Driving traffic and measuring conversion have become monumental metrics in modern-day PR and SEO.
With the digital information sharing revolution rife in today’s online arena, exponentially high numbers of active freelance copywriters, businesses, and large corporations are reliant on the myriad of opportunities that the world wide web brings.
Most online users, however, face visibility challenges based on the premise of being tiny droplets in a virtual ocean of network interconnectivity.
Having the potential to influence your digital PR agenda, this begs the question,
As a writer, how can I produce structurally sound, informative, and streamlined press releases that stand out from the crowded copywriting community and cater to my intended audience?
For all copywriters on the rise, PR practitioners, marketers, or small business owners, pay close attention because I’m about to take you on a journey to exploring what confounding factors make for crafting compelling press release content for your digital PR campaigns to flourish with a higher ROI.
What is a Press Release for?
Also referred to as a news release, a press release is a written or recorded statement issued by a communications entity for use by media outlets to garner news coverage.
However, in the digital age, press release publications can contain various media formats such as videos and hyperlinks to additional resources for example. They should therefore be utilized as effectively as possible.
The general structure of a press release includes:
- A heading with action verbs.
- Addressing the question of “who,” “what,” “why,” and “where” in the first paragraph.
- Contextually factual and informative subject matter articulated with understandable language.
- Relevant quotes.
- A clear call-to-action (CTA)
Modern digital press releases can also include:
- Additional information through added hyperlinks to web channels and online resources
- Images and graphics to elaborate on the information shared visually
- Videos to provide a deeper and more interactive insight into the matter covered
In catering to a targeted online audience, particular angles aim to meet their respective press release type, some of which involve:
- New Product Launches
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Product Updates
- Grand Openings
- New Partnerships
- Executive Promotions/Hiring
By providing publications with succinctly sufficient newsworthy material delivered in a distinct style, strong press releases pack a punch for media outlets keen to publish intriguing business stories.
How Press Releases are Used in Digital PR
Tactful in spreading the word on the world wide web, press releases are considered valuable pieces of marketing material in the digital PR landscape. Viewed by the masses ideally making up the online community, press releases live in public domains, opening doors for potential stakeholders and customers to view them.
Digital PR Defined
Short for digital public relations, digital PR is a viable online marketing approach copywriters and businesses use to get press coverage and grow their online presence, enabling them to earn honest reviews and respond with comments to requests from journalists.
The Benefits of Digital PR
Effective digital PR practices and their advantageous potential in the marketing arena always undertake to meet nine core factors, namely:
- Fast and effective information-sharing
- Improving SEO and increasing site traffic
- Generating leads
- Building online authority
- Increasing brand awareness
- Improving brand reputation
- Generating meaningful engagement
- Increasing trust
- Sale and revenue boosts
Using Digital PR Services Effectively for Your Press Releases
Formed on the foundation of building strong long-term relationships, digital marketing and PR agencies and other online communication entities network with journalists, bloggers, and influencers from countless fields/sectors of interest to share their press releases, resulting in high-quality backlinks, social media mentions, and improved SEO.
Digital PR is valuable because it introduces PR practitioners, marketers, business owners, and copywriters to a vast array of new target audiences through search engine results pages and editorial article placements on popular sites.
Effective in boosting website traffic, digital PR and media services offer tried and tested ways for digital press releases to get picked up by media outlets and become the source of new inbound links to an individual website. These links help improve search engine optimization of the site, making it easier to source online.
Sharing top tips and excellent examples in the video below, Exposure Ninja vlogger Tim expands on the value of digital PR and the various forms it comes in:
6 Ways to Publish a Press Release for Digital PR
Effective press releases lay the foundation for all successful PR campaigns, which could include a digital eco news or education marketing news angle and this symbiotic strategy puts a ’cause and effect’ tactic in place to gain publicity. By turning to press release services to boost your SEO, you can expect a substantial rise in your press coverage via prominent publications and big-time broadcast media outlets.
When setting out to learn the steps to producing the perfect press release and everything a press release is not, understanding where they completely miss the mark is equally crucial for conquering this marketable copywriting craft.
Want to get your press releases noticed online without fault?
Here are my top six tips for meticulously manifesting a perfectly packaged press release of irrefutable worth in the age of digital PR based on the press releases I approve and publish daily as a blog editor:
1. Perfect Your Pitch with a Newsworthy Story
According to Sally Stewart, author of Media Training 101: A Guide to Meeting the Press:
“A press release is successful if it makes the phone ring or the email ding. Press releases should be a catalyst for further action, not the final result.”
A relevant news story or official announcement is the starting point of all press releases. To get essential messaging spread through a media outlet, the reporter, or editor, must feel your story is newsworthy to form the basis of an idea to cover. Consequently, the broader topic must align with the editorial ethos of the publication and the interests of the audience it serves.
