Best Practices for Writing and Distributing A Press Release

Best Practices for Writing and Distributing A Press Release

A press release is a fantastic way to raise awareness about your business, products, and services and significantly increase your brand visibility.

What’s more, press releases and earned media come with a range of unique benefits for growing brands.

Coverage from a reputable publication or journalist is usually considered more authentic and trustworthy than any content you could publish yourself. Plus, working with publications can help you to reach a wider audience, with minimal effort. 

The only problem is, that writing and distributing press releases effectively isn’t always easy. That’s one of the reasons so many companies rely on experts to do the hard work for them.

If you want to unlock the benefits of a great press release for your company, here are our top tips.

Tips for Writing Better Press Releases

Getting the best results from your press release starts with writing incredible content. First, you need a newsworthy topic journalists will actually be interested in. Usually, news about upcoming products and services grabs the most attention. That’s why 32% of the top-performing press releases in one study are directly linked to a new release. 

Once you’ve chosen the right topic:

1. Get the Formatting Right

Research common press release formats to ensure you’re following industry guidelines. On average, most press releases are short (no more than 400 words long). They also follow AP press release guidelines, and concisely outline key points such as:

  • The date and location where the press release is being issued
  • Who the story is about
  • What is happening
  • When and where it will occur
  • Why it’s important

Ensure you include a clear, captivating headline in your press release that covers the point of the story and captures the reader’s attention. 

2. Use the Right Language

Simplicity is often key in a press release. You want your news to reach as many people as possible, which means avoiding industry jargon or confusing terms. Additionally, it’s important to avoid any content that appears overly promotional or hyperbolic.

Journalists are known to deliberately ignore or block companies that reach out to them with overly promotional content. Think of a press release as a chance to inform, rather than sell. 

Be honest and unbiased in the information you share, and make sure you include plenty of context that highlights exactly why this news is important to your target reader. 

3. Optimize for Engagement

Make sure your press release is fine-tuned to capture as much engagement as possible. There are a few ways you can do this.

For instance, optimizing your content for SEO with the inclusion of carefully chosen keywords can improve your chances of higher rankings when its published, which means more traffic and engagement.

Including relevant quotes from industry authorities or images and videos can make your content appear more credible and authentic. Plus, it gives your content a human touch that appeals to a wider range of readers. You could even consider including images in your press release.

Tips for Better Press Release Distribution

Once you’ve nailed the process of writing your press release, the next step is distribution. Unfortunately, as this Reddit discussion about press release distribution platforms indicates, many companies struggle with the distribution process. 

Here are some quick tips for better press release distribution:

1. Explore a Variety of Options

There are various ways to distribute your press releases in today’s digital world. If you know a particular thought leader or journalist in your industry, you can reach out to them directly through social media or email to pitch your story.

If you’re not sure which websites share news relevant to your audience, you can search for terms included in your press release on Google. 

For instance, typing a phrase like, “New footwear collection” into Google and clicking on the “News” tab should show you a range of companies publishing content related to footwear.

You can also check out media databases like Cision, or press release platforms like Newswire, PR distribution, or eReleases. You might even consider dedicated distribution platforms like “CyberWire” for tech, or “FinanceWire” for finance. 

2. Get the Pitch and Timing Right

Once you’ve found journalists, websites, or publications that might be willing to publish your content, the next step is to reach out, at the right time, with the correct pitch. Start by thinking about timing.

Studies show that around half PR pros prefer sending press releases on a Tuesday, when companies are less likely to be overwhelmed by other messages. 

Once you’ve chosen a good time for your release, personalize your pitch to ensure it appeals to your target platform. Discuss why you think your press release is valuable to their readers, and consider referencing similar posts they’ve published in the past. 

3. Contribute to Visibility

After you find a publication or journalist to distribute your press release, make sure you’re doing your part to increase its exposure. If you can help to draw more attention to your content, you’ll increase your traffic and conversions, and improve your relationships with publishers. 

Consider adding a link to the press release to your next email newsletter, or promoting it on your social media profiles. Share a version of your press release on your blog or news page, with a link back to the publication that featured you. You could even consider posting videos related to your press release on channels like YouTube. 

4. Track Your Results

Finally, make sure you track the results of your press release to help guide your future strategies. Pay attention to which publications responded to your messages, and what kind of pitches grabbed their interest.

Monitor how many responses you get to emails sent on different days to optimize your timing in the future, and track engagement when promoting your press release across various channels. 

Monitoring your results will help you to create more powerful press releases in the future, reach out to the right publications, and increase the ROI from your campaigns. 

Make the Most of Your Press Releases

Your press releases can drive incredible attention to your products, services, and brand, opening the door to new opportunities for growth. However, the only way to get the most value out of your earned media is to ensure you’re writing and distributing your press releases correctly.

Use the tips above to ensure you can grab the attention of the right journalists, and boost the visibility of your next press release. 

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