A press release can do so much more than simply tell someone about your company.
It can help you convert passive interest to action.
Here are four keys to writing a press release that converts:
1. Identify a clear and interesting news announcement.
What has your company achieved recently? What new products or services are you offering? How have you been recognized as an industry leader? These questions can guide the direction of your release.
If the specific news announcement is difficult to nail down, then start with the basics:
- Who is the center of the news announcement?
- Which organization or individual is the source of this news?
- What is the news announcement?
- What event, milestone or company change is occurring? Are you providing advice or analysis?
- Where is this news occurring?
- If you’re hosting an event, where will it take place?
- If you’re announcing a new website, how can people find you online?
- When is this news occurring? Is it today or next week? If it’s upcoming, why should readers care about it now?
- Why is the news important to your reader? How does it affect them?
Your news announcement is that it is not just about you or your brand. Your audience must understand right away why your news is important to them, so write your release accordingly.
2. Use multimedia assets to engage your audience.
In 2016, HubSpot reported that 43 percent of readers skim online content. That means two in five readers might not read your press release in full. To keep them engaged, take a multimedia approach.
Multimedia can come in a wide range of formats:
- Company logos provide a visual representation of your brand.
- Photographs of your company at various events put faces to your brand name.
- Infographics demonstrate your organization’s expertise.
- Videos tell your audience what they need to know in an engaging way.
The same HubSpot report showed users are more likely to consume videos in full (55 percent) than any other form of online content. So why gamble that a journalist or potential customer will read your entire press release? Include a video to reinforce your announcement.
3. Optimize your release with high-quality links.
Embedded hyperlinks and plain-text URLs can provide access to extra information that you might omit from a short press release.
Call to action (CTA)
The call to action is the heart of your release. You don’t want people to read your release and be done. You want them to make a decision in support of your company. Follow these guidelines:
- Place your CTA right after the first paragraph. Don’t bury the link at the end.
- Use a plain-text URL: http://www.myawesomewebsite.com/why-you-should-go-here. Online users tend to trust plain-text URLs more than embedded links, so if you’re asking someone to click on your link and take an action, tell them up front where they’re going.
- Ask your reader to take a specific action, whether it’s to share, tweet, subscribe or register. Whatever it is you want your followers to do after they’ve read your release, ask them directly. Don’t just give them a link and hope they will follow it.
If you have other informational webpages or articles for your readers, link to them in the body of your release. Offer no more than three links to avoid bombarding your reader.
Include one link to your brand’s home page in the boilerplate of the release. Why only one? Directing users to your home page just tells them where they can find you. This can be beneficial down the road, but it does not ask them to take a specific action. That’s why it’s crucial to place the CTA link at the beginning.
4. Share your press release on social media to expand its reach.
Press releases are typically aimed at generating media coverage, but they’re also an opportunity to stay in touch with consumers or journalists who already follow your company.
Posting your release to your company’s social media platforms can trigger engagement with your release in the form of “likes,” shares or retweets, increasing its potential impact and reach.
Different elements of your press release can serve a range of social media purposes:
- · Post your images on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
- · Share videos on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
- · Tweet out links to infographics to provide data-driven information for your followers.
With a well-crafted news announcement, strategically placed multimedia and links, and appropriate campaigns to share your news on social media, your press release can attract journalists and other readers. Each aspect should be crafted to prompt a specific action.
A version of this post first appeared on the Cision blog.