Hot off the Presses: How to Write a Good Press Release

hot off the press

“Extra, extra, read all about it!” The newsies would shout their messages from street corners into the noisy crowds who gathered to learn about the latest stories and scandals. As the patrons scrambled for their coins to pay for their papers, the greatest news of the day was being read simultaneously by others on the streets. Most breaking news was shared in the morning or evening papers, but on rare occasions of urgent information, a special edition paper would be printed. Newspapers were the only way for most people to know what was going on in the world. This could very well be considered the earliest press release.

 

Disseminating Urgent Information in the Modern World

While there are no longer newsies on the street corners yelling out the latest news, there are still press releases, but getting yours to be noticed can be a challenge.  Even if you have written a stellar piece on the latest news, how can you ensure others will read it and benefit from it? It’s more than just an information article or SEO copy; a press release will alert the public to something important and possibly life changing. If you are tasked with writing a great press release, here are some things to keep in mind while you’re writing and editing:

  1. Start off strong. The first 1-2 lines should clearly state the news with attention grabbing details. Some of the best headlines require the reader to keep reading to learn the answer to a burning question or for ways they can verify the information. For example, a press release headline should say something like, “Nissan to Release a Flying Car in 2014.” The reader will see those words and want to continue reading to learn more about the car but to also fact check.
  2. Prove your Credentials. As in the last example, the reader would continue to read but would really want to know who you, the author, were. Did you work for Nissan? Were you a family member of a designer at Nissan? Maybe you saw a prototype at a private car show. Think back to the newspaper days of the past and you can recall some reporters were popular for their outrageous stories while others were read for highly informative columns. You want readers to find your press professional and informative, or else you will wind up being treated as spam on the Internet.
  3. Be precise with your words. Flowery language and excessive wordiness is distracting. Each word should count and redundant words can lead to search engines penalizing the content. With fewer words and an easy to read format, your readers will have a higher likelihood of remaining engaged with your work. Avoid distractions by using the right words that get to the point quickly.  Use fun and quirky topics to draw in attention like the press releases recently written by the Starbucks teams.
  4. Write in Active Voice. Strong verbs make your case in a more effective way. Use verbs that highlight the actions rather than talk about the news in a passive voice. For example, instead of saying, “Replacement parts are going to be made available to the consumers.” you could say, “The Company plans to immediately replace the defective parts.” Not only does it indicate a time frame but also an action the reader can expect for that particular situation.
  5. Maintain a Professional Tone. Stay away from using slang, comfortable phrases, and jargon that may be generational or create hype. There is a fine line between announcing news and advertising; readers can distinguish between the two and when they want to read information, they don’t expect to see excessive punctuation, cliché words and something that sounds too good to be true. While the Internet has contributed positively to many news areas, it has also created a vast amount of false advertising, and skeptical readers.  The ads generated online have made readers wary of accepting pieces such as a press release at its face value due to their skepticism. By keeping the press release professional, you can help to avoid readers bypassing it and shorter really is better, as outlined by Entrepreneur.
  6. Keep a goal in mind. What sets this information apart from everything else? Why should anyone care about what you have to say? Everyone claims to do things like “save customers money” or “provide great customer service” so avoiding the terms that are present in many other boring press releases will help yours stand out.  Focus on several things that are unique to this information and create sub-headers about that information to guide the reader through the piece. This also provides the reader with a chance to skim through and read the parts that are of interest to them. The format of the press release is part of the set of goals set forth for the piece and some technical guidelines can be found at the Express Writers blog.
  7. Showcase your skills and the skills of the company or people for whom the press release is written. Don’t be afraid to use descriptive words to demonstrate certifications, expert status, and the qualifications that set this press release apart from the others.  If the company or personnel have won awards, be sure to mention those in the press release as well. This allows the reader a sense of respect for the subject of the presser as they realize it is something to be taken seriously. For example, if you’re talking about a real estate expert, ensure you include all of their designations. There are thousands of real estate agents in the country, but few have more than one designation after their name, so when you are quoting one who does, be sure to include that information.
  8. Leave one or two important items out. Yes, it’s okay to leave the reader wanting more or wanting the chance to visit a website or other source for added information. This can lead to readers learning more and being pleased with what they find out. Leave the readers with a call to action such as visiting the company site, calling for more info, or attending the event being discussed.

