Basics Of A Successful Press Release

31 replies
This is some info I wrote up about the very basics of a successful Press Release. Thought some members could find this information helpful. I hope you enjoy it!



Basics Of A Successful Press Release
#basics #press #release #successful
  • Profile picture of the author jpsilver
    Matthew,

    Thank you for this useful information i've just read it and already I have a better understanding of the basics of a successful press release.

    Regards

    Juskaren
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  • Profile picture of the author JustSomeWarrior
    Sweet piece. Always glad to see warriors contributing knowledge. This place is great
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  • Profile picture of the author drmfitz
    i am getting ready to self-publish my first book and need all the help i can get-THANKS! Dr. Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author EricMN
    Awesome stuff. I've actually just had my first press release published and picked up by several websites. I was wondering if you have any projections for a successful PR, as in, what sort of numbers can you expect from a good PR? Total impressions vs read throughs etc and over what course of time.
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    • Profile picture of the author sehari
      Thanks for the info

      Good one Useful
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    • Profile picture of the author JimMichael
      Originally Posted by EricMN View Post

      Awesome stuff. I've actually just had my first press release published and picked up by several websites. I was wondering if you have any projections for a successful PR, as in, what sort of numbers can you expect from a good PR? Total impressions vs read throughs etc and over what course of time.
      Eric, it's very important to remember what a press release actually is....

      Press Release - A story idea, in a written form (press release), which is placed in front of the eyes of targeted media. The aim is to interest them and prompt them to run a story in their newspaper, on their TV or radio station and also as part of their online coverage.

      Simply submitting it to free sites is nothing more than self-publishing an article! I can tell you now, having spent ten years myself as a journalist with the BBC - the media don't trawl free sites looking for stories to cover!

      If you're looking for impressions, read throughts and conversions - stick to article marketing as this is all it essentially is.

      You'll rarely, if ever get a member of the media running a story on you just because you plastered your story over the internet.

      The whole meaning of a press release has become glossed over in the IM world. I always joke they should now be called 'Search Engine Releases' - as the press are the last people that will ever be interested in them!

      If you want real press release distribution - you need to find someone or a service that will build you a targeted list, distribute to those journalists invidual inboxes and fax machines - and then call them personally and push them into running a story on you.
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      • Profile picture of the author EricMN
        Originally Posted by JimMichael View Post

        Eric, it's very important to remember what a press release actually is....

        ...

        If you want real press release distribution - you need to find someone or a service that will build you a targeted list, distribute to those journalists invidual inboxes and fax machines - and then call them personally and push them into running a story on you.
        I know what a press release is. But thanks for looking out for me either way. (I assure you I had no intention of altering my PR for 'SEO' purposes, nor was my headline short by any means.)

        Thanks to those who have critiqued the article and provided insight on this issue.

        Now realizing PRWeb is not an altogether ideal option, my next press release will be more targeted and well executed.
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  • Profile picture of the author keepgoin
    Useful stuff, thanks!

    Andy
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    Learning Fast Right Here :)

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  • Thanks for this info Matthew...that headline analyzer could also be useful

    3M
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    • Profile picture of the author packerfan
      Thanks! Actually working on a press release for a new site. Using the headline analyzer I was able to get one with 71% EMV, and it's compelling too. Probably try that one out.
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  • Profile picture of the author keven brown
    Yes, these are good tips indeed. I'am trying to write a release and currently reading an ebook on this topic. let's see my release gets approved or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author ASCW
    That headline analyzer is not a good judge of headlines.
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  • Profile picture of the author profitmaster7
    Great stuff! Don't forget to send your PR to the free PR sites, like PRLog.org. You can get your press release in front of trillions of people for free!
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  • Profile picture of the author WriterWahm
    Wow, thanks for sharing this Matthew. Every tool you shared gives a great insight into press release writing and I really appreciate such a contribution. You could have charged money for this you know
    Anyway, thanks!
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  • thanks for sharing this, i've been meaning to learn about press releases
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    • Profile picture of the author Diabolik
      Good post. You could expand that and turn it into something marketable at some point.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    While I think it's great you're trying to share, that is a horrible article, rife with misinformation.

    The guy didn't touch on ONE THING that makes a press release successful.

    Follow that info at your own risk.

    -Daniel

    EDIT: Just realized this was your own work. Shameless self-promotion, and the work's not even any good. In fact, the stuff you're putting in there is just wrong. Shame on you, sir.
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    • Profile picture of the author earningmoney
      Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

      While I think it's great you're trying to share, that is a horrible article, rife with misinformation.

      The guy didn't touch on ONE THING that makes a press release successful.

      Follow that info at your own risk.

