press releaseBy Melissa Kelz Ben-Yoseph

There are two types of Traditional Media: Paid Media that you purchase, and Earned Media that you earn from your outreach. A company’s ability to convey their message to their audience can directly impact the success of their business.

Great press releases can grab the interest of journalists, who may seek to cover the topic further. Crafting a solid press release is often the first step in securing a magazine feature or television interview. When distributed over the wires, they may also directly impact SEO.

Press releases should be one page and are ideal when announcing new technology/technology advancements, new findings, an upcoming meeting, third-party endorsements, or a partnership or media appearance.

Regardless of what is being announced, press releases should be written to address/solve a problem while detailing what’s new, different, and better.

Make it Relevant

1) Craft a catchy headline.

A strong headline that is simple will attract journalists seeking good stories. Your headline should be as alluring as it is accurate.

2) Be direct.

A solid press release conveys the main point in the first paragraph. If you’re lucky, a reporter may read the first sentence of your release. If you capture interest in the first sentence, someone may then scan the rest.

3) Quote others.

Quotes provide a human element. A positive quote from a corporate leader or lead scientist on why the findings matter will add meaning.

4) Numbers matter.

Statistics and validated data points always support the significance of your technology, product, or announcement. If you’re announcing a trend, quantify your finding and back it up.

5) Spelling matters.

Proofread your press release—and have a co-worker do so, too. One spelling or grammar blunder can turn off a reporter.

6) Be reachable.

Make sure to include contact information. Today’s news cycle is 24/7. Give journalists the chance to reach you. Assign a dedicated person to handle media inquiries.

7) Keep it short.

Less is more. This is true of the press release, too. Less text is better. Limit yourself to one page. This will also force you to summarize the good stuff into direct information.

8) Provide access to more information.

Use hyperlinks to sites, infographics, and video so that if the reporter doesn’t read word for word, she can watch the relevant information.

Also, provide social media tags—include Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram handles.

Have A Game Plan

The eight preceding points are not relevant without a game plan. Once your release is final, a solid distribution strategy is key. Maintain a list of local/regional media to contact when your release is ready.

A press release placed on a premium wire service may boost SEO and improve online ranking. Use a professional distribution service to help maximize media pickup and SEO.

Always ask: What do we want to be known for? Your eight points should help crystallize what you want your readers/viewers to take away and tell their peers.

Melissa Kelz Ben-Yoseph is the founder and principal of KELZ PR Inc. She can be reached at [email protected].