Because it’s very easy to throw together a press release and distribute it to multiple online outlets, many people have turned to this option as a way to build backlinks. Unfortunately, these backlinks are about as effective as those from overused article directories. While using press releases for their instant backlinks is not a good way to spend your valuable time, that doesn’t mean you should remove press releases from your arsenal of marketing tools. Instead, your focus should be on using them to accomplish what they’re actually intended to do.
Your goal should be to get the attention of bloggers and even mainstream media sources. Although it’s easy to assume that bloggers and reporters ignore press releases, you have to keep in mind that they are almost all overworked. As a result, they don’t always have time to go out and dig around for a story. If the roots of a story are delivered directly to their inbox, it’s easy to see why they will be happy to run with it. But in order for this to occur, the press release you write needs to actually be good. If you’re wondering what makes a good press release, here are the qualities one needs to possess in order to get results:
It Isn’t a Commercial: You want to be able to persuade people who visit your website to purchase the products or services your company offers. However, when you’re writing to members of the press, you’re not trying to get them to buy from you. Instead, your pitch is to write a story about your company. Because the focus is different, your press release shouldn’t be a sales pitch.
What it should contain is useful and interesting information that bloggers and reporters can craft a story around. If you’re not sure what kind of information they can use, identify the top five sources where you want to get coverage, and then read some of their posts and stories to get an idea of the type of information they use.
Focuses on the Key Facts: Your press release doesn’t need to be a long narrative. It’s going to be up to the blogger or reporter to choose the length of a story. What it does need to have are the key facts that a writer needs to craft their story. The questions are how, plus the Five Ws: who, what, where, when and why.
Is Timely: Adding evergreen content to your website is a great way to consistently bring in a stream of search engine visitors. However, blogs and other news outlets are more interested in supplying their loyal readers with the latest and greatest stories. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to find an actual news angle for your press release. While it may take some brainstorming and creativity to come up with the right angle, it’s worth it since this factor can make or break your press release.
Have you sent out one or more press releases during 2012?