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Traffic Driving Tip #4

Press ReleasesChances are your business has sent out a press release to a local publication in hopes of creating a little publicity for your company or product release, but there are plenty of ways you can drum up some publicity for your blog on the Internet, as well. Many companies have had varied results with press releases, more than often because they have not written their press releases in the correct format or with a news angle worthy of print.

These diverse results have led many to believe public relations is a waste of money, but nothing could be further from the truth. Public relations used correctly can build trust in your company quicker than just about any other marketing tool. Once your press release is printed, it gives your company instant credibility and begins to activate some valuable word of mouth advertising for your business, product or service. Whether you write your own press releases or hire a marketing or public relations firm to write them for you, there are several things you should think about before beginning.

Why You Should Send Out Electronic Press Releases

Writing press releases has several advantages over other traditional forms of marketing. First and foremost is credibility. Having your press release printed in a trusted publication automatically loans some of that trust to your business. Instead of an advertisement that the public knows you spent money to place and is written from your perspective, press releases have to earn their way into print by leveraging some form of newsworthiness. If they do, they are published as a story written by a staff member of the publication, sometimes word for word from the press release itself. In this case, the story is basically an ad for your company written by a trusted third party, giving it instant credibility in the eyes of the publication’s readers.

Press releases are also much cheaper than advertisements. While I’d suggest having a professional writer create your press release, it’s entirely possible for you to craft one yourself. Before you do, understand that press releases MUST be written in a specific format and have some sort of news that might appeal to the publication’s readers. You should be aware of who reads each publication you are targeting before writing a press release and tailor them accordingly.

Another benefit of press releases over advertisements is that they have a strong chance of creating some extra word of mouth marketing for your company. Because the press releases are written as a story and carry an element of newsworthiness, readers have an extra incentive to talk about it with the people they care about or share interests in common. It’s unlikely an ad will get people to talk about it with each other unless your ad is offering something truly unique. But stories in the local newspaper or a specific magazine gets readers to talk about their community or interest group because they are spreading “news” about those things.

How To Write A Good Press Release

First of all, follow the this press release format. It doesn’t need to be exact, but your format should resemble this one as closely as possible. All publications prefer this standard format and most insist upon it. The major elements of the press release are your contact information, a release date, a headline, a subhead, the body, an about section and an ending notifier.

The headline of your press releases should describe some benefit to the reader or announce the most important news. Without a good headline, there is a chance your press release won’t be read any further. While that may not seem fair, journalists are bombarded with countless press releases and figure if the headline isn’t any good, the rest of the press release probably isn’t either. People will do this with your blog headlines too, so get used to writing good headlines if you expect to have your information read. Use the subhead section to tease the reader into your first paragraph. Each sentence from headline to end should ultimately invite the reader to read the next.

In your first paragraph, put all the important information. This means the who, what, where, when and most importantly, how. Do not leave out any of this information as journalists will edit and cut your press release from the bottom up. If there is only room for one paragraph, you are going to want it to include all the important stuff to help readers find you. Continue on with important details, but keep your press release to one page. Any more and it runs the risk of not being read. Value the journalists time and they will appreciate it anPrevail PR › Create New Post — WordPressd possibly reward you with publication.

Where To Send Your Press Release

The first place you should send your press releases is to online press release distributors. There are several free ones including Open PR, PR Leap, Add PR and Free-Press-Release in addition to some larger paid sites like PR NEwswire. These services will distribute your press releases to even more outlets, but for the most part aren’t very targeted.

You can also submit your press release to online trade publications. These sites are more than willing to accept your press release and possibly make a story out of it provided there is some newsworthiness and they don’t have to do much or any research. You can find their email addresses and phone numbers in the contact area of their websites and ask them exactly what to do first if you like.

Publications in your community, including daily and weekly newspapers, are more good places to submit your press release. Remember to find out who their readers are and tailor your message to that audience. The more likely the editor thinks his readers will be interested in your story, the more likely it is to be published. You should call the publication and see how they want to receive your press release first, but most likely they will want you to email it to them.

Before you send your press release off anywhere, be sure to include your company’s relevant information in the about area at the bottom. Do not forget a link to your site so the journalist can go there to find more information and so they may put it in the story for others to find more information. As with any other part of your business, you should thank the journalist for their time whether they printed your story or not. You will likely be contacting them again in the future and they may just remember how thoughtful you were the last time.