A great press release is more than just sharing information; it is about catching the reader and creating a captive audience who will read the information.

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Press Release Writing Tips: How to Benefit from Maximized Media Coverage in 3 Steps

Press Release Writing Tips to Maximize Media Coverage 

It’s no secret that in most cases, press release writing requires tons of accurate information; special skills; a lot of patience, time, and effort; and also a fruitful collaboration with influencers and potent media channels that might amplify and distribute your message to a broader audience. It might sound simple, but, in fact, getting enhanced media coverage can be quite challenging. Here are a few steps that you should follow in order to come up with a list of candidates, helping you see your press release published in business magazines relevant to your niche, newspapers, and on some of the most popular blogs.

First step: Find the best broadcasters based on the particularities of your message

a)     Identify your target audience to spot the perfect channels and influencers

What kind of sources of information are they particularly interested in? Finding the right answer to this question will help you spot the right media channels that you should try to reach in order to spread the word about your new accomplishment. Let’s assume that you’re just about to launch a new cosmetic product for women. Obviously, you’re going to try to get in touch with some of the most reputable, influential makeup and beauty bloggers and journalists who analyze reviews and write engaging articles about products similar to yours.

b)     Find the right channels based on the type of coverage that you’re hoping to obtain (local, national, international)

Are you willing to promote your products on a local, national, or international scale? If you’re just hoping to attract local buyers, it’s useless to waste any time trying to capture the attention of journalists working for prestigious, national newspapers. Start by analyzing your objectives; this will help you elaborate the perfect media list based on your real necessities.

Second step: Keep your media list updated

It is essential to build a powerful, long-lasting relationship with journalists covering your niche. This way, once you have a newsworthy fact, you just have to create a well-structured press release around it and send it to them. It is highly recommended to update your media list regularly, as some reporters might quit, might be promoted, or might be assigned to cover a different domain. Also, you could choose to consult different online databases, giving you unlimited access to extremely valuable media contacts.

Third step: Count on a highly effective PR distribution service

Let’s face it: Elaborating your very own media list can be challenging and time-consuming. Take the easy way out by simply counting on a popular press release distribution service, guaranteeing maximum coverage for your story. In this case, you have numerous alternatives at hand, and you could easily find a service provider who understands your real needs and expectations and promotes only press releases relevant to your niche. For instance, Source Wire enhances the online visibility of countless relevant technology releases. Extra tip: Before choosing to collaborate with a PR distribution company, make sure it offers you the chance to measure the real level of exposure of your press release. Some companies, like RealWire, provide a detailed report, allowing you to see exactly where your money goes at all times.

Creating and distributing first-hand press releases might be considered a real hassle by many business owners. Simplify your life by counting on quality press release writing services, enabling you to save a significant amount of time and focus on the core of your business.

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A History of Web Copywriting in Words and Pictures

Infographic: A Timeline History of SEO and Web Copywriting
Like this infographic? Get more tips from Express Writers.

Web copywriting matters now. Website owners and webmasters are forced to acknowledge that the quality of their copy plays a significant part in the success of their content marketing campaigns. But things weren’t always the same. To better understand how we got here, check the web copywriting infographic below, which shows the history of web copywriting on fast forward, including all the landmark moments that took place in past 15 years since web copywriting has been around.

 

1999–2005

During the first years of the Web, website owners and internet marketers didn’t care about web content. Duplicate, low quality content was ranked well anyway. All you needed was the right key term. Readers weren’t exactly thrilled, but it was everywhere when they googled it.

 

November 2003

We had to take some steps into the new millennium to see a change. Thus, in the fall of 2003, the SEO industry was hit on the head by the first algorithm change. It showed webmasters that they didn’t have all the cards. Florida—̶this was the name of Google’s first amendment to SEO law̶—exposed keyword stuffing and obsolete, spammy, 90s SEO maneuvers. Rankings dropped heavily. Thus, the SEO expert became a necessary evil.

 

January 2005

The next hit orchestrated by search engines, led by Google, came out under the name of “No Follow,” and it aimed to undermine the weeds threatening to take over the web lawn. Spammy content was cleaned, and for the first time websites suspected of link schemes were sanctioned or went straight down.

 

October–December 2005

“Jagger” and “Big Daddy” hit the stage. These updates launched by Google hunted down and de-ranked websites engaging in link manipulation and other doubtful web practices.

