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Daniel Tan: 8 Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release For Online Businesses

20 October, 2013

Press releases are an important part of any public relation campaign. Being involved in both PR and Internet Marketing for almost a decade and running MarketersMedia newswire as a CEO, I have the opportunity to see the commonalities of great press releases that get results.

PR has changed a lot since social media's takeover, from fax and phone calls to Twitter, online newsrooms, hangouts and instant exposure. I have been able to pinpoint 8 essential checkpoints that will turn your old and boring press release to instant celebrity.

1. The pitch starts at the catchy Headline

It's not the content; it's the headline. If it's from some important people, drop the name on the headline. If it's about some hot topics, put that keyword in. If it's about one of the Streets darling, big cap like this: GOOGLE! If people don't get excited on the headline, they won't click into reading. It's safe to guestimate more than 50,000 headlines are published each do you make yours standout? Note: Many press release wires and news systems pay a lot of attention to the keywords within a headline, algorithmically.

2. The meat in the FIRST paragraph

Always assume people won't read past the first paragraph. Put everything you can inside the first paragraph. Some call this inverted pyramid or top-heavy, whatever the name is, your press release is really just about the first paragraph. If you do SEO, include a link in the first paragraph. Many republications have first paragraph as the excerpt, thus exposing your most important value upfront.

3. Make it human.

"Many times content can be repurposed/worded into a conversation, " Daniel explained. "Make it sound like an interview or a Q&A. Quotes inside of press releases get a lot of reads. People want to read what others have to say."

4. Include Stats and Hard Numbers

Like how many years the business has been operating, serving how many customers in how many countries, reaching how much revenue... Almost 95% of all professional journalists writes with numbers in 99% of their stories. Hard numbers make a release tangible. Releases containing hard numbers get referenced 315% more often. (just an example!)

5. Have a media profile

Okay, I read your release and I am pitched! Thank God you have a media kit page that has everything I need...logos, HD videos, high-res photos, story outline, variations and pre-amble, your background, your quotes and most importantly, your permission to use them in my story.

6. Decide on an angle

How do you cut into a issuing a release? A business can issue a press release almost every day, what stops them from releasing more frequently is the lack of angle. Here are 61 ideas for your next press release.

7. Add appropriate media to your release

We've seen releases with media content like photo, infographic and video get 200% more views than those without. Your readers are human. They see a catchy headline, they click and the next thing they expect is a photo. This is a golden opportunity to put your most important message into the photo, even if they are just typographically designed words.

8. Another release to follow up on the past release

Don't put an end to your first release. Keep issuing more and more releases, each a development of a previous release. I am able to spot few companies running releases as frequent as blog posts. Yes they work. Chain up the releases, connect the stories, brand your business with a consistent media presence.

I will see your next release on

by Daniel Tan.

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