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Press release primer PLEASE READ ME!!! Use me.. What is a press release? A press release is pseudo-news story, written in third person, that seeks to.

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Presentation on theme: "Press release primer PLEASE READ ME!!! Use me.. What is a press release? A press release is pseudo-news story, written in third person, that seeks to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Press release primer PLEASE READ ME!!! Use me.

2 What is a press release? A press release is pseudo-news story, written in third person, that seeks to demonstrate to an editor or reporter the newsworthiness of a particular person, event, service or product. How is a press release used? Press releases are often sent alone, by e-mail, fax or snail mail. They can also be part of a full press kit, or may be accompanied by a pitch letter.

3 What is considered newsworthy? Items that would be considered newsworthy include: Your business sponsoring a charity event. Implementing/developing a new product that addresses a specific need. Merging or partnering with another well known business. Gaining a contract with a large company. Results of research you've carried out. Awards and industry/community recognition


5 Press release headline State your most exciting news, finding or announcement in as few words as possible. Emulate the headlines you see in the newspaper every day. Bad Press Release Headline: NEW WEBSITE THAT OFFERS HERBAL WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS LETS TEENS SPEAK OUT ABOUT WEIGHT ISSUES Good Press Release Headline: TEENS: ULTRA-THIN MOVIE, POP STARS SET BAD EXAMPLE

6 The Subhead Subheads are useful, yet usually overlooked by press release writers. The press release subhead gives you the opportunity to flesh out your angle and further hook the reporter, without stepping on the drama of the press release headline. Here's a headline/subhead combo: TEENS: ULTRA-THIN MOVIE, POP STARS SET BAD EXAMPLE Website Forumgoers Weigh In: Teens Don't Find Ultra-Thin Celebs Attractive; Girls Say Negative Self- Images Reinforced by Hollywood's Super-Skinny

7 The lead It's Journalism 101 -- the lead paragraph includes the who, what, when, where and how of the story. If the reporter were only to read the lead of a good press release, he'd have everything he needed to get started. There's no room for BS, hype or sell. Just the facts. Start off with your best shot. In the first sentence, try to give the reporter something that will make him say either "Gee, I never knew that" or "That's an interesting angle for a story". Or better yet try to get him to say both things! Don't mess around with formalities, and don't bury your angle in hype

8 Examples Bad Press Release Lead Recently on, an online store dedicated to selling the best herbal products, teenagers had the chance to say what they thought about weight loss and whether a society that pressures young people to be thin is a good thing or a bad thing. Good Press Release Lead America's teenagers are angry at Hollywood for glamorizing ultra-thin bodies, and many girls say they feel too self-conscious about their bodies as a result of watching TV, movies and music videos. The findings are gleaned from more than six months of ongoing discussion and debate at the website According to President John Smith, anger and resentment toward the Hollywood ultra-thin runs deep, particularly among teenage girls.

9 The rest The balance of the press release serves to back up whatever claims were made in the lead and headline. Pull some quotes from the message boards. If you have permission use names. Otherwise, simply say "a 14 year old boy said..." or "a 16 year old Midwestern girl added..." Also, if this technique appeals to you, be certain that a disclaimer appears on your message boards notifying posters that all posts become your property and copyright). Next, you might ask an expert for a quote: "This demonstrates once again the need to teach young girls and boys about how to develop a positive self-image," said Jane Doe, author of "I Like My Body Just As It Is.” has done a true service by bringing these attitudes to the public's attention."

10 Especially effective items you should include in a press release Quotes from a company representative - interview style is very effective. Statistics - people love stats! Really they do! Information relating to how, what, when, where and why.

11 The boilerplate Finally, spend a sentence or two describing your company and what you do: was founded in 1997 to provide consumers with a wide choice of vitamins, supplements and herbal products. The site offers a range of articles, research materials and message forums for the health conscious consumer. This paragraph is known as the "boilerplate" -- an old newspaper term meaning a block of standard text that's used over and over again. It might be the text that you might use at the bottom of all your releases.

