News Releases – Writing to Get Noticed
Forgive me for starting with a not-so-clever paraphrase of the old saying, but today “almost all news is good news” when I try to draw attention to your business or organization. I’ll tell you how to create valuable stories based on information you don’t think is valuable and how to publish it.
What do I mean by “almost all news is good news”? Almost any news can be turned into content for online and offline publishing, providing valuable visibility to your business or organization.
Traditional press releases – or press releases, as they were called when real presses were used by real news outlets to print news – had to compete for a limited place on the print page. Typically, this relevance is limited to articles about new products or services, new technologies, or important organization news.
Today, however, the concept of “news” has changed dramatically. There is virtually no space for publication, and publishers crave content. The boundaries between so-called “real” news organizations, such as newspapers, magazines and newscasts, and “new media” such as online citizen journalism sites, blogs, emails and information aggregation services have been blurred. Today, many of the stumbling blocks that once existed between the people who created the news and the media that published them have disappeared. Now it’s easier than ever to publish news in more places than ever. The trick is to write something interesting enough for someone to grab and publish it.
Choose a theme
Writing a press release is more than you might think, starting with the obvious: a new product or service, opening and closing, restructuring (partnership, mergers and acquisitions) and employee/employee news. These topics can usually be considered “serious” news and, if possible, deserve to be widely disseminated.
However, there are many other topics that many believe they do not promote in press releases, which are ideal “soft” press releases. These topics include exhibitions and conferences, awards, corporate anniversaries, new clients, capital purchases and new opportunities. While an industry editor may find these topics too fair to justify publishing, there are still good reasons to write about them, as you will soon see.
Create your own news.
Don’t you think you have enough short stories, hard or soft, to write? Then think about creating your own news. Develop a simple industry survey or customer survey, post results on your website, and write a press release about it.
Write a report. Interview key employees of your organization and trade association about your market or industry and share your ideas. Then write a key results report announcing that the report is available for download on your website. After thinking a little, you can find different ways to create your own news.
Write a press release
Now you need to write on your topic. Remember, this is news, not advertising, and the editor will decide whether to publish it. Avoid jargon and phrases such as “industry leader,” “number one,” “unique” and any other terms that promote self-service.
Start with all the important information from the first paragraph, starting with the topic, the company and why your news is important. Traditionally it is known as “five W and H” – who, what, where, when, why and how. Make sentences simple and paragraphs short.
Add details to the middle section or text of your version and end up with what’s known as the “main key” – standard information about your business or organization, including the basic description, location, and web address. If your business is large enough, it may even include the number of employees, additional information and the ticker symbol if it is public.
Distribution of press release
And here is the most interesting – to tell about the problem to the right people. If your market is small enough, you can create your own mailing list from industry magazines and industry associations (here’s a tip on how to find the right people on their websites: go to “Contacts.” It takes a little work, but it’s worth it because you have a short and up-to-date list of people you need to contact. Don’t forget to update it regularly.
If your business has important and more interesting information, consider using one of the many paid news distribution services, such as PR Newswire, PRWeb, or BusinessWire. These services may charge hundreds or more dollars per version, depending on the distribution you need, but they are worth it. Thousands of online and offline publications have subscribed to these services to receive news, which increases your chances of being seen by the right publishers and the right audience.
There are also many free online distribution services that are worth paying attention to, but there are too many to list here in full. Some of the most popular are PR.com, Webwire, PR’oom, Clickpress.com and 24-7 Press Release.com. These types of distribution services are particularly useful for delivering “good news” such as company birthdays, trade shows, and availability of surveys or reports; publications designed to present your organization’s name to a wider audience of e-mail editors, bloggers, and other publishers with news that may, for example, not be “new” for a commercial publication or a publisher’s commercial pages.
Sweet press releases are also great content for your site. They provide important text optimized for search engines and other features that attract search engines and potential customers. It’s also a great way to regularly update the content of your site. Even if you never release a press release for your company’s 10th anniversary in news outlets, you should definitely write it to post it on your website.