So, you’ve been tasked with writing a press release…what next?
I followed the advice of my friend and colleague Cheryl Anderson and went straight to PR Web. I decided my best bet was to attend the free training for a little PR 101.
Mario Bonilla, trainer at PR Web, had the following advice for would-be press release writers.
First, some things to keep in mind as you draft your first press release.
Purpose: Is your goal to reach readers on RSS feeds, print media, bloggers? Or are you just looking for some inbound links to your website?
Message: Is your message appropriate for a press release? Your press release is not an ad, its not a marketing piece and its not an article. Its a news-worthy statement, nothing more, nothing less.
Audience: Who is your audience? What do you want to say to them? and What form would they want to receive your message in?
Starting at the top and working our way down…
Here’s some very basic fundamentals to keep in mind as you write your press release.
- The most important part of your message
- Should be short, 80 characters max
- Provides a solid promise of what is in the press release
- Uses keyword phrases that are meaningful to your reader, not to your sales/marketing team
- Summarizes your press release in 1-4 sentences.
- Should be relevant to the press release
- Must be easy to see in thumbnail form
- Provide a focal point for the reader and force them to slow down and think
- Should always include a meaningful caption
- Should summarize your message in just a few lines
- Need to be long enough to attract the eye, but not so long they distract from the text.
- Most links should appear above the fold
- Use a ratio of 1 link to every 100 words
- Point to individual landing pages on your site
- Use appropriate, meaningful anchor text.
So what now? Use your method of choice to distribute your message.
Up next: Let’s have a chat about SEO from press releases.