Let me let you in on a big secret: you don’t need a PR consultant to write a press release. They’re actually really easy to write. But PR pros don’t want you to know this, or they’d be out of business. While I’ve already risked my reputation telling this secret, let me get out a few more.
1. Press releases are great SEO boosters. If you’re distributing your releases online using a tool like PRWeb, you can get some serious links to your release, and also your website. Every time Google sees a link to your site, you get “points.” The more points you have, the better you rank in search results.
2. You won’t get in the Wall Street Journal with your release. A lot of PR folks try to build up hopes for businesses to get major PR. And yes, of course it happens. But for the average small business, it’s smarter to focus on local publications rather than aiming for the moon to begin with. You’ve got to climb the ladder of media coverage to earn that cover story.
3. The best days to pitch your release to editors are Tuesday-Thursday. Mondays and Fridays are no good for geting people’s attention. They’re either ready to cut out early for the weekend or recovering from it.
4. You’ll get the best response from email pitches 10-2 local time. Again, look at what’s going on schedule wise. First thing, editors are checking email and deleting what’s not important (yours). That midday lull is when they’re most likely to spend more time reading emails.
5. A press release is as easy as English class. Remember who, what, when, where and why? Oh, and how. Can’t forget him. That’s all a press release is. List these out, and you have the bulk of your release.
6. People like quotes. Having a quote in your press release adds the human element, which people identify with.
7. PR people make up quotes. I’ve met my fair share of CEOs who were either too busy or not verbose enough to give me a good quote. It’s perfectly fine to make up a quote for the person involved in the news story, but always run it by him for permission.
8. People like pictures. Distribution services let you upload logos and photos, so take advantage of this feature.
9. Sharing your release on social media gets more reads. The more places you can get your release socially, the better it will fare.
10. It really is all about the headline. A good headline will get clicks and shares. A bad one will gather dust. Which do you want?
Photo: Stock.xchng user somadjinn. Royalty free.