A press release is fundamentally is a news announcement directed at an editor or someone else in the news media. This could be an event, service or product of news value. If the news outlet publishes the content or reports more on it, it can be a way to generate exposure to news or an event someone wants to bring attention to. In business and SEO, this system can also be used to generate traffic and links to a website.
The internet has made press releases more accessible to individuals and smaller businesses with distribution services that distribute press releases. However, they still must follow certain rules, be in a journalistic style (usually written in the third person), be simple, specific, objective and have news value. It cannot be some hyped content promoting a product. Those press releases that do not follow the rules will never offer value to readers or to the person who wrote them in the end.
Creating a press release
A press release can be boiled down to five basic elements:
- Headline – This should be attention grabbing while introducing the topic of the release.
- Body – In a typical press release, this is four to five paragraphs and roughly 400-500 words in the style discussed above and broken up with subheadings, bullet points, etc. were applicable. It should get right to the point with the later paragraphs supporting and closing by restating the facts.
- Boilerpoint – Background information about the person or organization issuing the release.
- Contact Information
- Ending –###
Visual aids to include pictures (nothing too heavy), videos and infographics should also be considered. In addition, quotes, preferably from an expert, are typical in press releases. Finally, try to include numbers and facts and be very careful with grammar.
An example and some more detailed information for those who decide to create their own releases can be found at the following:
Overall, the most important aspect of a press release is to find a way to make it newsworthy. It can never be blatant promotion of a website or service.
Getting others to write your press release
There are also many freelancers and other services that specialize in writing press releases for who would rather concentrate on other things. Try the different freelance services or the services offered areas in forums to include Warrior Forum or Digital Point. Many people offer services to write, distribute or both write and distribute press releases. Prices will usually be better than the bigger companies that will generally show up in the top of web searches.
Distributing a press release
When distributing press releases, it is possible to go with either free or paid services. It should be remembered that free sites will not be as effective as the paid service. For example, they will allow fewer anchor-text links, use nofollow tags and will not syndicate the press release to other sites. As the free sites are rarely checked by news organizations, you must contact reporters and distribute the releases on social media as explained below if they are to have any real chance at distribution.
Paid press releases do a better job and offer more options that give the release more potential permanent benefits for a website. For example, there is the ability to include more links with anchor text, keywords and of course distribution. Compare services carefully and choose sites with good search engine rankings that do not use nofollow tags in the releases. Services generally start at around a couple of hundred dollars and increase in cost with the better packages that offer more distribution and features.
More advice on press releases, as well as some top paid and free services, can be found here.
However the release is distributed, share it on social media to give it more attention. While Facebook generates the most shares, Twitter is the best for traffic.
Other types of distribution
Since there is no reason to assume that sending out press releases through a service will put it in front of the eyes of those who might be interested, some other places to send them include outlets in the niche (a site owner in a niche may already know these), local newspapers and other media (if the story can be given a local spin), and it may be worth a shot to send it off the AP if there is any chance at all they might pick it up.
Finally, add the press release to the site being promoted. This could be in a category dedicated to press releases. It can act as an archive that keeps press releases organized while providing the site with more content for search engines and visitors (it can turn into an interesting history of the site).