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Why Press Releases Work - Website Marketing

Aug 17, 2007
Press releases are a great way to grab the media's attention and get them to promote your business or service for free! It's a way to generate free advertising by announcing to their readership what you have to offer and get your message out there. How?

The press release has two major functions:
-To convince a print reporter, broadcast journalist or radio host to cover the story and conduct his or her own interview.

-To stand alone as an article used by print or Internet publications to fill space.

Both are a great way to spread the word about your business or services. But, learning how to write in a way that grabs the attention you crave takes practice. Convincing a reporter to take the time to cover your story takes a knack for teasing them with enough "fun facts" to get them thinking about ways they could make the story stand out on their own. The goal here is not to give the reporter the whole story, but to show him or her, the potential for a story.

Telling A Story With A Press Release:
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you simply can't get an editor or a reporter to cover the story themselves. They may, however, offer to find room for it if you submit it. This is especially true to low-budget Internet publications. Article-style releases are less of a "release", and more of an "article". This format requires submitting a completely researched, fully interviewed article in its final form. Heed this warning here: this is not your chance for a big sales pitch.

Write like a journalist. Cover all of the angles in an unbiased manner, backing up every claim with documented facts. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your business or service in a professional manner, setting you up as the expert to go to for new information in your field. Smaller print and internet publications are especially open to this type of release since it basically gives them free copy.

What Every Press Release Should Contain:
There are a few things every good press release should contain:

-A short but lively title that grab's the reader (and editor's) attention.
-A compelling lead.
-A succinct overview of what you're publicizing written in the formal pyramid style of most pertinent info first, followed by less important facts.
-An information line with a contact phone number or website a the end
-Succinct writing. Avoid rambling.
-Complete Accuracy. Check all facts.
-Fact, not fluff.

Writing press releases that grab an editor's attention requires knowing what the media is looking for. Learn to give them that and you'll find yourself being called again and again for solid press releases that publicize your service or business to future clients.

Another solid marketing tool is the announcement release that can be sent as an email blitz to notify current (and potential) customers of changes in your industry; updates of your services; or even special sales. Used sparingly to notify clients of newsworthy events and topics, this type of release can generate quite a "buzz" in the business world if utilized properly.
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