Here’s something you might not even realize about press releases: unless you come up with a newsworthy topic, your press release will be ignored. That’s right, even if you pay $250 bucks for a press release. The major distributers of press releases on the Internet make no promises, and expect you to know the rules. If you’re lucky, you will work with an SEO writing firm that finds a newsworthy topic for you. In the worst-case scenario, you will get a hack SEO company that writes a boring press release that gets tossed.
What Makes a Story “Big”?
That might convince you to invest some time into thinking up creative press release ideas in advance, even if you are outsourcing it to a PR firm or SEO firm. If you come up with a news angle, you will better ensure that your press release will be distributed to proper news channels, and gain a wider audience. You always have the option of submitting a humdrum press release to a free press release site…but honestly, there isn’t much chance of gaining wide traffic here, unless you go after a very specific longtail keyword phrase.
Our recommendation is to find a news angle (or work with an SEO writing firm that specifically offers this feature) and reach higher. There are literally dozens of angles you can try to make your press release “newsy”, and some of them are familiar. For instance:
- An ingenious new product
- A company launch
- Working with a charity organization
- Free things or special incentives to buyers
- Starting a new associated or affiliated company
- Earning special accolades or awards
- Celebrity endorsement
- Working with other big name companies or media avenues
- The acquisition of a well-known client
- An explanation of some sort
- Company goals reached
Journalistic Reporting vs. Marketing Fluff
And so on. Of course, a true journalist does not limit himself or herself to a list of options. He or she searches for the “angle” and even creates the angle if necessary. What journalists attempt to do (especially print media journalists who work with TV producers, radio producers and highly circulated magazine editors) is to tie in a company’s product or launch with interesting trends or news happening around the world. The news could be anything from a new study, or a specific news story, or current international, national or local events, or even providing an “expert opinion” on your industry.
Some press release writers even have the ability to write about company culture in such a way as to make it newsworthy (i.e. anniversaries, rebranding, new directions, and so on).
So before you buy your next press release, ask yourself why is this “announcement” (which is essentially what a press release is) relevant to the average reader? Why is it relevant to the targeted viewer? Who is this press release really “benefitting” besides the company itself?
One common mistake in Internet press release writing is for an SEO writing firm to only write PRs for search crawlers, assuming that as long as the news picks up the story, the company is getting publicity. Even if that works, the company is not really earning legitimate publicity. They may be sounding their “horn” but they’re not earning the trust of the public. They may even be annoying the Internet public—especially if viewers are searching for specific keyword phrases and get nothing but sales claptrap.
So avoid writing press releases solely for publicity or for “sales”. Tell a story, and avoid hyperbole. When you work with the media in the right way, everyone benefits and a big story is shared with the world.