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Businesses of all sizes know all too well how beneficial a press release can be. Not only are they a great way to spread the word about your company’s successes, they are also a quick and easy way to build traffic to your website.
They can also prove to be a big waste of time if not written correctly. There are a number of differences in writing press releases to your standard website copy. Take note of and utilise these methods, to guarantee a lasting impact with every press release.
As with any online copywriting, an eye catching and interesting headline is the key to attracting readers. If someone is browsing a website for nothing in particular, you need to give them a reason to stop and read your press release.
Headlines should be kept brief and to the point. Include your keywords and company name as close to the beginning as possible. A headline in a press release should arouse curiosity whilst maintaining an objective tone.
The summary is a 3-4 sentence introduction to your press release. This should cover your main points, but still encourage people to read on. The summary doesn’t always appear on your press release. More often than not it is featured on the website landing page and is the first glimpse people will have of your information.
Include your keyword phrase and a HTML link to your website in the summary. This is beneficial in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO). If you’re a small business with little or no experience in this, it’s advisable to enlist the help of a seo company. They can help you with your keyword research and the best way to use keywords online.
Opening Paragraph and Body Copy
You don’t have to be a journalist to write engaging and exciting copy. Reintroduce your press release; even repeating the summary if you’re stuck for inspiration. Set a clear and objective tone to let the reader know exactly what they can gain from reading on.
The body of your press release should loosely cover all information, but don’t give too much away. You want readers to click your links and visit your website, so give them a reason to. Remember also to speak in the third person and not sensationalise.
You are not writing a sales piece, it is an announcement of your achievements. Make sure any claims you make you can back up with factual evidence. Cover your main points and lead into a quote from an authority on the matter.
The Importance of Quotes and Evidence
Follow up your opening statement with a quote from yourself or a third party. Keep this as a short and effective sound bite. If you have more information, use quotes throughout the press release to support the points you make.
You should also support all of your points with fact based evidence. This can be a recent study or a third party authority. Keep these short and factual, don’t sensationalise – a press release focuses on a newsworthy event so bare this in mind when writing.
Press Release Ideas to Get You Started
If this has filled you with inspiration but you’re not sure where to get started here are a few subject ideas:
• New website/member of staff/client/premises
• An award you have won
• Launch of a new product
• ‘Piggybacking’ on current events as long as they relate to your business
• Seasonal promotions