Journalists are often frustrated by the high influx of news releases that aren’t relevant to their work. After recognizing this problematic pattern, they won’t hesitate to send future press releases straight to ‘trash’ without reading a word. Avoid tarnishing your online reputation by putting out too many press releases of minimal value and focus more on producing valuable news that gives something back to the reader for premium publications to cover.
Researching is also critical when pitching newsworthy press releases as especially data that offers certain revelations, ideally presented also with graphics or additional reading, is often the key to getting your foot in the door of the bigger publications.
Reporters often appreciate the time writers devote to familiarising themselves with their content scope. By meeting the core interests of the publications you reach out to, they’ll hopefully reward your due diligence with press coverage you can add to your growing online portfolio.
2. Compel & Inspire Your Audience
Stale stories get stale attention – if any.
Considering the staggeringly high number of press releases journalists and editors receive daily, inspiration is the key to unlocking their interest in your material. So, presenting your newsworthy story in a visually compelling way, written with an article-like feel and airiness of authenticity, may convince an editor of a story’s merit.
Headlines can either capture or lose a reader’s attention, so coming up with a catchy headline and captivating email subject line is essential for producing effective press releases. When benchmarking your divided commitments to the overall task, remember to allocate a significant amount of time and consideration to make the headline as compelling and clickable as possible.
3. Personalise Your Quotes
A quote gives the impression an article is the result of an interview, presenting a press release with engrossing curiosity and spontaneity to a message.
By adding short quotes to your press release, you make it easy for reporters and editors to quickly and creatively convert your message into a piece of earned media, bringing your written material to life. In this way, efficiency is key as an underlying motivator for reporters with time-sensitive deadlines.
When presented from a personal perspective, quotes can provide nuances in a story that perfectly articulates its core message, having a more powerful impact on readers.
Getting directly to the point, always ensure that your quotes are informative yet brief. Use them to reinforce the compelling message you want the reader to remember and avoid including absurd and overtly sensationalized wording.
Lastly, in your quotes, point out why the subject matter (i.e., new product, announcement, event, etc.) is important enough to warrant press release coverage for the targeted audience.
4. Support Your Content with Added Media
Although there are countless ways of telling the same story, a picture speaks a thousand words. Images, video, audio, infographics, and other types of supportive and downloadable content to your press release provide easy access to digital elements that work to enhance your piece’s overall attractiveness.
Added media will also help publications better understand your general messaging and factual framework, providing a structurally informative background for a media outlet’s audience.
Being accommodating to media outlets by providing them with video clips, exclusive or unique photos, and recorded interviews saves them time. Subsequently, they have more creative freedom to repurpose and package your content in more creative and engaging ways – almost as if they were there to cover the stories themselves.
For SEO purposes added media to increase engagement with the content, which reduces the bounce rate.
5. Know Your Audience
Equally as important as knowing what you are pitching, knowing who you are pitching to is a vital element to producing a successful press release. It is also critical to understand that a newsworthy story for one outlet might not have the same value as another.
In essence, influencing the perceptions of the outlet you pitch to relies heavily on your knowledge of the publication’s target audience. As such, I urge you not to apply the “spray and pray” method – this technique just won’t cut it!
6. Connect Your Social Media with Your Outreach Agenda
Turning to alternative online avenues like social media to connect with your audience on a more personable level can tip the scales in favor of the in-person goals you set out to achieve in your networking initiatives.
In contrast to traditional media outlets, social media establishes a more direct line of communication to the delight of specific target audiences. With many journalists turning to their Twitter feeds to consume and distribute the latest scoop, copywriters, businesses, and PR professionals must now adapt to the shifting tide of news towards social media by reaching out to publications via platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to get their stories covered.
By maintaining relationships with journalists and influencers through regular communication and coverage via social media, ideas get exchanged, increasing the potential to discuss industry topics and other topics in alignment with your interests.
Social media helps you connect with different publication entities, allowing you to build bonds that may later be beneficial when the perfect opportunity arises for you to tell a story or share information in a way that meets their needs. This approach formulates and fortifies trust and respect, making pitches easier to deliver.
Competition is stiff in the digital arena, as the number of writers and PR practitioners virtually outnumber those of journalists. Although there is massive merit in the methodically marketable digitized ways of producing and distributing structurally sound press releases for media outlet publishing, the distinguishing factor between flourishing or flopping relies on the relationships built based on trust and mutual benefit.
With the limitless creative possibilities of originality forming a solid foundation at the frontier of all things newsworthy, there’s no cut-and-dried formula for what a press release should include.
Using my insights as the editor of digital PR platforms such as londonbusinessnews.com or greenlivingblog.org.uk, I can help you carve out a focus for your press release and determine how content composition, digital PR resources, and social media can help you showcase your noteworthy news in the best way possible.
You can get in touch with me if you have any further questions regarding digital PR as I am more than happy to help.
Blogger and Educator by Passion | Senior Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. | Contributor to many Education, Business & Lifestyle Blogs in the United Kingdom & Germany | Summer Course Student at the London School of Journalism and Course Instructor at the SeekaHost University.