If you want to promote your business and generate traffic to your website, then you need to be writing Press Releases. As with Article Marketing, writing press releases is a cost efficient way to drive traffic to your site and get publicity for your business. Yes, you have to invest time in writing them, but once that is done, the distribution of the press release is free – unless you used a paid service such as PRWeb.com (highly recommended if you have a good story to tell and want to get maximum exposure.)
So when do you write a press release? You have to be careful not to abuse this technique – many people get carried away and write about anything in their press releases and this can be counter productive. Basically, you need to write a press release whenever you have something newsworthy, this means writing something that is of interest to others and benefits them in a certain way. Don’t just write about the release of a new product or service, explain how that product or service will benefit others and ultimately improve their lives!
Remember that there is an art to writing press releases – you have to attract the attention of the media in order to get esposure – there are certain steps which you have to follow. Make sure you apply each of the following:
Step One – Your press release needs to answer five questions – the five w’s – Who, What, Where, When and Why.
*Who is the story about?
*What is the actual news you are trying to relay?
*The Where and the When – these are pretty self explanatory
*Why is this news?
Step Two – The importance of your headline and first paragraph. As with any copywriting, you need to make the headline and first paragraph of you press release count. Sometimes this is all your readers will actually read so you need to make them special! Make your headline brief, clear and to the point – highlighting the point of the press release. You then need to move on to the first sentence which needs to grab your readers attention and lead them on to the rest of the press release.
Step Three – Editing. It’s a good idea to actually write the whole press release first, without any editing. Once you have finished you can then go back over it and edit for spelling and grammar. Pay close attention to the following:
* Your verbs – Use an active voice, strong verbs, and avoid adverbs, and descriptive words.
* Your sentence structure – Write for the press. Use short sentences which are succinct and to the point and try to avoid jargon.
Step Four – Stick with the protocol. Press releases have a formal structure which includes the following:
* Start with the date and city in which the press release originates.
* Include information about your company – contact information and your website link (this is key for getting traffic to your site) should go at the end of the release.
* Identify the end of the release with this symbol, ###. It let’s journalists know they have the complete information.
* Your release should include a call to action. You need to let your readers know what to do with the information you have provided. It could be that you want them to visit your website or that you want them to buy a product or attend an event.
Step Five – Submission and follow-up. Make sure you send your release to the correct person. If you’re submitting to a web based press release directory, you don’t really have to do much more. However, if you’re submitting to your local paper, make sure you research who to send the release to and how they prefer to receive press releases.
It’s a good idea to follow up with a journalist to make sure they’ve received your release and to see if they have any questions. Always try to develop relationships with the press – Following up a press release in a structured and professional way is a good way to do this.
If you follow the basic format outlined above, you will have yourself a press release which you can distribute on many of the PR distribution sites available on the web – this will undoubtedly lead to more traffic to your business’ website. Don’t forget to include a powerful benefit as this is key to ensuring that the release is noticed by journalists and will undoubtedly lead to even more exposure. With a bit of luck you will have them calling you for interviews to share your story with the world!