4 Steps to an Effective Press Release

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Sending out a news release can be time consuming. From writing the first draft until the final touches, the goal is to tell a story your target market will want to read.

Recently, Business Wire held a webinar that discussed effective ways to optimize your news release. We combined our knowledge with some of their tips to identify four tools to improve news releases.

 

Create a killer headline

Headlines are the first thing a reporter will read. It can be the defining factor in whether they will continue to read your release or toss it aside with disinterest. Optimizing your headline is the difference between a front page story and the “next” button. It can be tempting to focus on your headline in the beginning of your writing process in order to set the course for the rest of the release; however, writing the release first and pulling key words out to create a newsworthy headline almost always yields better results.

Google Analytics can help you determine which key words are getting optimal hits. A quick search will help you find those compelling words to incorporate into your headline keeping ideal placement in mind. For example, Google will display the first 70 characters of your headline while some reporter outlets only show the first 55. Finally, ensure readability and accuracy of your headline before finalizing it.

 

Utilize multimedia

In a world ruled by screens, visual fluency is at an all-time high. Adding pictures and video to your news release not only capitalizes on this aspect but presents a complete news package for reporters. Multimedia also engages those who prefer to learn visually, and additionally, evokes emotional connections for readers.

By saving reporters time and supporting visual fluency, you can drive message permeation and adoption. According to Business Wire, multimedia releases generate three time more return on ROI than text only ones.

 

Call your readers to action

Make it easy for people to act on your behalf. Many services allow you to include a prewritten tweet with your news release, but there are other tools to use as well.

Hootsuite or Click to Tweet will share and track social media for your news release. Use hashtags to ask questions, make remarks and start a conversation that can bring attention to your story.

Joining an existing conversation is an ideal way to gain traction without having to start from scratch. Pew Research reports that 65 percent of American adults utilize social media in their daily lives so you’re sure to find a topic relevant to your release.

 

Drive measurable inbound traffic

Each release is an opportunity to drive traffic to both your website, and importantly, your client’s so remember to always hyperlink! Take it to the next step by adding URL builders/UTM links to track the actions and gather data about the individual who clicked your link. This gives you an additional tool to measure the effectiveness of your release. Is it the first time someone has visited the site? Then you are driving awareness into action. Is it the 25th time someone has visited? Then you’re driving consideration. 

Not only do these digital tools allow you to take credit for what you have achieved, they gather the information that lets you see where you should go next and make practical recommendations for the future.

Apply these four key points in your next news release, and you’ll be sure to stand out amongst the crowd.

 

Interested in professional news release writing? Email sarah@leverage-pr.com for more information about working with Leverage PR.

Our friends at FitSmallBusiness.com have instructions on how to properly format a press release, which you may read here.