Among the various foolproof methods used to boost traffic to your site (ezine advertising, and search engine submitting, to name a couple) one method seems to be forgotten about by many new Internet marketers. That method is writing press releases.
Press releases are a way to get your business exposed to more and more would be customers. They are written as a news article and submitted to editors who would then print them or follow up with you for a story.
You’ll find that an effective press release, just like any good news article, answers some basic questions for the reader. Not only that, there is a specific formula involved in constructing the piece.
Here are the questions:
- Who…will bring or brought about the event?
- What…is going to happen or has happened?
- Where…will or did this take place?
- When…will or did the event occur?
- Why…will or did it occur?
- How…will or did it happen?
- Now, here is the formula. If you plan to write a great press release you must know and understand how to build it:
First is the headline. Choose the words carefully to convey several things at once to the reader. They must be brief and to the point. You say what the news is about in ten words or less.
The words of your headline must be exciting and dynamic. Don’t be afraid to make a bold claim your headline, say for example, “Thousands of People Reap Thousands in New Internet Business.” Just be sure very sure you back this up with proven facts in your article.
The next component in the formula is the opening. This is where, in no more than two sentences, you capsulate your information tell what the article is going to be about in bite size. Answer the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” questions as briefly as possible. Save details for later.
Analyze this part of your press release carefully. To be successful the article must be able to peak the readers’ attention at this point. In other words, if they read nothing further, they have all the information they need to take action.
Now, shape the third element, the body. Elaborate on your opening. Add descriptions and benefits, quotes and testimonials. Be sure all of your quotes begin and end with quotation marks and give credit and credentials to the persons you quote.
For instance, instead of ending a quote with, “says Barbara Smith,” end it with “says Barbara Smith, six figure online entrepreneur and highly praised lecturer on small business on the World Wide Web. Isn’t the second way much more powerful and convincing (provided of course, it’s true)? That’s giving credit AND credentials.
Finally, close your press release with a short call to action. Use a sentence to summarize, then tell your readers how they may get more information. Don’t go for the jugular here, though; wait for a follow up contact to make your final sale. But do use action producing words like “get” and “now” (“Get more information “now” by phoning [your name] at [your phone number]).
A few final words are important now. Let me combine them with an exercise to help you remember the five “w’s” and one “h” of successful news writing. Make sure you thoroughly consider these questions as you plan and write your release:
- Who…will benefit from reading your press release?
- What…do you want them to know?
- When…is your information available?
- Where…can they find more information?
- Why…is your information valuable in the lives of your readers?
- How…is your information unique? It’s going to be submerged in a sea of press releases your intended publisher will have to review.
These are the best means I know to get your press release published once it’s submitted to an editor.
P.S. More on this topic can be found by reading Dr. Randall Hansen’s Guide to Writing Successful Press Releases at http://www.stetson.edu/~rhansen/prguide.html. Directories to find places to submit your press release can be found near the end of the same web page.
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Category: Public Relations