Follow these tips from EON: Enhanced Online News to create effective press releases designed to reach your target audience.
1. Make sure your press release contains real news. Your release should mark a significant event or milestone in the life of your company or organization. If you are releasing news that you don't consider significant, the chances are no one else will either.
2. Know your audience(s). Many modern press releases are designed to appeal to journalists, readers and search engines. Keep in mind which audiences are most important to you and structure your release accordingly. For tips on appealing to journalists, see our page on Writing for Reporters.
3. Write a clear and concise headline in 20 words or less. People love clever headlines, but search engines don't necessarily share the love (unless your release gets a lot of links). In many cases, it is best for your headline to be more clear than clever in order to cater to both audiences.
4. Focus your key messages in the top of the release. As attention spans continue to dwindle, it is essential that you use your headlines, subheadlines and first paragraph to grab attention and convey your most important information. Not only are more and more readers prone to skimming, but search engines also focus heavily on keywords and content in release headlines and topmost body content when determining relevancy.
5. Think about including a subheadline. A subheadline, or "subhead", can deliver additional guidance to readers to keep them engaged and reading your release. It's also a terrific place to work in keyword phrases you can't squeeze into your main headline.
6. Don't forget to use links early and often. Hyperlinks with descriptive anchor text help to provide context for readers while also allowing search engines to better understand your release and link destinations. You should almost always link the first instance of company name, brand name or product name to their respective homepage and link company spokespeople to their biography page or LinkedIn profile. Beyond that, use your judgment and link important content where appropriate.
7. Use formatting to make your plain text stand out. Bold, italic, underlined or bulleted text can emphasize key points in your press release, divide your content into readable sections and provide navigation cues for interested readers to quickly digest your news.
8. Always include complete and up to date contact information. This can be a huge aggravation according to media members we talk with. A press release is an invitation for the press to contact you, so always include at least one way, preferably more, for people to follow up with you regarding any questions about your news.
Beyond phone and email address, you can also consider including an actively managed Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account. Avoid including contact details for any channel you do not monitor regularly.
9. Include multimedia such as photos or videos. Whether you are looking to boost pageviews, sharability or reader engagement, our research shows that multimedia raises interest in your news. Press releases with multimedia are in fact more than five times more likely to become a top performing release across EON and Business Wire.
10. Attach your company logo. Build recognition and provide content for image and news search engines by including your logo with your release.
11. If your company is publicly traded, include your exchange, stock symbol and International Securities Identifier Number (ISIN). Many financial and business analysts have search systems set up based on ticker symbols, and including these symbols in your company profile can give a tremendous boost to the searchability of your releases.
We want all of our clients to succeed and have a number of free resources available to you. Decode press release jargon by viewing our Press Release Terms page, or head to the Business Wire Newsroom to have a look at our past webinars or sign up for one of our upcoming webinars and ask your questions live, or sign up for our free monthly newsletter.
Still have questions? Contact us anytime and we will answer you within 24 hours (Monday thru Friday).