influencing the nature of your subsequent press release. Remember, the post-distribution process is as important as the press release itself.
The 3 inside Rules
Changing your strategies and doing it differently will definitely change the face of your press lease. However, they will only bring forth the expected results when you play by the press release codes. They might be old but they are still applicable, and will always be. Just in case you are forgetting;
Know Your Audience
The importance of knowing and understanding your audience cannot be overemphasized. To start with, you need to carry out demographic research on the target audience. If you are targeting people slightly over 50 years, using modern words will not help much in gaining traction. It might be newsworthy but unless you tailor the content to the tune of the audience, it will just be another waste of time and effort.
As agreed previously, you depend on various channels to distribute your content to the right audience. Are they the right channels? You need to stop and ask yourself that question. How well you target will make or break the distribution. Ensure you carry out research on all the possible industries that your products or services might be relevant to. Amazing content to the wrong audience is also a waste of resources.
Collaborate to Succeed
Press release is not a one-man affair. To develop and distribute an effective press release, you require the support of others. Right from composition, the ideas shouldn’t be limited to yours. Consult where necessary and accept criticism whenever it comes though. The result will be unrivalled content and quality press releases.
In a world where a big percentage of people consume news online, the importance of a perfect press releases cannot be overemphasized. Using the right strategies and abiding by the golden rules will go a long way in passing your message to target audience.
Charlie Brown is a freelance content writer. He has written many good and informative articles on different categories such as Technology, health, fashion, beauty, education, career, travel etc. He is very responsible towards his job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.