According to Google’s Eric Schmidt, every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of recorded human history up to 2003. For communicators, the implication is clear – there’s an infinite amount of information available, however, audience attention if finite.
We’ve been talking a lot this summer about new tactics for creating press releases that stand out in the sea of content, and garner the attention of the right people. Today we’re announcing our new eBook, “New School Press Release Tactics,” which aggregates our research, learning and some great real-life examples.
The content and structure of a press releases have a significant on the visibility of the message, and as competition for attention increases, the formula for a successful press release is changing. Here are eleven ways to freshen the news releases your organization publishes, and get more results for your campaigns.
Make generating social interaction a priority, because that triggers amplification.
- Serve your audience first. Frame the brand message in the context the audience craves.
- Content needs to do more than inform. It has to be interesting and useful to the audience if they’re going to amplify your message by sharing it.
Re-think links. Use them strategically to provide more information for journalists and potential customers.
- Link the name of the person quoted in the press release to their bio or a related blog post they authored.
- Embed a call to action for potential customers toward the top of the press release. Real-world example: PR Newswire client Jive Software, Inc. reported a 200% increase in web site traffic to a specific page when they moved a call to action for readers toward the top of the press release, embedding it right after the lead paragraph.
- Encourage on-the-spot social sharing. Highlight the key message or best piece of advice in your press release, and then embed a Click-to-Tweet link within. [Tweet this!] (See? Pretty slick, eh?)
Format the press release to maximize sharing.
- Write a perfectly tweetable headline and keep it to 100 characters. (Use a subhead to add more detail.)
- Employ bullet points to highlight key points, and draw the readers’ eyes deeper into the copy.
Develop a visual communications habit.
- Including visuals can increase visibility (social networks and search engines both give visual content preference.)
- Visuals extend the reach of your messages into channels like Pinterest, which requires a visual element and other visual-centric social networks.
Incorporate storytelling into press releases to make the messages more memorable and interesting.
- Include a quote from someone other than an executive. Quote a customer service person noting how a new product has reduced support calls, a happy customer or a member of the team that designed the product.
- Break the formula for the press release, and dive into the value propositions, case studies and benefits that your audience really wants to know about.
More press release tips and a variety of mini-case studies are available the ebook. It’s available for free download here: http://promotions.prnewswire.com/LP_NewSchoolPR_ebook_201308_JTL_PRD.html . We hope you enjoy it – please let us know what you think!
Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of content marketing, and is the author of the e-books Unlocking Social Media for PR and the newly-published New School Press Release Tactics. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahskerik.