In the old days, before the Internet, businesses sent out press releases to newspapers and TV stations for attention and publicity. Today, the media have changed to include independent online sites and bloggers, but the point of a press release remains the same, to get attention. Press releases are one of the remaining creative ways to build links without getting hit with a Google penalty.
Old-style press releases contained basic information and few frills. And some poorly written press releases today contain loads of generic quotes and general terminology that makes people’s eyes glaze over. Don’t do that. Writing an SEO-friendly press release that engages readers is easy, if you consider a few basic rules.
Details matter, so be specific and conversational. Foe example: “We sell industry-leading devices that are forging a revolution in how well infants sleep at night across Canada” isn’t as good as “babies sleep six hours a night twice as often when parents use our Sound Sleeper nursery sound machine.” Never use generic jargon just because those words are a little longer. Good writers use a variety of words that mean exactly what they’re saying.
Include social media and website addresses. The best modern press releases are sent electronically, so you can include a hyperlink right in the text. If that isn’t possible, make it clear that you have active Facebook and Twitter pages, and include a website address. You want to give the person reading your release as much information as possible. But don’t provide an address to, for example, a Twitter account you never use. That will cause a journalist to immediately show less interest.
Contact information is still the most important part of a press release. No matter how good your website or social media, the whole point of news is interviewing experts on a topic. You must include a valid phone number where you’re easily reached and an email address for an account you regularly check. If you send out a release on your company’s new app, your contact person must be ready for an interview as soon as it goes out. Prepare for the interview first, send out the press release second.