How to write great press releases

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PRWeb, the online press release distribution service owned by Vocus announced earlier this week [] that it has become the World’s #1 distribution network across multiple industry standards. These benchmarks include traffic, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), social media and blog shares, and the overall number of releases handled by the PRWeb system when compared to their competition.

John Hayes, who joined the Vocus team earlier this year, after they acquired the email marketing company iContact, explains why small business owners should consider using a press release distribution service to help raise their profile and offers some tips for Tamebay readers to write their first successful releases.

Why Use Press Releases?

Content marketing is becoming an extremely hot topic in the small business world with many entrepreneurs already sold on the value of publishing regularly updated content via blogs, white papers, ebooks, online video, etc. to help them build brand and ultimately drive sales. A well-written press release is an extremely valid example of content marketing. But don’t dismiss it as simply another channel. Think of it more as a supercharged content marketing channel with the potential to reach the places other content cannot reach.

How To Distribute A Press Release

A well written release, distributed to the UK market via a premium service like PRWeb has the potential to generate coverage from an incredibly wide range of on and offline media, including the major search engines, major online news sites, well-known “traditional” media companies (including The Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian and Daily Telegraph via the Press Association), 30,000+ bloggers and journalists and more than 250,000 PRWeb subscribers.

It would be an understatement to suggest that the links generated from these high quality news sites are incredibly important in terms of helping you reach your SEO goals.

Dealing with a trusted partner like PRWeb has become even more important following Google’s Penguin and Panda algorithm updates which have taken great strides to identify and punish “bad online neighbourhoods” that the search engine believes are gaming the system.

What Makes A Great Press Release?

Press releases work best when they deliver value to their potential audience (primarily journalists and your potential customers). They should scream benefits and demonstrate what makes your business stand out from the competition. A new product or service announcement isn’t enough. You’ll want to tell your audience how and why your new product or service will improve their lives and make them more successful (professionally or personally).

This all sounds very simple. But one of the biggest hurdles many business owners face is simply not knowing what to say in their press releases. To help you out, I’ve profiled five typical Tamebay readers and suggested a simple topic to help kick-start their first release.

Press Release Topics For Your Company

The Online Retailer

The announcement of a new product or product range would be the obvious topic for an online retailer’s first release. Ideally, this would be an exclusive product (i.e. not available anywhere else or in limited supply). The release would need to showcase the product’s value (this doesn’t mean cheap) and availability, as well as demonstrating how the product can be used. High quality images and video would enhance the release significantly. Depending on the product, a professional or celebrity endorsement would also carry weight. The timing of the release (i.e. prior to a holiday period or peak trading season) should also be a major consideration.

The Software Vendor

People buy software to make their lives easier and enhance their profit earning potential. Therefore, a new software release or the publication of a guide showcasing how a particular vendor’s software can help match these expectations is very newsworthy. Focus on measurable benchmarks such as time saved, staff costs, enhanced profits, etc. New customer announcements (i.e. who has recently bought the software) and testimonials are also a great way of demonstrating the quality and positioning of a particular software product in the news.

The Courier

Flexible delivery options and innovative returns solutions make for good reading. Statistics showing on-time deliveries, peak trading period volumes and unusual delivery requests are also very newsworthy.

The Ecommerce Platform

New developments, partnerships, growth and customer testimonials should be the bread and butter of an eCommerce platform’s PR campaigns. Putting real people in the release will help humanise the news and show potential customers how their technology can help real people build real businesses.

The Business Consultant/Trainer

A consultant or trainer can significantly build their reputation by sharing insightful “thought leadership” via a press release. Breaking down the finer points of a recent software release, showcasing what it actually means to the user or sharing a best practice which has helped a client exceed growth expectations would provide ideal content for a press release. Alternatively, they could use a press release to announce the publication of new piece of educational content such as an eBook or white paper or announce a series of educational events.

To learn more about writing and distributing great press releases and to create a free account visit PRWeb

2 Responses

  1. Wow this is a really helpful post, thanks for writing this John.

    Aside from PRweb, what’s your opinion about mailing press releases to subscribers at the same time (perhaps by using software like iContact?

    Also, which format in mailing PRs work best – as part of a newsletter or as a stand alone content?




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