5 Tips for Writing a Better Press Release

A few simple press release guidelines for writing better press releases

Oftentimes, a press release is written in a formulaic fashion and before it goes live, we only ask ourselves the basic questions like… are there quotes? Are we pointing them to the page we want? Does it include all the correct contact information? Does it make people want to write about or learn more about this news?

When you begin to get accustomed to writing press releases, it’s very easy to glaze over the more marketable and approachable opportunities that you can offer to these little buzz generators. It’s also easy to forget that the people who are more likely to use your press release these days are bloggers. Bloggers respond to press releases much more differently than traditional media.

Even if in your industry, you’re more likely to be picked up by news journalists, just remember that journalists are swamped with more press releases than ever these days, so here are a few tips to jazz yours up:

First, make sure that you try to be as objective as possible. Using over-hyped quotes from people that are talking about the product or service will only give a less convincing outlook on what you’re trying to announce.

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Next, read your own press releases. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential readers and ask yourself if this press release is something you would respond to. If you would, how would you go about getting more information about the announcement? Is the press release too long? Did it take too long to get to the call-to-action?

Next, try adding press release sites that allow media elements like images or video. The more exciting and approachable your press release, the more likely a journalist will want to learn more, or decide right away whether or not your press release is something they want to re-use. Also, make sure that you’re linking to your product or service at the beginning of the press release both for SEO purposes and for more clicks on average.

Next, make sure that the headline you’re writing is interesting. Just as you’d take extra time to write a catchy email subject line, you can also take a few extra minutes to add a “hook” to your press release.

Finally, determine whether your action words are lively or if they’re just cliche. Words like “state-of-the-art” and “revolutionary” are so over-used that they don’t pack the same punch as they once did. If you’re not a copywriter, try asking a copywriter for suggestions on how to punch up the press release.

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