 

August 2008

Google introduced “Suggest,” a function that allows you to get a long SERP list when you type your keyword in the search bar. From that moment on, copywriters could use long tail keywords to optimize content.

 

May 2010

Another big step in Google’s endeavor of cleaning up the web yard was something that did not have a name, but prefigured the Panda move.

 

February 2011

Google Panda 1.0 charged in, and both website owners and web masters got an epic kick. Bad content lost ranks, and traffic value plummeted. And with this, lots of money evaporated. The echoes are still felt by many, as only a small percent of sites managed to get back on their feet after the Panda hug. Google Panda shifted the common approach on web content. For good. It became clear, for the first time, that if you wanted your web writing to work, you needed to move from focusing exclusively on keywords to creating readable content.

 

April 2011

Panda went overseas, showing the whole world that although he was this cuddly thing that you took to bed with you, he could be merciless when it came to bad content.

 

April–December 2011

Google Panda was updated 9 times. Each of its new versions was more adamant than the previous one. Spammy, duplicate, and low quality content was uncovered, and sites were thrown down.

 

May 2012

This is when Penguin 1.1 stepped in. 1% of search results felt the pain. Content length seems to matter, as it gets superior rankings.

 

August 2012

From now on, copyright protection is no longer overlooked. Google enforced the DMCA Penalty. Violating content copyright will determine Google to erase you from its search engine results. Also, this allows copywriters to defend their rights by exposing copyright infringements.

 

May 2013

The second generation of Penguin, Penguin 2.0, had a mild impact. It made blogging and social media networking imperative. However, your posts shouldn’t revolve exclusively around keywords. Don’t forget they are meant to be read and shared on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

 

Today

To matter, web copywriting needs to be valuable for your readers. Remember:

  • Keywords on their own won’t increase your readership. Instead, quality content will.
  • Be consistent in your blogging. High ranking is the result of quality of blog posts, not their number.
  • A good writer is an asset because (s)he will know how to reach your audience.
  • Originality is a basic and indispensable condition.
  • Use press releases to show you’re there.
  • Re-write outdated content and reiterate your SEO keyword analysis.
  • Fresh and solid content is mandatory.

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Look! A Press Release Example!

press release examples
Here you can find a press release example that should guide you through writing a good press release. Good press releases will help you to publish your work online or through publications such as magazines. When writing press releases, keep in mind that the shorter, the better and that the tone of the writing should be official, and in the third person. All the pertinent data should be included, usually in the first paragraph of writing. This can be used as a general template, since there is not much creativity involved in writing press releases.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [This should be in all caps, and flushed left at the top of your press release. If you want to publish your work at a later time, put HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL... then specify a date that you want it published]

HEADLINE [Again, this should be flushed to the left, and in bold letters. Pick a suitable headline for your press release. Press release examples typically have boring headlines, so get creative but make sure that you backup your headline with facts. Also, include your selected keywords in the headline so that search engines will find it and rank it higher.]

City, State/Country-Month, Day Year [This information will put your press release into context and will help orient the reader to it. This must not be forgotten because press releases without dates can’t be verified readily by readers, journalists and reporters.]

Body [This is where the actual press release goes. It should be more than one paragraph, however, it must not be too lengthy. A paragraph should not be more than a few sentences. If the press release does not fit in one page, write “more” at the bottom of the page.]

Company/Organization Information [It should be mandatory to place these information at the end of the body of your press release. If possible, include a few sentences about the highlights of your company so that readers will know that the source of information is credible. If you are writing on your own, include a short biography of yourself. However, do not sound like you are selling yourself or your company too much. Again, the tone of the writing here is key.]

Contact Information [This is where you put the ways in which the reader can reach you. Place your company address, email address, telephone number and possibly even a twitter account here so that readers can remain up to date with the latest information. If your company has a Facebook page, include that as well. Do not, however, put your personal Facebook page here, as this will make the press release seem to informal.]

ENDS or ### [Here is where you indicate the end of the press release. It is okay to put ### after the contact information. This section should be in bold or capitalized letters. This is the formal way of doing it, so that your press releases become credible sources of information.]

(xxx words) [In this last part of your press release, you can include the number of words that you used, if you want to. Again, this will make your press release more credible, and alert publishers about the exact length of your press release.]

