In years past, companies used press releases so that a journalist could notice it, and that a piece of the release would get published in some news publication. Today, most of those news publications are extinct. Just like other forms of media promotion, the press release has made its home online. And the good thing: Press releases can still be effective—depending on what you want to accomplish with them.
The press release is a promotion tool. You’re going to use it to gain publicity or recognition for your business, while also increasing sales.
The press release is still effective because, if it’s good enough, it can get featured in various online and offline publications, gaining you heaps of publicity. This is not like it was in years past. Press releases were generally only read by reporters, and if you had to write something really relevant and important for it to get noticed by them. If you wrote a press release, there was no guarantee that it would reach the reporter’s hand, and even if it did, businesses were never certain that it was going to be successful.
Sites like PRWeb have permanently changed the game. PRWeb is a service that will distribute your release to Google News, Yahoo!, and Bing; it will also get sent to over 30,000 journalists and bloggers and 250,000 of PRWeb’s subscribers. With PRWeb and other sites like it, your press releases will get distributed. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it will bring you business, or that it would even get read. For that, the press release needs to be well written.
Step 1: Know what you’re going to write about and who you are going to write it for
Don’t write randomly. It’s going to be a waste of time and money if you write a press release on a trivial topic; it’ll be even worse if you write it for the wrong audience. They work best when the business has something newsworthy to share. For example, here is a list of things that a press release would be perfect for:
- Discounts and specials
- Announcing any policy changes
- Changes in ownership or management
- New product lines
- A new website
- A new store or office location
If you don’t have anything remotely newsworthy to share, don’t even waste your time. That being said, you should be looking for decent reasons to create a press release. Every business should have something going on. A high quantity of relevant press releases will do you no harm.
If you want your press release to appear in certain types of publications, write it for certain types of people. Write it for the people that you want to convert into buyers. From the outset, write it so that your target market will be interested.
Step 2: Follow the format
Following a basic format will increase the readability of your press release. Here’s a look at the common press release format:
- Dateline– The date of the press release.
- Immediate contact info– Name, email and phone of the contact person.
- Headline– Usually in bold typeface; it’s attention-grabbing and should give a general summary of the content in the release.
- Sub-headline– This should further elaborate on the headline.
- Intro paragraph– This should immediately answer who, what, when, where and why. The reason for the press release should immediately be made clear in the intro.
- Body– Additional paragraphs to elaborate on the announcement.
- Company info– Like a short “About Us”. Relevant info about your company.
The press release shouldn’t be over 500 words long. Stick to 1-2 pages. You should get straight to the point. Ask yourself “why should the person reading this press release care?” If you cannot answer that, then there is a strong possibility that your release will go unnoticed.
Step 3: Fit the press release into your sales process
You’re not just looking for increased publicity with your press release. You’re looking for fresh prospects that will eventually be converted into buyers.
Here’s the tricky part: A good press release shouldn’t be salesy. Even if you’re announcing a product launch, the press release shouldn’t sound like it’s actively compelling the reader to buy.
The best ways to start the process of converting readers into buyers is to:
- Weave in “buyer keywords” into the body of the release.
- Direct the reader to your sales funnel with a call to action.
The buyer keywords are used to attract the type of prospects that you’re looking for. The call to action would be a link to a webpage that is more sales-focused. It could be an opt-in page to gather their information; it could be a sales page or a page that has info about your product or service.
The idea is to get the ball rolling with prospects that are likely to become customers. This is accomplished without damaging the integrity of your press release.
Follow these three steps to get the most out of your press release.
Want more digital strategy advice and insights?
Sign up for our newsletter.
Facebook is at it again, innovating the social media landscape … this time with its uber-popular platform, Instagram. In a March 19th press release, the company unveiled the new Instagram Checkout feature, an e-commerce extension of the app. Since it’s currently in beta with only 25 companies, not much is known about it, and businesses…
According to a study published by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Department of Commerce, total e-commerce sales in the United States were estimated at $513.6 billion in 2018, a 14.2% increase from 2017. This data has been on an upward trend since 2009. Future projections globally cement e-commerce as the primary shopping method. Now, more than…
The most exciting part of doing business in this day in age is how much technology is available. This elevates the potential of what you can do with your marketing since it opens up a world of opportunities. While technology won’t be the magic button that will fix all of your problems, it helps accelerate…
Sales are the lifeblood of any business. Without a steady stream of sales, you don’t have revenue. And without revenue, you don’t have a thriving business. In today’s post, we’re going to look at the three tenets of lead generation, and how you can use them to exponentially grow your business. Tenet 1: You Must…
Zen Agency has earned the Sharpspring Silver Partner Certification from Sharpspring, a leading marketing automation platform. Why Does Marketing Automation Matter? The marketing automation tools provided by Zen Agency as a Sharpspring Silver Partner allows you to deliver the right message to the right leads. Track your content, who is seeing it, and craft an…
If you were to go back 20 years, you would see that law firm marketing was starkly different than it is today. You would see more billboards, late-night infomercials, neighborhood flyers, and newspaper ads. These days, we have websites, SEO, pay-per-click ads, and social media marketing. The options available to lawyers today give them countless…
Almost every successful website has one thing in common: Great content. You can have an extremely beautiful website with all the bells and whistles, but if you don’t have content, your web presence is woefully incomplete. You must learn how to start content marketing the proper way. There are no shortcuts: You need good content.…
Many businesses jump straight into marketing without a plan. This is a big mistake. Going into battle without a strategy will leave you with a poorly spent marketing budget and lackluster results. Often enough, the difference between companies who dominate the marketplace and companies who fail to get off the ground is simple: A clear,…
If I were to ask you, “what’s the #1 search engine?”, you would automatically say, “Google”, and you’d be right. But what if I were to ask you to state the #2 search engine? Some would say Bing or Yahoo, but the truth is that Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world.…
Let’s say you’re a business that’s running different online and marketing channels like SEO, PPC, email marketing and direct mail. You notice a remarkable uptick in sales, but you’re not precisely sure where they are coming from, as you’re using a variety of different marketing methods. If many of your leads contact you via the…