4 Keys To Creating A Bulletproof Online Press Release

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Every press release you write and distribute should have a narrowly defined purpose. You want to spread the word about your business and gain exposure, but there are more refined goals that lie under the surface. For example, you might want to attract media coverage from specific outlets; you may want to position your company – or yourself – as the authority in your field; or, you might want to drive a higher volume of sales.

In order to achieve these and other goals, your online press release should be written according to a defined set of guidelines. Otherwise, you risk wasting time, money, and effort on an ineffective campaign that lacks direction. Incorporate the following four tips to create a bulletproof press release that produces measurable results.

Key #1 – Focus On Your Angle

Your press release needs an angle. A story. A hook that grabs the reader’s interest, and draws them more deeply into your piece. The most effective way to do this is by choosing a newsworthy story related to your business.

There are a few standards a story must meet in order to be considered newsworthy. First, it should affect your target audience in some way. Otherwise, readers will find it uninteresting. Second, it should present a problem that your company’s products or services address. Your news angle should also be timely, offering new information or a fresh perspective on an existing story.

Note that your angle takes precedence over promotion. Avoid the temptation to use your press release as a platform for selling your products.

Key #2 – Cite Your Sources For Added Credibility

Including opinions within your PR is fine. In fact, it is recommended since a well-placed opinion can influence the reader. But doing so without citing the opinion’s source will tarnish your credibility. Here, the opinion is little more than an assertion.

For example, suppose your company has designed a new accounting software package. Claiming your company’s software is the “best accounting package available” is an assertion. Nothing more. It means very little in your readers’ eyes without a source.

Now, suppose your PR includes a quote from the principal of XYZ Accounting, Inc. that reads “Acme Bookkeeping’s new accounting software is the best we have ever used.” The opinion is attributed to a perceived authority. Thus, it has weight. It has influence on your readers, and improves your credibility in their eyes.

Key #3 – Write For Readers

When distributing your press releases offline, a professional writing style is necessary in order to keep the attention of journalists and news editors. Your release will be ignored if it contains slang or excessively “loose” language. Contrary to what many business owners believe, the same is true with online press releases.

Your audience wants to read information or a perspective that is relevant to their interests. However, if your writing style carries the mark of an amateur – or worse, is overly promotional – you will lose credibility. Given that your online press release can reach an enormous audience through exposure on the search engines, a loss of credibility can pose a lasting effect on your business.

Write your PR with an engaging style that avoids slang, jargon, clichés, and promotional language that lacks sources.

Key #4 – Optimize Your Press Releases For The Search Engines

Optimizing your online press release is simpler than it seems. Your piece should focus on a small group of keywords that are prioritized according to your goals. You should have a primary keyword along with a few secondary keywords. The primary keyword should be placed near the beginning of your headline; the secondary keywords should be sprinkled in the summary. Your body copy should incorporate all of them.

Your press release should contain a couple of anchored links that focus on your main keywords. Also, include an “URL link” in case your piece is posted on sites that fail to include clickable links to your website.

Do the four keys above guarantee your press release will achieve its purpose? No. There is no magic bullet. This is the reason a steady distribution of high-quality, well-written press releases is important. While one may fail to hit your target, an ongoing series of them is likely to do so.

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