In a previous article, we covered the reasons WHY writing online press releases are a good online marketing strategy. In this second article, we will now cover the basic elements of HOW you should structure your press release. It’s not complicated; you simply need to follow some simple layout rules.
To start with…
- No first and second person pronouns – write in the third person
- No more than 5-6 links to your website – otherwise it will look spammy
- Use a ‘news’ tone, not a friendly one
Choosing a topic
Perhaps you already have a topic in your mind: promoting your business, announcing sales and discounts, maybe you want to start a contest; who knows…
For those periods of time when your business has virtually nothing to offer, you need to search for hot topics that relate to your activity.
For example, if you own an e-commerce and are sellin electronic cigarettes, you can search for fresh news about e cigs and write a press release on it.
The topic in this case?
Let’s say “Study proves e cigs are the most effective in helping people quit smoking” – find a way to relate it to your business (talk about your prices, the range of products, how easy and simple it is to order online from your website, etc.) and there you go! You have news!
Observing the layout:
In what regards the layout, I am going to refer here only to the pattern required by VocusPR and PRweb:
1. You need a Title
WHO? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE?
These are the questions the title has to give answers to. But don’t write titles which are too long. If necessary, cover only the first two questions. It is important that you should not offer all the information in one shot – if people are given everything from the beginning, they will not read through the Summary and the Body of the press release.
Look for something catchy, make it interesting. If you are running short on ideas, research for what others wrote – it is always a great resource for inspiration.
2. You need a Summary
VocusPR requires a summary of the press release and you have enough space to write a whole paragraph. However, keep it simple and do not give much information. On the contrary, incite your readers, make them want to read more.
3. You need a Body
In the Body of the press release you can tackle over your subject for as long as you want. It is advised to keep the body of the press release between 300 and 500 words – if it’s longer it won’t get read.
–> Your PR’s body needs an Introduction
In the introduction start by talking about something general that relates to your news.
Going on with the above-mentioned example, you can talk about the importance of internet and how successful online ordering is. Then mention the advantages of buying electronic cigarettes online and present your ‘hook’ (the thing that makes the press release newsworthy).
Do not exceed 4 or 5 rows with this introductory paragraph.
–> Your PR’s body needs a Call to Action
“Get your ….. now” / “Profit from our offer now” – play with these calls to action or create your own bespoke ones. Don’t forget to link them to your website so that those interested can access it and place their order.
–> Your PR’s body needs its Own Body
Describe the benefits and advantages of your offer. Mention the hook again and give more information about it.
Include testimonials from your clients, or provide your own quotes – this helps make the press release more trustworthy.
Throughout the body you can add more links to your website, offer details about you, your business, etc.
–> Your PR’s body needs a Conclusion
In the conclusion you will generally write a second call to action: “For more information access [your link here]” or “Get more information at [your link here]” or any other variations.
4. You need a Photo and a Quote
Add a photo of yourself and one of your website’s logo. Videos can also be added, but not many people are going to watch them. Nonetheless, they give a professional look to the press release.
Under the video or the photograph you can include a quote – write one of your own. It is better to have a quote which belongs to the person in the photograph.