An old-school format that long predates the Internet, the press release continues to play an important role in content marketing. In its traditional form, a press release is a newsworthy announcement, presented in the form of an article, that is submitted to the media. These days, it’s more often submitted to online resources.
A press release might highlight a new the launch of a new product or service or celebrate the reaching of an important milestone. What it all comes down to, regardless, is generating buzz and solidifying public relations. That said, there are some important rules to abide by if you want your press release to be successful.
Rule #1. Be Newsworthy
Press releases, at least in the context of content marketing, have earned something of a poor reputation in recent years. Impatient marketers often write poor articles that are meant to pass as press releases before submitting them to low-quality directories in the hopes of increasing search engine optimization through link building.
While there isn’t really a cut-and-dried formula for the modern press release, it is important to remember that this format is tailored for newsworthy content specifically. For example, if you’ve launched a new product, opened a new office, received an award, or rebranded your business, publishing a press release is a great idea.
Rule #2. Be Useful
Press releases are promotional making them something of a deviation from everyday content marketing. However, their promotional nature does not mean that they need to consist of blatant advertising all the way through. After all, ads surround people everywhere they turn, so you’re going to want to stand out.
No one wants to read a long-winded advertisement. Instead, your press release should provide valuable background information. By entertaining or educating the reader, they’ll be much more likely to remember it. Always be clear, concise and highlight a tempting offer, and provide all the essentials in the first paragraph.
Rule #3. Don’t Spam
For every great press release, out there, there’s probably a hundred spammy ones that were hastily written for no purpose other than to get backlinks on low-quality article repositories. Don’t be one of them, for it will only hurt your brand and website in the longer term.
At no point, should you start thinking of the press release format solely as a tool to increase search engine visibility. In fact, restricting yourself to using just one or two links in the press release will boost your chances of the content ranking in the search engines. Similarly, be very wary of overusing keywords and phrases.
A great press release is one that’s designed to generate buzz and, ideally, go viral on social media. It starts with the perfect subject matter and an irresistible headline that draws people in and helps them to make a meaningful connection with your brand. Ultimately, it should be benefit-driven, giving people a reason to read, like and share.