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4 Ways in Which Effective Press Release Writing and Distribution Can Help You Grow a Powerful Brand

press release writing

Influential, accurate, original, reader-oriented Web content is a key element guaranteeing your success in the long term in any field of activity. Whether you are trying to promote your new line of eco-friendly detergents, your recently-launched dating service, or you are simply trying to announce the whole world that you’ve improved your dental implant technology, press release writing is the way to do it. In fact, high-quality press releases highlighting the greatness of your achievement in an entirely objective manner have a long list of benefits. Here are 4 of the most important ways in which these essential content pieces can help you grow a powerful brand and put some distance between you and some of your fiercest competitors.

1)     Enhance the visibility of your business
Press releases give journalists food for thought. Reporters who are always desperate to get their hands on some of the hottest, trendiest, most important subjects will use information provided by a press release, as long as it’s accurate, unbiased, useful, and tailored to the real needs of an audience. Extensive media coverage would enable you to profit from significant popularity increases to bring your new brand, organization, product, or service under the spotlight and ultimately to increase your revenues fast, effortlessly, and with a minimal investment.

2)     Affirm your supremacy in your niche
These days, you can easily exceed the efforts of the competitors who, for some reason or another, refuse to profit from truly accessible tools and services designed to support their natural evolution. Press release writing, for instance, offers you the chance to make your message heard, to brag about your most recent achievements, and to gain the trust of a larger segment of people who might be interested in buying your products. Also, this will help you gradually become a trusted expert in your niche, regularly interviewed by reporters covering your domain and always envied by your rivals who got left behind.

3)     Draw a considerable number of potential clients
In this case, the mechanism is quite simple; press release writing enables you to enhance brand recognition and client engagement. In other words, this type of content helps you earn the trust and the respect of your potential buyers.

4)     Attract powerful investors to consolidate your business
More than 80 million people rely on different online sources of information that end up influencing their buying decisions to a certain extent. While it seems obvious that not all of these 80 million individuals living in different parts of the globe might be interested in your new products or services, a few of them could be potent investors constantly looking for new business opportunities. Press release writing services describing your recent success, your new breakthroughs, or the implementation of a revolutionary product or service could help your company get noticed, allowing you to find the ideal investment partners that you’ve been looking for all along.

Undoubtedly, high-quality press release writing and effective PR distribution services represent valuable assets for all business owners who hope to win big by attracting investors and drawing more clients. Press releases deliver all of these advantages and more while requiring a negligible investment, compared to the long-lasting benefits ensured by well-written content pieces.

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5 Incredibly Effective Web Content Tips on How to Strengthen the Bond with Your Readers

 original web content

Most website owners have a hard time trying to anticipate and address the needs of their readers in a satisfactory manner. They struggle to grow a powerful, extremely influential brand with a healthy online reputation, and fail to witness traceable improvements. This happens mainly because online business owners don’t know how to strengthen the bond with their targeted audience. They lack the tools, the technique and the skills required to harness the curiosity and the interest of millions of Internet users constantly looking for fresh, original, relevant, accurate, regularly updated web content. Check out 5 working content writing tips, showing you how to create and maintain a flawless relationship with your readers in the long term.

1)     Surprise them in a pleasant manner on a regular basis

Whatever you do, don’t be predictable. Predictable ideas are always boring, especially in dynamic digital environments where abrupt changes never cease to take us by surprise. Analyze the unique attributes of your products and learn how to put them on full display in an original, creative manner. Diana Vreeland, the prestigious fashion editor, offers us a great piece of advice, underlining the idea that we should surprise our followers constantly, with details that they “never knew they wanted” and needed in the first place.

Be always one step ahead of your main competitors and manage to communicate unique, informative, entertaining messages that will be received, filtered and assimilated with enthusiasm by all your readers. Last, but not least, make them wonder: “How come I’ve never thought of that?”

2)     Learn how to share engaging content even if you’re writing for the most difficult niche

Readers tend to neglect flat ideas that they can’t relate to. Believe it or not, even tech writers can support this statement. Mere strings of numbers extracted from dull statistics and randomly posted on your website will get you nowhere. Let’s assume that you want to highlight the fact that eco-friendly energy has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Accurate numbers will back your story, but you will need to dig a little deeper to cultivate the engagement of your readers. Help them discover how green energy could reduce their monthly utility bills and how an eco-conscious attitude would help them live a cleaner, healthier life. This approach will enable you to stimulate the participation of your readers, while distributing awesome web content.

