1. Headline is very crucial
Give a good amount of thought while creating the headline. It should be catchy, and it should have some good keyword phrase as well. It will go a long way in helping users to find you. Remember, hardly anyone will be explicitly searching and reading your press releases (except your competitors!). People will come across your press release when they are looking for something relevant…an online feature, a product or a research report.
2. First few sentences are crucial
First few statements should contain the most important points you want to put forth. They’ll be used in search engine excerpts, META description tags. People will probably only read the first paragraph when they come across your writeup. In fact, this is true about any communication. An interview, a presentation, a speech, an article or a novel!
3. Be Catchy & Simple
Always remember you are announcing a news that is supposed to be exciting! It might be a little difficult to be exciting when you are talking about about businesses and markets shares , but you can try looking at the topic from a commoner’s perspective and see if there’s something exciting and useful for her. If this writeup had come to you from some other company, would you spend your valuable 2 minutes looking at it? Using industry jargon and too many financial numbers will be a no-no, unless you are talking about your annual figures of course.
4. Use Interesting & Aggressive quotes
Use quotes in the press release, and you can do the bragging in it. You can put something like, “This is best and fastest blah among all the companies providing blah in India, company’s CEO said. The quotes content should be worth putting in big font in boxes in a magazine article.
5. Use Subheadings, Bullet points, Graphs, Pictures, Videos
You know, no one has time these days. If someone comes across your press release page, it should give the person some quick info in less than 10 seconds. Screen shots, graphs, bold and pithy bullet points will go a long way, than just writing a long essay like bunch of paragraphs, as the cliche goes, a picture says a thousand words. What applies for writing a nice blog post, will also apply while writing a press release. (Of course, one needs to be a lot more careful about what NOT to say while writing a press release). See if you can create a small 2 minute video on YouTube to promote your little thing. Take advantage of the freedom of using different media web gives you that you never had for newspapers.
Press release is a great opportunity to stick your company logo on other websites. That’ll help that extra bit to create brand awareness. Do it wherever possible.
7. Name the biggies in the industry
This can be very useful to get attention. So, if you are creating a new email service, you can explain how it is different & better from gmail, or yahoo. If there is nothing that you can say, reflect if you are in the right place to begin with. A headline like, “An Indian startup claims better email service than gmail!” can be very eye catching.
8. If you are unknown, leverage it
If you are a small startup with little money and brand, you can leverage that! Come on, if Microsoft releases a new feature in one of its products, it’s not a very interesting news for most of the people. But if couple of college pass-outs ( drop-outs are better 😉 design a cool website useful to a community, that is definitely worth a news. Readers will certainly have a sympathy and interest in how you have been doing!
9. There are many ways of saying something
You can also create 2 copies that promote same product, written in slightly different manners, using slightly different keyword phrases, and distribute them on different portals. This will help you widening your keyword-net! Avoid copy pasting as much as possible, when you write the second copy.
10. Follow up and monitor
Your task isn’t over once you distribute the release. Use Google Analytics, or other web analytics tool to see the effectiveness of the release. Which sites you are getting clicks from, what are the search phrases that found your page, how much time did it take for the release to be picked up, approximately how many back-links you achieved because of the release, how many visitors, how many leads, were there some user comments on the news pages and do you want to answer them…there are a bunch of things you need to do after a few days of doing the release.
11. Link to relevant pages
Anyone who understands basics of SEO knows how important back-links are! They are easily the single most important part of SEO. It’s crucial that we get some good back-links, preferably with no follow attribute, and if possible, the links should have a good, contextual anchor text, rather than something like “Click here to download the report”. Search for sites that don’t have nofollow in their press releases. The links should ideally point to something useful to the users, like downloading a tool, a PDF report, a special early bird discount, and so on.
12. Don’t do a release just for the sake of it
Press release is basically done to announce something newsworthy. Don’t forget this. Don’t do a press release just because you want some back-links. It creates a very bad impression about your brand and company. They stay there forever, and everyone from you mom to your investors can read them after 2 years from now.
So what can be worthy of a press release? Here is a sample list –
1. A new useful feature, or product
2. A research, or survey pertaining to your industry
3. A business partnership
4. A new website your company launched
5. An interview of your CEO on a business channel
6. You opened a new branch in a new city
7. Your revenue reached some landmark
And so on…