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
[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:
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.