A press release might not be the hottest marketing strategy being utilized today. However, it is a tried-and-true marketing tactic. If done correctly, these attention-grabbing releases can yield better results than many in-vogue marketing methods.
72% of journalists agree that press releases are among the most valuable content that brands can create. A well-crafted press release can be the catalyst for building a stellar reputation and attracting extensive media coverage. This, in turn, lays the foundation for a more prominent media presence and online footprint.
In this blog, we will discuss why press releases still make sense and how to leverage them in your marketing strategy.
What Is a Press Release in Marketing?
A press release (PR) could be described as a “teaser” since its purpose is to catch the media’s attention. It is a summarized announcement of an important message from a brand, organization, or public figure to its target audience. This could be the launch of a new product or service, expansion plans, starting or closing of an enterprise, etc.
A press release in marketing must be enticing and deliver the “5 W’s” as concisely as possible —who, what, when, where, and why. Journalists and news outlets scan PRs and decide which ones they want to cover. Often, press releases are used as quotes or official statements in the articles they generate.
How Effective Is a Press Release in Marketing?
New brands or businesses often struggle to get their desired media coverage. Moreover, prominent news publications usually prefer to cover stories for established organizations. This makes the task all the more challenging for newer companies. But the trick is to get the media to come to you and not chase after them. And that’s where the role of press releases in marketing lies.
Journalists are almost always looking for the next hot story. To showcase the “next big thing” is part of their job. If a journalist or media outlet picks up your press release, this could result in millions of eyes on you.
Today, the potential customer reach with press releases is tremendous, thanks to the rise of digital PR. A Digital 2021 study found that over 50% of internet users browse online news sites worldwide. Moreover, users spend an average time of 2 hours and 2 minutes reading online news every day. However, when we say online news, we don’t mean the “Anytown Weekly.” Think major sites like USA Today, Business Insider, or a Yahoo press release.
How to Write the Perfect Press Release
Creating an effective press release can be both simple and nuanced at the same time. It’s important to be aware of and avoid some common mistakes when writing these releases. The PR must capture attention, demonstrate that it is newsworthy, and introduce its subject in a condensed blurb. Moreover, when writing a PR, it’s vital to ensure it is not overly promotional and only factual. The key elements of an ideal press release include:
- An enticing headline (your one chance to make a memorable first impression)
- A detailed subheading, preferably containing the keywords
- The date and place of the announcement
- A paragraph containing the five W’s
- Quote(s) from authority figures
- An about section
- Media contact
- Photos and videos to further pique interest
Press Releases: The Advantages
Now that you know how to create the perfect press release, let’s discuss some of the rewards it can help you reap:
Generate Media Interest
If you have something exciting to announce, a story-starved journalist will welcome the lead. Moreover, if your PR is very well-written, the chances of news publications covering it increase greatly. Once recognized outlets report on your press release, it will add authority and credibility.
Potential for Significant Exposure
A reputed publication reporting on your press release means millions reading it. The media coverage would educate these people about your brand and its offerings. Hence, instead of you looking for customers, there is a high likelihood that customers will be coming to you.
Boost Your SEO
Targeted keywords communicate with search engines, triggering them to identify your press release as important and newsworthy. The goal is to rank your content higher on the list of search engine results. Moreover, generating backlinks from a reputed online publication will also boost the SEO of your website. After all, it’s all about where your link(s) appear in a sea of websites.
Despite having so many pros, press releases also have one major con:
You Need to Put Real Time & Effort into Getting Attention
Journalists have their inboxes flooded with hundreds of press releases from different companies every day. However, most of these are unimportant, over-promotional, or just plain and boring. It can be very easy for your PR to get lost in this dull crowd. If you are a relatively new company, reaching out directly to media publications wouldn’t be of much help either.
For a journalist to pick up your PR, you must offer something that’s as beneficial to them as to yourself. In fact, don’t be surprised if a well-written press release gets picked up by multiple journalists!
This, however, increases the homework on your part. You need to scan your industry to find out what is and isn’t trending. Social media is a great place to find out what customers want and identify any gaps in the market. Weave this into your PR, and give special importance to the headline. The return on investment could turn out to be well worth the few extra steps, but there’s no guarantee that a journalist would pick up your PR for sure.
But worry not, there’s another way to overcome this obstacle — by teaming up with the right press relations agency. Digital Nod’s guaranteed press release distribution service can help you skip the middleman (journalist) to find your PR directly in the world’s best publications.
The Power of PR
Hence, it’s quite clear that press releases can be an invaluable marketing tool when done right. You can increase your brand’s visibility significantly by mastering the art of composing a truly captivating PR. In fact, a single well-written press release could take your brand from obscurity to the limelight. What’s more, it’s a strategy that works for any industry and any budget.
If you haven’t yet leveraged the power of press releases for marketing, there’s no better time than now. Put your writing skills to the test and give the media an announcement they can’t resist. Else, simply rely on the experts (that’s us!) and see the rewards of effective PR distribution unfold!