I mentioned in an earlier post that I thought press releases were one of the most effective yet misunderstood tools the business owner had at his disposal to market his business and drive targeted traffic to his products.
No one ever taught us how to write a good press release!
The single most important rule to remember is to focus on the wants of the reader.
Write what the viewer wants, what will make him happy, save him time, or solve a problem he has.
Forget what you (the business owner) want. It’s not about you.
In addition, here are some simple suggestions to boost your copywriting effectiveness and increase your chances of having the release published:
1. Keep the release brief, non-technical, and to the point. If you’re talking about a new product that is being released onto the market, don’t carry on about all its features and technical capabilities. Instead, focus on a short bullet list of the major benefits the product will provide the user.
Remember, benefits are different than features.
Features are details about the product, i.e. how it works, what it does or how it is made. Some typical features are:
– Comes in black, blue, and burnt orange,
– Just click the “go” button, and this software . . .
– Carrying case is 12″ x 16″ x 10″,
– It dices, it slices, it mashes, grates, and . . .
Benefits describe what the product will do for the user or owner.
Some typical benefits are:
– It will save you 13 hours of work next week alone . . .
– It will reduce the average utility bill by 30% each month . . .
– Drop 2 dress sizes in 30 days . . .
– All the girls at the office will wonder why you look so young . . .
2. Always speak in terms of the specific, quantifiable, and documented. Don’t deal in vague language, general terms and fuzzy hearsay.
Specifics lead to credibility and authority.
If you’re vague about an issue or claim, you’re much more likely to be seen as fabricating the results.
3. There is an industry standard for the style and form of a press release – use it. It’s simple and predictable.
The editor will give your release more attention if he believes it was submitted by a professional, legitimate company.
4. Provide content worth reading. If the editor feels that you are simply trying to push your product with hyperbole and exaggeration, the release will be trashed.
If you include some thoughtful content that makes an interesting article, you are much more likely to command attention.
Even if your content or story runs counter to mass opinion, there is a much better chance your submission will be printed.
5. Proofread what you write. Make sure all the spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct.
You may need to have someone else review and proofread what you write.
Dump all the extra and frivolous words and even whole sentences that are unnecessary.
Let the editor know that you care enough to be professional and accurate. Press releases that need no “fixing” or major re-writing are more likely to be published than those that can only be salvaged by applying a total makeover.
We’ll continue this discussion in our next episode . . .
To your online business success,