In today’s age, it’s all about online content marketing and increasing your brand exposure. To some, the importance of a press release seems outdated or old-fashioned, as other social media channels have taken over businesses’ communications and content strategy. Why are press releases still important in the era of digital media? This article offers insight into the importance of a press release and how to write one to get noticed by your audiences.
Press releases remain an important marketing tool for businesses both big and small. If you are wondering whether press releases will be beneficial to your company, these five reasons may help convince you. If you are wondering how to write a stellar press release, look no further. Let’s get started!
What Is A Press Release?
Many people have probably heard the phrase “press release,” but what is it exactly? As defined by Forbes, they are formal, official announcements regarding something new or significant about you, your business, a speaking event or something of that nature. They should promote your business, archive important data for future use and hopefully, improve your SEO. Press releases were designed to inform journalists and members of the press what news is currently happening at your company. For example, if you had a major event for your business coming up, you could write a press release announcing your event to the public. For that reason, press releases are important to your business’s media relations, in addition to increasing brand awareness.
A press release doesn’t guarantee you media exposure. Make sure to find ways to help your press release stand out so you can receive as much media coverage as possible. HubSpot touches on why it is important to know how to properly distribute a press release, so your business can land coverage in media publications. The audience for press releases doesn’t stop just at newspapers, however, but also includes, radio, TV news bulletins, podcasts and blogs. That way, you’re positioning your brand in front of a wider audience.
When Should I Send A Press Release?
Press releases are used to promote your business and to share important information.
You should share a press release any time you have something newsworthy or important to share. Here is a list of newsworthy things you can share in your press release from CoSchedule:
- Breaking news announcements. Lend news outlets a helping hand. Sharing a press release with journalists will help them publish breaking news as quickly as possible.
- Events. Offer reporters something timely and interesting to share with their audiences. They also help to increase engagement with that event!
- Partnerships. If you team up with another company, the media may want to know. It’s a win-win for both you and your partner.
- Research. Data and original insights are always interesting, but remember to spice it up a bit; no one wants to read a boring data report.
- Awards. Don’t be afraid to share your success!
- Hiring new executives. This relates more to larger companies and organizations, but it can be important news when someone new is hired at a company.
- Crisis management. When things go wrong, the importance of a press release only intensifies. You get the opportunity to tell the story first in your own voice.
Make sure you have something your audience (and the media’s audience) will care about. This will considerably increase the odds that your release will earn media coverage.
Now that you know what a press release is, and when to send one, let’s dive into five specific reasons they are important to your business.
Five Reasons Press Releases Are Important
Every business wants to be credible. A press release is a fantastic way to build your credibility! Consumers view press releases as a trusted source of information. As said by Cision, consistently distributing accurate press releases allows you to build credibility over time with journalists, as well as existing and potential customers. It is especially useful for start-ups and growing small businesses to get positive word out about themselves
Cision also mentions that gaining press coverage helps to get your business or brand name into the public forum. That’s helpful for building awareness of your brand, especially when 44% of journalists consider press releases the most trustworthy source of brand-related information.
Press releases are considered one of the most trustworthy sources of brand-related information.
In addition, press releases can be written in-house, so you control your brand’s voice and message. This helps to shape the public’s perception of your business. Still not convinced of the importance of a press release? Let’s keep going.
2. Engage the Media
Through the rise of social media, press releases are not only available to journalists, but can also be made available to the public through social media channels. Distributing a press release through social media channels gives your business an opportunity to interact with a number of different consumers. It is important, however, to know how to market your press release on social media platforms. As Online PR Media advises, you can do a single post that simply announces the news and shares the link, but a better strategy might be to segment your followers and personalize the message based on why each audience should care. If you want more insight into how to begin your social media marketing strategy, check out this article on our blog!
3. Build Search Engine Traffic
Having information about your company published through a press release on large news sites is not only beneficial for your company’s brand, but also for SEO. As described by Cision, a well-written press release utilizing SEO best practices allows search engines to find, match, index and rank your press release. With 63,000 searches per second, having a high-ranking press release on Google and other search engines provides enhanced exposure to current and future customers. The importance of a press release doesn’t stop with just building media relationships, but carries throughout your marketing strategy, including building your search engine traffic.
4. Increase Public Relations Activity
As previously discussed, press releases give you the ability to connect not only with journalists but with many other media outlets. If your press release is current and timely, it can get picked up by a reporter from the news media or others interested in the topic. This serves as an opportunity for more publicity in the form of radio, television interviews, quotes in newspaper articles and other PR activity. But make sure to do your research! A well-written press release needs to provide the full story, including the who, what, where, when and why. If it isn’t accurate or engaging, why would any media outlet share it?
5. Manage A Crisis
Using press releases to combat a crisis helps promote transparency of your business.
Lastly, the importance of a press release revolves around crisis communication. Press releases can be a useful tool when things go wrong; you get the opportunity to tell the story first. So what exactly is a crisis communication press release? As defined by Fit Small Business, a crisis communication press release is a written communication that defines a crisis the company and its stakeholders are facing, along with a concrete plan to mitigate its damage or serve those impacted. It helps to stop speculation around the crisis definition and company response by transparently communicating the facts and establishing a central source of information from the company.
How To Write A Press Release
Now that you know the importance of a press release, let’s dive into how to write a one that will get you noticed by the media! Here are some cardinal rules to follow when crafting your press release:
Keep your press release headlines under 10 words.
Keep headlines short and sweet. According to HubSpot, 75% of publishers prefer subject lines with 10 or fewer words.
Ensure it’s unique. Why should people care? Make them care by sharing facts and background that helps readers understand the reasons why this news is important.
Avoid excessive hyperlinks. Keep people in your story, not clicking elsewhere.
End with a call to action. This is where you can ask your audience to engage with your company!
What To Include In Your Press Releases
- Headline. Grab the media’s attention! Be specific when crafting your headlines.
- Press contact. It is vital to include your contact information within a press release. This allows the media to get in touch with you if they want to do a follow-up.
- City, state, location. Where is your company located?
- Body copy. Follow the inverted pyramid style when presenting information within your body paragraphs.
- Boilerplate. The boilerplate explains what your company is all about and what your mission is. Include the boilerplate at the very end of every press release.