How To Write An Online Press Release
Press releases are almost as old as journalism itself. With an expansion of digital media, especially in the recent years, the game is changing. An online press release is different from the “regular” press release. Digital media made a real breakthrough in the last ten years. Most big newspapers and TV houses had a successful transition to the new media playground, but world wide web gave the chance of playing in the big league to small businesses as well. In the constant chase for viral news, everything goes faster, and writing press releases for digital media is not the same game as it was a few decades ago when we only had newspapers. However, the fundamentals are the same and we will start from that.
Pick the right topic
Although this seems like a no-brainer, believe it or not, this is the number one reason why your online press release didn’t have a reach you hoped for. It is not easy to pick the topic for your press release. Even the biggest companies that spend millions of dollars on their marketing make mistakes. But, you must be aware that if you make a mistake here, the whole effort you put in will not give you a satisfying result.
You have to guess what will be newsworthy and you have to pick the right media. There are press releases that are very interesting for local media, but completely useless for the national or global media, and the other way around.
Come up with a perfect headline
Online, it is all about the headlines. We constantly browse through hundreds, even thousands of headlines daily. Your online press release needs to have a captivating, great headline, in order to catch the attention of the media.
These two things are the same as they were a few decades ago – if you mess up the beginning of your press release, you’re toast!
Key points to address in the body
The body of the press release is what sells it to the press. If you didn’t make a mistake when you chose your topic and headline the body of your online press release is what should hook the editors you are pitching. You have to make things short and simple – time is more expensive than ever and you have only a few seconds to get the attention you need. On the other hand, a press release must answer all the important journalistic questions:
- Who Cares
It isn’t mandatory, but your press release can include a quote. Usually, it is from a company leader and it gives an online press release a human touch. The quote should be short and closely related to the topic, of course.
Boilerplate is the last piece of an online press release. It is a short summary that goes under the body. Usually, it consists of several sentences about the organization. Companies often use one boilerplate for all their press releases, especially if they are well known within the community.
Don’t forget contact details
A press release has a pretty rigid form that you should follow. Include contact details on the top left side of the press release – your name, company name, address and email. Also, state that your press release is for immediate release at the top of the document and include the date.
Tips for publishing an online press release
If you did all of the above, you’ve successfully written an online press release. Good job! However, that’s only half the job done. Your press release needs to be published now. You have to reach out to the journalists, so you better polish those cold pitching skills. Don’t make a common mistake and send tons of emails to every journalist you know. Focus on the best journalists in your niche, because they are interested in the content you are offering and they can craft the best news piece around your press release. Work hard to get their attention – send a personalized email, to improve your chances.
Even when your press release is published, your job isn’t over. Share the media coverage, the stories they made based on your press release. Only then can you consider your work to be complete and that you made the most out of the press release.
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