Good question. Some people believe that press releases are obsolete and that no one actually reads them. True-most press releases are not read thoroughly, but they are scanned. People glance at headlines and bullet points and give most releases a quick once over. So there´s always the chance that yours Will grab their attention as long as yours has strong headlines and easily accessible information. If something in your press release does catch someone´s eye, it may cause him or her to contact you and say “Hey, what you sent is really interesting. Tell me more about it.” Press releases are intended to stir up interest and generate follow-up calls.
Ironically, media personnel expect and want press releases, even though they won´t thoroughly read them. They are addicted to information; they can´t get enough of it and never want to miss something that could be newsworthy. The media loves to sniff out stories, find needles in haystacks. So, sending press releases is a cost of playing the game.
Target your Press Release
Press releases should be targeted at the specific audience you want to reach. Releases sent to the print media should differ from those directed to radio and television producers. And releases directed at the consumer vary from those sent to the media. All press releases should provide information quickly, be easy to read, and clearly state the who, what, where, why, and how of your story.
The print media can publish press releases, or parts of them with limited changes, and their job is done. They Will often augment press releases with quotes and information from their own sources, or even extract key points from your release to use as the basis of their own pieces. Occasionally, because of pressing deadlines, journalist Will sometimes run well-written press-releases verbatim.
In the past, press releases were sent primarily to the media in the hope that they would run items and create a buzz. Since the media controlled the distribution of news, they were the only game in town. Recently, however, the media has become less of a force and the Internet has opened up new distribution channels for news and information. As a result, creating press releases for consumers can pay off.
Millions of people constantly use the Internet´s various search engines. So, you need to increase the odds that they Will find you. Run searches to find the keywords related to your items that receive the most hits. Note the keywords most frequently searched for and include them in your headlines and the copy of your press release. Then post the press release on your site so it can be picked up by search engines. And since media professionals are always browsing the Web, they might come across your press release as well.
Besides including as many popular keywords as possible in your copy, make sure you write it, so it appeals to potential buyers. Stress the need fits your product or service Will provide and include incentives such as free trials, discounts, or exclusive offers to sweeten the deal. Offering incentives can help you build loyal customers, It´s important to take this approach when writing releases targeted at the consumer than the media.
While it´s important to integrate consumer, direct press releases into your publicity campaign, don’t neglect the media. Keep sending press releases to selected media contacts.
In conclusion, the structure of your press release is very important. You should have a strong headline and follow up with subheads that are just as strong. If you are able to pull the reader in with your headline and then get them invested with your sun heads, your press release has done its job.
Jill Lublin — Short Bio
Jill Lublin is an international speaker on the topics of Publicity, Networking, Kindness and Referrals. She is the author of 4 Best Selling books including Get Noticed…Get Referrals (McGraw Hill) and co-author of Guerrilla Publicity and Networking Magic. Her latest book, Profit of Kindness went #1 in four categories. Jill is a master strategist on how to position your business for more profitability and more visibility in the marketplace. She is CEO of a strategic consulting firm and has over 25 years experience working with over 100,000 people plus national and international media. Jill teaches a virtual Publicity Crash Course and consults and speaks all over the world. She has spoken on many stages with luminaries such as Tony Robbins. Jill also leads an intentional kindness community. Visit publicitycrashcourse.com/freegift and jilllublin.com