      -Daniel

      EDIT: Just realized this was your own work. Shameless self-promotion, and the work's not even any good. In fact, the stuff you're putting in there is just wrong. Shame on you, sir.
      can you point out in which ways this information is wrong Sir. if you point out to the flaws than it helps us all if you cannot point out to the flaws than no need to confuse all the members.
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  • Profile picture of the author Calum88
    Hi Mathew,

    I'm always looking to improve my writing and thought I would check out what you have written.

    Thanks very much!
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanLB
    thanks for the share, definitely learned a few things that I didn't think of previously.

    I also agree with them being "search engine releases" in the IM community. To me a successful press release encourages others to talk about the news you are releasing, and gets your point across. Most press releases won't be trying to sell them on something as much as letting them know about something new.
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  • Profile picture of the author Increase Media
    The problem that most marketers or businesses have when it comes to sending out a press release is they make it read like an "Ad" rather than having a legit or newsworthy angle, which is what a true press release should be.

    It should sound journalistic, but have an interesting angle. Newsworthy means...what's different about it? It's something that doesn't happen every day.
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  • Matthew,

    I think your article is exactly what you described - the basics of press release writing and distribution.

    But what I don't get is why people think that press release distribution is all about submitting your news story to press release distribution websites.

    Doesn't anyone know what real press release distribution is? Targeting the inbox of editors at publications related to your news? Requests for inclusions? Cultivating a relationship with the editors and media contacts that will actually be interested in your story...am I alone here?

    Remember people - sending your press release out to just websites - including PRWeb and Webwire - is the lowest form of press release distribution possible. It's the spun PLR vomit of the press release world. This type of distribution indiscriminately posts your press release to hundreds of unrelated media outlets, most of which readily put your release in the proper place - the trash.

    If you're just looking for SEO, don't bother with press releases. There are MUCH more powerful ways to rank in the SERPs. In fact, here's a tip that you can take to the bank:

    Google doesn't care about the links in your press release.

    Why?

    They're generally not supposed to be there - at least not in the way that everyone here uses them for SEO. A press release with a bunch of links in it is nothing more than spam unless your message is totally amazing.

    It's not.

    A press release is not an advertisement, ladies and gentlemen.
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    • Profile picture of the author Clint Butler
      Originally Posted by Russell Barnstein View Post

      Matthew,

      I think your article is exactly what you described - the basics of press release writing and distribution.

      But what I don't get is why people think that press release distribution is all about submitting your news story to press release distribution websites.

      Doesn't anyone know what real press release distribution is? Targeting the inbox of editors at publications related to your news? Requests for inclusions? Cultivating a relationship with the editors and media contacts that will actually be interested in your story...am I alone here?

      Remember people - sending your press release out to just websites - including PRWeb and Webwire - is the lowest form of press release distribution possible. It's the spun PLR vomit of the press release world. This type of distribution indiscriminately posts your press release to hundreds of unrelated media outlets, most of which readily put your release in the proper place - the trash.

      If you're just looking for SEO, don't bother with press releases. There are MUCH more powerful ways to rank in the SERPs. In fact, here's a tip that you can take to the bank:

      Google doesn't care about the links in your press release.

      Why?

      They're generally not supposed to be there - at least not in the way that everyone here uses them for SEO. A press release with a bunch of links in it is nothing more than spam unless your message is totally amazing.

      It's not.

      A press release is not an advertisement, ladies and gentlemen.
      I find it funny that on your site your offer to SEO a press release

      "Full SEO and keyword optimization
      Thorough keyword research - Makes your release more visible online.
      Backlinks with anchor text - Pushes readers onto your site and improves your Google ranking!"

      Although I will say that inboxing to journalists is actually pretty cool. It just seems to me that attacking people who are trying to make it using free methods while learning a technique isn't the way to gain customers.

      Originally Posted by JimMichael View Post

      Eric, it's very important to remember what a press release actually is....

      Press Release - A story idea, in a written form (press release), which is placed in front of the eyes of targeted media. The aim is to interest them and prompt them to run a story in their newspaper, on their TV or radio station and also as part of their online coverage.

      Simply submitting it to free sites is nothing more than self-publishing an article! I can tell you now, having spent ten years myself as a journalist with the BBC - the media don't trawl free sites looking for stories to cover!

      If you're looking for impressions, read throughts and conversions - stick to article marketing as this is all it essentially is.

      You'll rarely, if ever get a member of the media running a story on you just because you plastered your story over the internet.

      The whole meaning of a press release has become glossed over in the IM world. I always joke they should now be called 'Search Engine Releases' - as the press are the last people that will ever be interested in them!

      If you want real press release distribution - you need to find someone or a service that will build you a targeted list, distribute to those journalists invidual inboxes and fax machines - and then call them personally and push them into running a story on you.
      I venture to say for the price that you are submitting press releases

      "Press Release Distribution: Manually submitted to a custom list of 15 PR4 - PR8 press release sites: $35"

      That the sites are free as well, there isn't any profit margin for you if your submitting to paid sites.

      Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

      While I think it's great you're trying to share, that is a horrible article, rife with misinformation.

      The guy didn't touch on ONE THING that makes a press release successful.

      Follow that info at your own risk.

      -Daniel

      EDIT: Just realized this was your own work. Shameless self-promotion, and the work's not even any good. In fact, the stuff you're putting in there is just wrong. Shame on you, sir.
      I read the article and although I don't agree with some of what's being said, I think its a great effort to understand a concept. If his view of a concept is wrong, rather than attacking him perhaps you could be more helpful to breakdown why you say its wrong rather than attack his work. Shame on you, sir

      Regards,
      Clint
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
        Originally Posted by earningmoney View Post

        can you point out in which ways this information is wrong Sir. if you point out to the flaws than it helps us all if you cannot point out to the flaws than no need to confuse all the members.
        Originally Posted by Clint Butler View Post

        I read the article and although I don't agree with some of what's being said, I think its a great effort to understand a concept. If his view of a concept is wrong, rather than attacking him perhaps you could be more helpful to breakdown why you say its wrong rather than attack his work. Shame on you, sir
        Okay, here we go...

        A press release, as an above poster mentioned, is NOT about SEO. It's about (shockingly) getting your story used by the press to generate publicity and leads.

        So the whole article is basically off the mark on that perspective. But just to make my point, here's some other completely silly points...

        Your headline needs to have the keywords that you are targeting and it also needs to be as short as possible. A four or five word headline will perform much better than a eight to fourteen word headline.
        Really? Got any data to back that up, or is this just you spouting out garbage trying to sound authoritative? I've seen press releases with 15+ words absolutely kill it, especially online where we aren't bound by physical/printing space constraints.

        It also doesn't need the keyword you're targeting.

        Your headline also needs to be emotionally appealing. There is a tool I use for this. Please go too Advanced Marketing Institute - Headline Analyzer. This is an
        emotional marketing headline analyzer. The most successful Press Releases will have between a 20% and 40% emotional appeal. If you can get more of an emotional appeal than that then go for it. You should aim the title of your Press Release to be around four words and have the keywords you are targeting in those keywords. If it is longer that is okay, but aim for the shortest headline possible.
        Again, bullcrap. That tool is a piece of... well, you know. If I ran my headlines through them it would say they're no good, yet those same headlines are crushing it in various niches. A headline I recently wrote that (along with the copy, obviously) is doing 4 times an "expected acceptable" EPC got reamed with that tool. So I'd say it's officially "busted".

        When writing a Press Release that you want to rank very high in Google News and the Google Search engine itself it is very important to make sure that the Press Release is between 250 and 300 words. You really do not want to go over the 300 word mark no matter what anyone tells you if you want to achieve high rankings. Shorter is always better. Your keyword density should be between 1.5% and 3.5%. In some cases you can go higher.
        Again, if you want SEO rankings, there are better ways to do it. The whole point of a press release is it gets SYNDICATED in other publications (online or off). 300 words? Most press releases are substantially bigger than that. Plus many of my contacts say keyword density is a dead idea. Admittedly I'm taking their word for this, but these are guys with page one rankings for competitive phrases in the SEO industry (such as "improve SEO rankings"), so I feel pretty justified trusting them.

        If you want your Press Release to be a real success I would go with a paid Press Release distributor. I would recommend Press Release Distribution Services - WebWire and Press Release Distribution - Submit Press Releases Online - PRWeb.
        In order to get the best results for a Press Release it is better to start testing them with the Free Press Release websites. The best free Press Release website is by far Free Press Release Distribution Service - PRLog.
        If your Press Release has success with Prlog then consider doing the cheapest paid Press Release with Webwire.
        These services aren't exactly brilliant for PR distrubution. What you need is someone who has connections in the industry you're looking to push a press release in who knows and can follow up with the right people - not a service that's basically become known as an SEO spam mill (and gee, with posts like yours, I wonder why?)

        There's a lot of other inconsistencies (find 'em all, kids!), and the article is poorly written to boot.

        On top of all that not really sure what it's doing in the copywriting section instead of the SEO section, but that's a side issue.

        I'd probably let the OP's shameless self-promotion slide if he knew what he was talking about, but he doesn't. And call me crazy, but I think in a public forum someone has to step up to the plate and call out the pretenders.

        -Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author JimMichael
    Interesting debate brewing here.

    I also agree that PRWeb isn't the way to go. I have invested $15,000 in my distribution software - and it takes the story directly to the journalist's desks and inboxes - not just a bunch of online submissions.

    The only online submission I include is Google News - and that's only because virtually every client asked for it, so I listened and partnered.

