Today’s online world is a constantly moving environment, and to get ahead in it you need to leverage this fact to your advantage. While having a good solid bank of ‘evergreen’ content on your website is important, so too is having the ability to create timely content that will intrigue web users and journalists alike.
Press release writing can be a powerful weapon in your online marketing arsenal, and when it’s done well it can result extensive coverage for your brand. It can inform the world at large about your activities and developments within your company, or it can enable you to put your own spin on current events in your industry and generate additional exposure for your brand.
So how can you start using online press releases to your advantage?
Press release copywriting
For larger firms it may be realistic and cost-effective to employ a full-time public relations officer to create online press releases on a regular basis. But for smaller firms with limited resources, it may not be so simple. Even if you have the skills and knowledge to write a good press release, if you’re running a business it’s unlikely that you’ve got the time to do so on a consistent basis. For many small to medium businesses, hiring a freelance press release copywriter or a copywriting agency on an adhoc or regular basis is a good way to leverage online press releases on a budget without compromising on quality.
What makes a good press release?
As any press release copywriter will tell you, the mark of a good online press release is its potential for generating interest. One of the main aims of a press release is to capture the attention of local, national and even international journalists who are scouring the newswires for a good story (or even a filler story to meet that 5PM deadline).
Content and subject matter are important parts of what makes a press release striking, but what can really nail it down is the angle that you approach it from. Even the driest statistics can be enlivened if they are presented in a way that emphasises their relevance to a specific group of people. Often it’s a case of finding the human angle in a story and letting this shine through.
Types of online press release
At the heart of a good press release though is the story itself. There are several common types of story found in online press releases.
News-based press releases – These may build on recent news stories in the wider world or within your industry, but incorporate your own slant on the story, with ‘expert’ quotes from someone within the company.
Launch release – These can be used to spread the word about a new product launch or an upcoming sale.
Company news – Whatever your company news is, if it has significance to a local or global audience it may get picked up by the media.
Research based press releases – If you’ve just published a whitepaper that illuminates some aspect of your industry, put some of the key points out there in a press release and see if you can garner some interest.
Take a look at our Press Release Copywriting page for more advice on the subject.