How To Use Press Releases to Your Advantage

I always find it surprising that many website owners completely avoid doing public relations work for their web sites. Writing a quality press release and sending it out to various online press release outlets is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get quality back links and news coverage without actively looking for opportunities to get a link or promote your web site. With press releases, news sources come to you, not the other way around.

The problem most webmasters have with press release work is that they do not know where to get started. So here is what you need to know to make public relations work for you.

How To Write a Press Release

The first and most important thing you have to do is write the press release itself. It can be difficult (and that’s why often times press release writing companies charge $100 or more just to write a 350 word release), but if you follow the outline below you include the following elements, you should have a quality press release. The single reason why many press releases are not picked up is because they are purely promotional. Yes, you are trying to drive traffic to your website or generate sales, but your press release needs to focus on a “news-like” story that you would find in a newspaper, not in your company’s sales letter. When coming up with a topic for your release, questions you should ask yourself are, “Why is this news important?”, “Why should other people care?”, and “How can this give others what they need?” You should also focus your press release on major news events, such as if you just launched a new product that is far better than that of your competitors and will change the market or you just started a new section of a web site that offers content people will find very useful. Once you have a topic, you need to write the press release.

The Press Release Template

Title [Something Short and Sweet]
Description [ 2-3 Sentences About What the Press Release is about. A short summary

City, State, Date – The first paragraph should answer the following questions: who, what, where, when, and why? If you include those 5 elements, you have a great press release introduction. Who is the press release about, what is it about, where and when did the event take place, and why is it significant.

The second paragraph of the press release should expand on the topic of the press release. If you launch a product, give a description of the product and why it is the best. If you launched a new section of a website, tell why people should read it and what they can find there.

“Next, you want to include a quote from a company official / site founder.”

This paragraph should include information on pricing [if applicable] and expand on any information from the quote or in the second paragraph of the release. Product availability should also be here if it has not already been mentioned. [again, only if you are selling a product].

“Here you want a quote from an industry expert or a satisfied customer”

Finally, end the press release by a few sentences on a website that they can visit for more information.

### [Ends the Press Release]

For Additional Information, Contact
Contact Name:
Company Name
Telephone Number
Fax Number
Email Address:

[The contact information will help news sources contact you for more information. Most online press release distribution outlets also require you to enter this information in separate fields when submitting the press release.]

Off course you can make it longer or shorter depending on how much information you have, but I recommend at least 250 words and no more than 600 words. Remember, shorter can be better because sometimes reporters have hundreds of press releases to look it and long press releases that carry on and are stretched out will immediately be discarded.

Where To Send The Press Release

Once you have your press release written, you need to submit it. The best way to submit it is to make an account at online press release outlets and submit it there. The best online press release submission website is PRWeb.com, but it is also costly, with packages starting at $80. If your budget doesn’t allow you to spend $80 at PRWeb, there are still a number of great free press release submission outlets including:

  • PRLeap.com
  • PR9.net
  • I-Newswire.com
  • Free-Press-Release.com
  • PRUrgent.com

There are others as well, but these are the best for getting coverage in my personal opinion.

Finally, after you have written and submitted the press release, you can sit and wait for it to get picked up, or you can take the imitative by e-mailing it directly to the editors of newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs in your industry that tend to cover the type of news stories your press release is about. Depending on the amount of time you have available, I recommend that you send it directly to at least a few prominent news outlets in your industry.

This post was written by Public Relations expert Aditya Mahesh. He founded and runs DoItRight Public Relations, a public relations company focused on making affordable press release services available to all with prices starting at just $20.


41 thoughts on “How To Use Press Releases to Your Advantage”

  1. Kumiko says:

    hehe…nice ad for the $20 press releases at the bottom!

    1. Tino Buntic says:

      That wasn’t an ad. It’s part of Adtitya’s signature.

      1. Michael Kwan says:

        And the signature is an ad.

        Thanks for the info Aditya. Might not really work for my freelance writing business, but I can see how effective press releases can be for other folks.

        1. Jack Book says:

          Thanks for Aditya and John for posting this very useful tips.

          nice

          1. Since Aditya’s article was used for this post wouldn’t it be appropriate to give him a better, more prominent link back?…other than the one that’s in his signature way at the bottom where most people didn’t even notice it?

            I mean, it was his article. I would think a link upfront would go without saying. Or am I just totally off my rocker. 😆

  2. Tino Buntic says:

    Don’t forget… Press Realease titles are quite important too. Create a title that has keywords that people track in their feed readers.

  3. Great post and I could not agree more! We created a free tool for bloggers and entrepreneurs to build press releases at:http://www.evancarmichael.com/Tools/Press-Release-Builder.htm

  4. I agree with John! I always make sure that my clients know that one of the very first (and most important) steps to launching a website is creating good PR with Press Releases. I can always tell when they don’t do it, because they come to me asking for more marketing ideas. Going the extra step and emailing it to local media is one of the best strategies I have personally used, and it more than pays itself off if you use a service to do it.

  5. AdityaM says:

    Hey, glad you guys liked the post, I hope you got something out of it. Press Releases are vital to any marketing/promotion campaign.

  6. Khalid says:

    Great post, press releases are something I am researching just now.