    I find that this more traditional form of submission works. My clients get great coverage in some elite places - they get interviewed and get everything from small spotlight focuses right through to prestigious TV spots.

    Way more useful than paying $200 to let PRWeb sneeze it out across the net. Where's the credibility there when it's distributed in it's raw form, without a journalist having ever intervened to give their 2-cents?
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    • Profile picture of the author Clint Butler
      Originally Posted by JimMichael View Post

      Interesting debate brewing here.

      I also agree that PRWeb isn't the way to go. I have invested $15,000 in my distribution software - and it takes the story directly to the journalist's desks and inboxes - not just a bunch of online submissions.

      The only online submission I include is Google News - and that's only because virtually every client asked for it, so I listened and partnered.

      I find that this more traditional form of submission works. My clients get great coverage in some elite places - they get interviewed and get everything from small spotlight focuses right through to prestigious TV spots.

      Way more useful than paying $200 to let PRWeb sneeze it out across the net. Where's the credibility there when it's distributed in it's raw form, without a journalist having ever intervened to give their 2-cents?
      That was a great follow-up. Here is a question for you. When using Press Releases in the manner that your service provides, how does that help an affiliate marketer? Or a network marketer promoting their business?

      I understand the "SEO Press Release" helps with an initial traffic increase that eventually dies over time. As well as the backlinks that you can get from some PR sites.

      I am just curious as to how your method of distributing the PR can help those two particular internet marketers.

      Regards,
      Clint
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      • Profile picture of the author JimMichael
        Originally Posted by Clint Butler View Post

        That was a great follow-up. Here is a question for you. When using Press Releases in the manner that your service provides, how does that help an affiliate marketer? Or a network marketer promoting their business?

        I understand the "SEO Press Release" helps with an initial traffic increase that eventually dies over time. As well as the backlinks that you can get from some PR sites.

        I am just curious as to how your method of distributing the PR can help those two particular internet marketers.

        Regards,
        Clint
        Clint - excellent question!

        In terms of an affiliate marketer - they are very hard to market using my method. Some people are just not press material, and should put their money elsewhere. I'll admit that, even though of course I'd like them to use my services! I'd rather remain honest though...

        There is scope though if they have done very well, and we can hit the press with their success story. I did one recently for a guy who worked from home. Three years ago he was literally living in a derolict trailor home, and now makes just over a million dollars reach year through affiliate marketing. With this guy, we took the personal story. Of course, during the news piece that went out on TV they interviewed him about a number of the products he sells, and plugged his personal site. That then got hits, and product sales as a result.

        For the network marketer it is the same. Whatever a media relations guy tells you - if the product isn't yours, the media won't be interested. On that note - any media relations guy who tries to get you to hand money over for this kind of thing is just trying to make quick cash. Stay away.

        Again, should you have a strong personal story to tell, or have your own product (We could even spin a good WSO as news content, seriously) - it could very possibly work, as long as you're willing to accept that YOUR story comes first, and the product plugs and sales are secondary.

        Here's the analogy I give -

        Imagine your press release is lying in the fax tray of XYZ news outlet. The Editor reads the first few lines, likes it and just as he goes to hand the story to a reporter...the phone rings.

        Turns out, the local old folks home burned down overnight and eighty five elderley people burned away like logs on a fire. So, naturally, the reporter sends 95% of his guys off to cover it. Some will cover for his outlet, but as they're the only local news outlet most will cover the story for other national outlets are part of their reporter-sharing agreements.

        Now - ten hours later, when everyone has come back and the hype from the fire story has gone....your story should be so strong and exciting that it's the first thing the Editor hands off to be covered, as it's been on his mind all day.

        If you don't think your story could realistically be that first story - don't bother trying to write a press release about it. The other alternative is to speak with a PR professional and get them to spin it for you! Man, I can tell you - today I managed to get press coverage for a guy who has invented a cup holder.....it just takes the right kind of spin to make the story seem like gold dust to the media. That ability only comes with experience.

        Most outlets, or certainly my old news station, used to get around 300 press releases a day, and we'd choose 2 or 3 to run on that night's news show, and a few more as features for later in the week.

        In reality....each media outlet should only get about 10 a day, but people insist on sending boring self-promotion and product ads with absolutely no news content whatsoever.

        Either way - and back to my original point - flogging it on an online distribution site for $200 is a waste of money that you could be using for PPC!
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  • Profile picture of the author nahids
    Thanks. Really awesome.
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  • Profile picture of the author leoalvin
    Originally Posted by Matthew Payne View Post

    This is some info I wrote up about the very basics of a successful Press Release. Thought some members could find this information helpful. I hope you enjoy it!



    Basics Of A Successful Press Release
    Thanks so much for this one. I really needed this because I wanna improve my PR writing skills.
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