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Crafting an Effective Press Release by Avoiding Common Errors

Randomly opened Online News Web sites on Computer Screen.

There are many tactics online marketers use as they relate to spreading a message, attracting attention to a brand and improving search engine rankings.  One popular method is through the distribution of press releases or “hot-topic news items” about an individual or a company.  Press releases, in general, are very valuable for use online because of their ability to immediately change, improve and modify search engine rankings.  However, in order to get the most out of a press release, you simply cannot write one haphazardly and without a certain amount of strategy.  You must decide on the goals of your press release and write accordingly.

The Use of Press Releases in Online Marketing

Distributing a press release that was simply thrown together can prove harmful to a brand or online message.  Take the following common errors into consideration when crafting the structure and content of your press release:

  • Writing about a topic that isn’t news.  First off, it’s very hard for some individuals or companies to truly identify what is classified as news and what is not.  While it is often apparent what to write about (a sale or special offer, a new product, an award or honor presented to an executive of the company, etc.), you may find yourself grasping for a suitable topic if you have no new product launches or promotions to share.  Ultimately, you must be able to present an angle that is newsworthy and relevant.  This is the only way your release will gain any traction online or be picked up by other media outlets.
  • Using a casual or informal tone not up to par with journalistic standards and/or writing in the first or second person.  No matter what your release is discussing, you must keep it high level and professional.  The verbiage you use must be commanding and be delivered in an authoritative voice.  The same can be said about using a first or second person perspective.  A press release must always be delivered in the third person and you have to be very careful to double and triple check this when you are proofing and getting ready to distribute the release.  Many times, writers have a tendency to switch perspectives and, while it is okay to use the first person point of view in a direct quote, you should make sure that you switch back to third person as soon as you are done quoting a source.
  • Not understanding or discounting the value of a professional distribution service.  Many first time press release writers or amateur marketers truly do not realize the value of utilizing a professional PR wire service, such as PRWeb, PR Newswire, etc., until it is too late. Instead they believe that their press release will easily get picked up by sending it to a TV station or newspaper directly.  Let me be the first to say that this is not a sound strategy and that it is unlikely, except in the case of very small, local markets (I’m talking small towns and a local paper, not a large media market) that you will get any traction or attention for your release.  Of course, a PR wire service also comes with a cost and, if you are on a tight budget, it is true that this might not be feasible right off the bat.  However, I only say this because I have seen many individuals take the press releases my team at Grammar Chic writes and come back to me frustrated and disappointed with their results after trying to distribute it on their own.  Ultimately, if you plan on utilizing a PR wire service, realize that the reason you are paying a steep price is because they are providing you with a way of immediately getting in touch with their vast network of editors, copy desks, bloggers, journalists and the like.  As such, in order to take advantage of this network and get the most out of your press release distribution, simply put, you must spend money to make money.

In closing, press releases and their corresponding distribution strategies are excellent tools in the arsenal of any online marketer, businessperson or individual—at least when they are executed correctly. If you are just getting started in the world of press release writing or if you have been working at this angle, but have not yet seen results and need some help, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. by calling 803-831-7444 today or visiting www.grammarchic.net.  Our team of professional press release writers can help you draft and distribute a press release that highlights your brand or news effectively and gets results!

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Write a Press Release the Right Way by Avoiding Pitfalls

News on a laptop computer isolated on white

In today’s fast-paced world, nothing can prove more beneficial to a company than staying relevant within the public eye. Although there are many online marketing strategies that can help a business increase its presence on the Internet, the power of news has continued to prove an invaluable factor in branding. In professional terms, this news typically comes from press releases—an official public statement that provides a viewpoint, event or response directly from a business.

Although a countless number of press releases are thrust into the online world each day, those that are intriguing, concise and informative always rise to the top. As such, one can reason that the stronger the press release, the greater exposure a company or professional will experience. At Grammar Chic, writers read and write a vast amount of press releases—these documents may seem similar in regards to structure, but our staff has learned that there are certain things to avoid when creating a press release.

Those who want to learn what pitfalls to avoid when creating a powerful press release should note the following:

  • Press Releases Are Not Advertisements

When it comes to brand exposure, there is a time and place for pure promotional goodness—press releases are not meant for that kind of mentality. While a press release can help increase the exposure of a brand, it must always highlight a relevant subject that offers some sort of information to the public. Without the element of news, a press release is going to simply read as an advertisement. Forming such a promotionally-focused statement will not only turn readers off, but a lot of news agencies may reject the material in the first place.

  • Press Releases Are To Remain Objective

At Grammar Chic, our writers often write press releases with an isolated approach. Although we work to help our client’s craft powerful statements, it is our responsibility to make sure that all personal opinions are removed from the document. Just as a proper news story should not contain subjective viewpoints, press releases should only present the facts.

While direct insight and opinions are great components of a strong press release, it is best to properly quote and cite where such views originated. Without staying objective, readers can become turned off of the business, especially if the biased tone does not fall in line with their own set of beliefs.

  • Press Releases Must Remain Concise and Direct

A good press release always leaves a reader wanting to know more about a company or figure. However, writers should never skimp on the important details of a particular story. For that reason, it is important for a press release to quickly get to the overall message. Most of the time, the main points are initially addressed in the headline and are later elaborated on in the body.

Like any written work, a good press release must display optimal flow that answers the necessary “who,” “what,” “when,” “where” and “why” questions. Those who are venturing into the world of press releases should always try to stay focused and not include irrelevant information. As a pointer, writers should always keep in mind what facts are most important for the public to grasp and to write around those themes.

  • Press Releases Should Always Be News-Worthy

As noted above, news is one of the most powerful sources of information when it comes to influencing the public perception of a business, event or personality. In the same respect, press releases can have just as much strength in regards to informing readers. However, press release writers should keep in mind that if a press release cannot “inform,” then there really is no purpose to producing the statement.

Sometimes it can prove difficult to find ways to produce a news-worthy story, especially if press releases are new additions to a company’s online marketing strategy. In these instances, writers must put on their creative thinking caps and find a way to bring out the news of a company. New hires, responses to relevant news stories, product releases and industry insight can all prove great angles for a press release that is not only refreshing, but also news-worthy.

Making the Most of a Permanent Statement

One factor about press releases that many professionals do not realize is that once the statements are published, they are available for the public to see and cannot disappear. In some cases, a retraction may be required, but these incidents can prove embarrassing, costly and inconvenient to those who wrote the original release. In order to make the most of a press statement, professionals must approach these statements with a sense of authenticity and confidence.

Although press releases can prove a valuable asset to a company, it is also necessary to realize that there are many pitfalls that can cause problems throughout the process. For those that may need help overcoming these pitfalls—or simply creating a strong press release—the writers at Grammar Chic, Inc. are ready to assist! Contact us today for more information on how we can help craft powerful statements that could boost your online appeal.

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