These days, anything can happen on a mobile or computer screen. More than half of the world’s population has access to the internet. For any smart business owner, this is the perfect platform to try to tap. You can imagine just how much potential for exposure the internet can give to your business. Because of this, many PR and marketing tools have adapted to the need to make everything digital. One of these strategies is an online press release. However, with so many competitors wanting the same exposure, how can you ensure your press release’s own success? In this guide, we’ll show you how to create the most effective online press release for your business.
What is an Online Press Release?
Thanks to the power of the internet, small and large companies alike can now create their own news by simply writing and publishing their newsworthy content online. In the past, a press release would only be distributed through the newswire, hoping it will get into the hands of a journalist. But these days, the beauty of an online press release allows for a much broader reach in a way that is accessible to just about anyone.
An online press release is written in a format fit for distribution all over the internet. It is then published on different websites relevant to a business niche. A press release nowadays can also work as a piece of content to improve a site’s ranking on Search Engine Page Results.
How do you write an online press release?
An online press release should still be written the way it has always been written. This means that essentially, you should treat your press release like it is already a news story. Nowadays, press releases are published online as is, and very rarely gets rewritten. This is why it is critical to follow the correct format, so your news copy becomes as effective as possible.
Step 1. Choose your story.
Writing a press release is not something you do out of the blue. A press release should only be distributed when you have a newsworthy story to tell. If your story is, in any way, not useful, relevant, or interesting, don’t even bother with a press release. A press release should contain information that impacts people. Otherwise, it will not give your company the exposure you want. Here are some example scenarios that warrant an online press release:
- Starting a new business or launch of a new store
- Introducing a brand new product or service
- Celebrating a company milestone, i.e., anniversaries, mergers, acquisitions, awards
- Participating in a charity event or any philanthropic project
- Receiving of a particular important appointment in your industry
- Introducing a new or improved unique strategy regarding your products or services
These are only a few sample events that you can use as a topic for a press release. The bottom line is, if your news is something people will want to read, then it probably deserves a written online press release.
Step 2. Write a compelling headline.
The headline or title of a press release is absolutely paramount. Using only a few characters, it should be able to fit in one line and should contain the entire theme of your story. It’s crucial that a headline be descriptive and capture your reader’s attention from the get-go. It will be the first thing anyone reads, and it should be attractive enough to make people want to read more about your story. Use clear, simple language and keep it concise.
Here’s an example of a great press release headline:
“Asia United Pharmaceutical Launches First Ever Cancer-Fighting Pill”
The headline is usually followed by a subheader. The subheader is also another critical feature in your press release. It consists of two lines of italicised text that supports your headline and gives some more glimpse to your story.
“The medical industry celebrates an important milestone with AUP’s cancer-fighting pill. The pill is a gamechanger and is one step further to curing cancer.”
Step 3. Write a body that leaves no questions unanswered.
Follow your compelling headline with a strong, concise, and well-written body. The most important thing you should consider is that a strong press release answers all the important questions. There are seven questions you need to address:
- Who Cares?
Your press release body should also be written using the inverted pyramid format. Start with the essential information in the first paragraph and all the supporting paragraphs consecutively.
Step 4. Boilerplate
The boilerplate is the last piece of your press release. It is written under your press release body. The boilerplate, simply put, is a small and concise summary of your business, products, and what it’s about. Companies tend to have a one-size-fits-all boilerplate that they use for all of their press releases. A boilerplate is also an important part of a press release because it puts a spotlight aimed at your business. Don’t forget to include your contact information and a link to your site so that readers can follow up on your press release.
Tips for an Effective Online Press Release
Creating a press release that follows the correct format is one thing, but ensuring that you write a compelling news copy is another. Thankfully, we’ve gathered the best, proven-and-tested tips to push your online press release to the next level.
Treat your press release like a front-page news article.
The best thing you can do is to write and treat your story as if it’s already a news article. Deliver something to journalists that are already tailor-made in their language. A press release should read like a news article already, even before it hits the news desks.
Make it grammatically perfect.
Don’t send anything out unless you are one hundred percent sure it is nothing short of grammatical perfection. An error-ridden news copy will not attract journalists and bloggers, who are known to put grammar as a top writing priority. Always double check your press release for spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes.
Use a great quote.
Most press releases include at least one quote in their bodies. These quotes usually come from a leader or a prominent figure in your business or your industry. But remember, in online press releases, you don’t just stick something that is an already-approved media statement. A great quote adds a valuable insight and a human component to your news copy that makes your story more relatable to your target audience.
Include some images and other media in your press release.
The human brain processes images faster than it does with text. The truth is, if your press release is nothing but a block of characters, it won’t be attractive to read. The only way you can fix this is to add images, videos, or infographics and insert it in your press release. Add pictures that are relevant to your story. Infographics are also an excellent way to relay more information regarding your press release – it’s attractive, fun, and manages to deliver a ton of information in a bite-sized manner.
Promote your press release everywhere.
These days, a press release can be used in more ways than one. Don’t just settle for delivering through the newswire and the press – share it on social media, send it to your email list, and use every avenue you possibly can to spread the word about your press release.
Optimize it for Search Engine Results Pages (SERP)
One of the most useful tools in the digital marketing industry is Search Engine Optimization. If you haven’t heard of it before, then you’ve been missing out. A press release, when published online, can also serve as a piece of content that can improve your site’s SEO. Search engine algorithms determine a site’s SERP ranking through links, keywords, quality content and many more. If you properly utilize legitimate SEO strategies to your press release, it can appear in search engine page results and could drive a significant amount of traffic to your website. That means instant and easy online exposure.
Measure your success with analytics and reporting.
Thanks to the power of artificial intelligence, there are now analytics and reporting tools that can help you measure how your press release is doing online. These tools determine how broad your reach has managed to spread. Analytics tools also give you valuable information about who your target audience is, what they like to read, and how you will be able to reach them more effectively. With the right programs and tools, you’ll also be able to make instant, real-time, informed decisions about which way you want your press release to go.
The truth is, despite giving out the impression that online press releases are complicated to do, it really is not. In fact, an online press release is the most influential PR and marketing tool in your arsenal. If you write a proper and effective press release and distribute it strategically online, the amount of exposure – and success – it can bring to your business.
About the Author:
Fred Griffin is a marketing consultant, promotion specialist and content creating guru at Press Release Newswire. He writes custom content for the internet offering solutions from creative digital marketing tactics to SEO and web design driven by results. He enjoys applying his marketing insight to overcome business stagnation, create growth solutions, and improve customer experiences.