    I have one company offering distribution to 2000 contacts for £165. I’ll definately check out PRWeb first!

    Khalid.

    1. Make sure the lists are up to date of the service you’re using. Reporters change roles so many times that most of the list services are quickly out of date. 2000 names does not mean 2000 quality names.

  7. foodette says:

    Thanks for this post. I actually didn’t know that bloggers created press releases. I definitely learned something reading this one.

  8. zaki says:

    Definitely a brilliant, fantastic and informative post. I’m expecting more of these type of post from Johnchow’s blog.

    Thanks Aditya for sharing…

  9. Matt Jones says:

    This will be very useful for me in the near future… 😆

  10. PressAbout says:

    Another great free press release site is ours 😀

    http://www.PressAbout.com – It’s in the form of a blog (WordPress) and keyword linking to assist in your SEO. The sites still new, but growing…

  11. Sofcore says:

    Like “foodette” above, I also didn’t realize bloggers could use press releases. I hadn’t even thought about it…

    Umm… Maybe that would explain a few things, where my traffic is concerned.

    Thanks for the post.

    Regards,

  12. Angela says:

    Working for a newspaper, I get press releases all day long and you’d be surprised how poorly written most are. Surprisingly, some from the state legislators are the worst!

  13. Do you guys think it’s beneficial for a blog to release a press release? or is this mainly for businesses?

    1. Bloggers can definitely benefit from PRs – many reporters are now writing about bloggers as well so that can be an easy “in” for you.

      Media outlets will also frequently link to your blog as well which will give you a nice SEO boost because they are usually authority sites.

  14. bob cobb says:

    Thanks for the tip, I just wrote one and it already got approved for one site. Hopefully it helps 🙂

  15. Marc says:

    some excellent tips there. I may do one when my finance site is ready 🙂

    thanks

  16. sumit says:

    thanks for the tip.

  17. Casey says:

    Very nice post. I learned how to do a press release in my Journalism class. Too bad I haven’t taken the initiative to actually use it online.

  18. Amanda says:

    I know if you visit EmpowerWomenNow.com and take some kind of course (free) for an hour she’ll write a $200 press release for you for free.

    you should check it out.

    1. What’s the catch…?

  19. I never thought that a press release would be appropriate for a blog! I’m now giving it some thought as a way to increase interest… Oh, yet another thing to do!
    :mrgreen:

    1. It’s also a good tool to use to show off the credibility of your site. If people see that you have been mentioned in the press they are more likely to believe you and it’s easier to get advertisers on board as well.

      If you get mentioned in the media put it up in a visible location on your blog so everyone can see!

  20. Wahlau.NET says:

    nice tips…I will keep that in mind

  21. I would like to see the results of someone doing a press release. I am sure it depends on what the article is about, but it would be interesting to see how it works.

    1. Hi How To Buy Websites – I put an example together of how I got featured in Canada’s leading newspaper’s website The Globe and Mail – you can check it out at http://www.evancarmichael.com/Tools/Press-Release-Builder.htm

      Cheers!

  22. Of course, creating your own newsletter is a great way to publish your own press release! Done well, this can be effective!

  23. Ponn Sabra says:

    Hi!

    Please accept this comment as an educational and supportive of the author, sharing more insights and resources not readily available in his brief post.

    1. As Amanda stated above, we at EmpowerWomenNow.com have a unique partnership with PRWeb.com that we give away my subscribers a FREE $200 PRWeb.com, you attend the one-hour PRWEb.com webinar and that’s it! Since our launch in April 2007, PRWeb.com has never offered anything of this magnitude before, so this is an extremely exclusive offer 🙂

    Unfortunately, we don’t write the press release, but the webinar teaches you how…nor are our rates comparable to the authors for reasons stated below:

    Details here.

    2. I have to agree with the author, Aditya, that Online Press Releases are often misunderstood, under-used and done entirely wrong.

    Unfortunately, the outline shared above is still mostly for traditional press releases and not online press.

    FYI, I didn’t see this post until Amanda shared it with me, only after I posted my 3rd Part to a Online Press Release series I’ve been running.

    Today’s topic is Online Press Releases are better than Pay Per Click Campaign.

    3. The reason most online and offline public relations specialist costs more than $100 (avg. $150-300) per press release is because there’s an art, science, theory and process…I’ve been educating my readers bits and pieces because it’s a very difficult technique to be done effectively!

    4. At EmpowerWomenNow.com we have

    I’m more than happy to share any and all follow-up aid in this topic to anyone. Contact me at anytime here.

    To our success & empowerment,
    Ponn

  24. I already had some knowledge of press releases, but this post was still helpful nonetheless.

  25. Joe Beaulaurier says:

    @John – thanks for the kind words about PRWeb in this informative post. I realize our $80 Standard Visibility package is “costly” to some budgets but even though it is our entry-level offering it by no means lacks ability to provide far reaching marketing visibility to the media and your best prospects and tremendous and long-lasting SEO benefits.

    Regards,

    Joe Beaulaurier
    PRWeb

  26. MrGPT says:

    I think it’d be kind of hard to write a press release about a “how to make money online” website 🙁 .

  27. John says:

    What a great idea, I would never of thought of using press releases.

  28. John Cow says:

    The pen is mightier than the sword

Comments are closed.