TAMPA, FLORIDA – Here’s something I’ve noticed in the five years that I’ve been involved in SEO copywriting: too many people (writers included, at times) don’t know what it takes to make a good press release.
They understand the benefits of submitting press releases to posting/distribution sites to generate quality, in-bound links back to their websites. But they often invest considerable effort in writing them, only to have their releases turned down by the likes of sites such as PRWeb or PRLeap, just to name a few examples.
So if you are an SEO writer or a do-it-yourselfer interested in improving your site’s rank on Google, I offer the following tips to writing a press release that will get published by these valuable posting/distribution sites.
1. Think “Timely”
Timely, late-breaking news tends to be good press release material. I often use this as my rule of thumb: if it happened last month, it’s happening this month, or it will happen next month, it’s timely. So if your business celebrates an anniversary in July, you want to write about it in June, July or August- not in December. Other timely news that can make a good release includes: speaking engagements, conference attendance, television or radio appearances and special events.
2. Celebrate Milestones & Other Significant Occasions
Have you broken a sales record? Reached a new high in subscribers to your website’s blog or your company’s publication? Added a member to your leadership team? Been published in a prestigious trade publication? All of these are items worthy of a press release. Think about the things going on in your company that are truly worth bragging about. Chances are that’s a press release just waiting to be written.
3. Consider What is Newsworthy
This one can really trip up people. What’s newsworthy to you make not garner a second look from an outsider, so remember your audience. If you’re trying to increase Google ranking while also reaching new customers or clients with these releases, think about what might interest your constituency. Introducing a new product or service, upgrading equipment that streamlines a process for your customers, opening an additional location or debuting a newly redesigned website are examples. Other examples are making a charitable contribution to an organization, hosting a webinar, rebranding your business and offering a free service.
Every industry has myths. What are the most common myths, misperceptions and outright falsehoods in your industry? Clear up that confusion in a press release and increase your own credibility at the same time.
5. Offer a Tip Sheet
Everyone loves advice from an insider or a subject matter expert. If you’re a vacation rentals company in the Caribbean, offer 10 tips for staying safe while traveling abroad. An orthodontist might write about the five most important questions to ask an orthodontist when considering the best professional to provide your treatment. A software provider may offer a tip sheet on the eight benefits of using their cloud-based software system.
I could go on all day about possible press release topics. If you use any of the search engine optimization firms that focus a great deal of effort on generating content for your website on a routine basis (like Millionairium), having a list to jog your memory will help you ensure that you are truly helpful when your writer contacts you to pitch press release ideas. Here’s a quick reference list of topics you might also want to keep handy if you are responsible for writing, pitching or even just approving press releases for your company:
• Study or research results recently released
• Winning an award or other recognition
• Anniversary of when you began working in this industry
• Anniversary of being at your current location
• Sponsoring an event or a local athletic team
• A change in company ownership
• Developing new technology
• Participation in research, testing, pilot programs, etc.
• Endorsements from respected industry leaders or celebrities
• Staff promotions
• Going green
• Holiday-related news
• News related to awareness or health-themed months, weeks or days, such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Children’s Dental Health Month or the Great American Smokeout
• Contests and sweepstakes
• Inspirational stories related to your industry or business
• Offering an expert opinion on a popular trend in your industry
• Community service opportunities
Many press release posting websites offer excellent suggestions for press release topics. Here are some popular links you might consider checking out:
Topics for Press Releases- Find Your Inspiration
The Ultimate Collection of Press Release Topic Ideas
40 Potential Press Release Topics
12 Questions to Uncover Press Release Ideas
The important thing to remember about submitting press releases to posting/distribution sites is that many of them put your submission through an approval process prior to posting it. If it doesn’t rise to the level of a press release, it will be denied. Numerous press release posting sites are free, so you’re not out any money if the release is turned down. But many sites charge a fee. Why invest your time and money into writing and submitting something that goes nowhere?
Follow my guidelines and you’ll be better positioned to never feel the sting of rejection.