3)     Create a compelling story that sells

Let’s face it: we all love stories with a real substance. We identify ourselves with the leading character and always hope for a happy ending. Why should your web content be any different than a beautiful story with a powerful call-to-action? This doesn’t mean that you have to fabricate facts or to exaggerate the properties of your products. Be honest at all times, but find a way to improve your storytelling skills, all in order to create a long-lasting emotional connection with all your readers.

4)     Help your readers play an important part in your story

Website owners should always try to come up with new ways to encourage the participation of their followers. This is a golden rule followed by all Internet marketers and content writers who know that they should elaborate and communicate essential ideas turned by readers into emotion-filled mental pictures. Make them believe that the main idea developed in your blog post belongs to them or coincides with their deep-routed beliefs. Support a fruitful conversation, not a tiresome monologue that nobody wants to hear.

5)     Personalize your messages

Internet users can easily distinguish a truly, relevant, blog-sharing, informative web content from one distributing web materials which pretty much sound like the dullest sales pitch ever invented. Don’t fall into this trap. The key is to write engaging posts after doing a considerable amount of research. Discover:

a)     what people would like to read on your blog

b)     what kind of questions are Internet users asking about products similar to yours

c)     what your main competitors forget to say about their brand, line of products or services

d)     how your most import rivals connect with their followers

After taking all these factors into consideration, learn how to personalize your unique message and remember that only a realistic “trial and error” method can bring you closer to your boldest goals; so don’t be afraid to experiment.

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3 Types of Web Content That Could Compromise Your Online Reputation

quality web content

 

Your website is a weighty bridge between your brand and your potential buyers. In fact, the aesthetics and the functionality of your web page are two essential elements influencing the popularity and profitability of your online business. Quality web content plays an important part in this equation, guaranteeing your supremacy in your line of work in the long term. It’s no secret that original, helpful, meaningful ideas draw a significant number of visitors looking for pertinent answers to some of their most pressing questions. On the other hand, low-quality content writing can get you into a lot of trouble, impacting your online reputation and your revenues in the long term. When it comes to content for your website, one thing’s for sure: it is always preferable to put quality over quantity. Here are 5 types of web content that you should avoid at all costs:

1)     Dull, uninspiring, flat web content

Whether you are trying to launch your new line of antibacterial soaps, promote your high-end car dealership or make your targeted audience fall in love with your Japanese restaurant and create buzz around it, you need premium web content to support your goals. In other words, your ideas should inform, entertain, delight and persuade your readers into doing something (test your soaps, buy your cars, check out your restaurant and tweet about it, and the options are endless). Flat, boring web content will get you nowhere and it represents a mere waste of time and money.

2)     Web materials with no call-to-action

You might have what it takes to elaborate a beautiful story supporting your brand, but are you also a skilled Internet marketer? Do you know your audience and can you find out exactly what your online visitors want to see on your webpage? Do you count on a solid business background, enabling you to make the smartest decisions when it comes to enhancing the online visibility of your product? Do you know how to stimulate the interest of your potential buyers and make them act in a certain manner? If you’ve come up with a bunch of negative answers to all these questions, think about going in favor of professional content writing services. An experienced writer will offer you unlimited access to first-class web content with a powerful call-to-action, bringing you closer to all your marketing goals. Web content which fails to influence your readers is worthless and does not contribute to your business success.

3)     Duplicate content

Make no mistake: lack of originality will cost you a great deal. If you still think that “borrowing” a few ideas from your main competitors is a healthy, inoffensive business practice allowing you to save time and money, then you should shift your perspective 180 degrees as soon as possible. You must have heard about Google’s Penguin update. Google penalizes sites promoting duplicate content, created and distributed to drive more traffic and manipulate search engine results. The Penguin update was implemented to ensure a 5-star web experience for Internet users, prevent web spamming techniques and enhance the online visibility of websites that actually distribute high-quality web content. In this content, it goes without saying that copy-paste strategies are a major no-no and original, inspirational, creative ideas tailored to the needs of your segment of readers are the key to bigger profits and a flawless online reputation.

If you don’t have what it takes to create business -savvy marketing strategies built on first-class web content, take the easy way out: opt for professional content writing services and witness spectacular results in no time.

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