Live from Demand Success Conference: 12 Best Practices for Writing and Optimizing Press Releases

By Alex Katzen | Jun 19, 2013
More Articles by Alex

Today I’m attending training at the Vocus Demand Success 2013 Conference, and in between learning about the product, I’ve learned several tips and tricks for writing press releases.ds_icon_about_badge

Vocus rep, Abby Hammer provided several statistics on the success of press releases. Did you know that out of the journalists that go online daily for stories, 73% of them look specifically for news releases according to a survey by Middleburg/Ross?

Here are the 12 best practices for writing press releases from Abby’s class:

  1. Use numbers and statistics in your story.

  2. Create an attention-grabbing headline.

  3. Keep it short and concise, especially since online attention span is so short.

  4. Write it like a news story and stick to the facts.

  5. Don’t feel the need to insert quotes.

  6. Learn to write well and always proofread.

  7. Write first, add links second, making sure to write for the end reader, not just for search.

  8. Make press releases focused around a specific idea or industry.

  9. Share the release on social networks so to increase awareness.

  10. Customize the press release URL link to include SEO keywords

  11. Use images and video in your press releases.

    1. With images, use your targeted keyword in the caption and alt text to promote their appearance in search.

    2. People spend 30 seconds longer on a press release with a video; 48% of journalists who had access to multimedia content used them in their own content; 58% of journalists say their experience was enhanced by the presence of photos and videos.

  12. Make sure your release is time sensitive and newsworthy

    1. There were some great ideas for news releases that I wanted to remember:

      1. Making a major update to your website

      2. Publishing the results of a research study

      3. Announcing new hires or promotions

      4. Offering a tip sheet on a timely subject

      5. Making a prediction for your industry

      6. Making a charitable contribution

      7. Announcing a media appearance

      8. Hosting a seminar or workshop

      9. Celebrating an important milestone

      10. Putting out a Financial Earnings Update;

      11. Announcing a new social media campaign

Stay tuned for more Demand Success ‘13 takeaways! Feel free to tweet me at @alex_katzen and check out #Demand13 on Twitter.

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