12 Target your pitch Even if you have only one version of a press release, you can still target your pitch to a particular media outlet. Frame the story in a way that makes it clear to the journalist that it fits in with that media outlet's approach.

13 ### The end... Or is it?

14 Tips Stay away from hype-bloated phrases like "breakthrough," "unique,” "state-of-the-art," etc. Always write it from a journalist's perspective. Never use "I" or "we" unless it's in a quote. Read lots of good newspaper writing, such as the New York Times or the Washington Post to get a feel for the style. Shorter is better. If you can say it in two pages, great. If you can say it in one page, better.

15 SEO – search engine optimization It is very important to make sure your online press release efforts help boost your company's search engine rankings. Effective press releases are targeted toward both search engines and readers. Getting your information in front of Internet users is half the battle—the content has to keep their attention (in a positive way) and make them want to click through to your site and learn more about your company. This is why quality is so important when you're publishing news releases online. When creating online press releases, use a professional writing style and make sure that the content is clear and likely to capture—and hold—the attention and interest of your audience.use a professional writing style

16 SEO tips from Vanessa Bugasch 1. Choose the Right Keywords Search engines think like your audience. Before you begin to write, know the keywords or phrases that will drive them to the news release and motivate them to click through to pages on your Web site. Do basic keyword research on sites like Google AdWords, Wordtracker or Keyword Discovery. 2. Use Your Heads Use one to two keywords in the headline and subhead. Search engine spiders read left to right, so take that into account as you compose your headlines and your first paragraph. Use no more than 200 characters in the summary or subhead. 3. Optimize From the Top Down Spiders also read from the top down. Using keywords in the first two paragraphs makes a much bigger impact than using them lower down. As you write, think in sound bites, like 140-character tweets. 4. Don’t Over-Link As with keywords, don’t overdo anchor text, as it causes confusion and dilutes the impact of the links themselves. Offer two to three links for a 400-word press release. 5. Use Multimedia Research shows that press releases with pictures, video and other multimedia get at least 80% more search traffic than text-only releases. They’re usually more appealing and interesting, too. You’d be surprised how easy it is to create your own video or add visuals that support your product, message or campaign. Vanessa Bugasch is senior vice president of global marketing, a provider of PR software, services and tools. You can follow her on Twitter: @vanessabugasch.@vanessabugasch

17 1. SEO tip – find the best keywords Keywords are the terms your target audience uses when searching for information/products/services online. For example, if you are in the Madison real estate business. Keywords you should consider using might include: Madison Homes for Sale, X neighborhood houses for sale, Madison Realtors. The terms are dependent on what you want to be found for, but you should also understand the sophistication of your audience and their Internet habits as that can influence the keywords you select. The skill is first thinking like your audience and generating a list of phrases they are likely using. Then, double check your hypothesis with a free keyword tool such as Google’s AdWords tool, which will help you understand which phrases are searched upon most frequently.Google’s AdWords tool Remember that informal words are often most effective because they are part of the language of the target audience. Avoid getting caught up in industry jargon, product or service names and industry acronyms which may not be how the audience will search online.

18 2. Build priority keywords and anchor text into every press release. After identifying which 1-2 phrases your press release needs to have to become visible online, integrate the keyword phrase in the headline, sub-head and lead sentence. In addition, the keyword phrase in the first paragraph should be hyperlinked to a relevant page on your Web site. Additional opportunities that exist for optimization include the ‘About’ section/boilerplate of the press release. This copy is a great place to include additional keyword phrases and an additional hyperlink back to the Website. show in search engine results.

19 3. Leverage Press Release Content on your Website. After dedicating time and resources to drafting press releases, be sure to use the content to its fullest potential. Post the press release to a News Area or Newsroom on your Website, which will create an additional page the search engines can crawl, index and perhaps

20 A template for you Headline/Subhead City, State (Madison, Wis.) - The intro graph should briefly summarize the press release. It should be 3 to 5 sentences. Mention what’s new (an event, a new website), time and date, important people involved. The 1st paragraph makes or breaks the story. If it's not clear and concise, most people will not read the rest of the article. The middle paragraphs go into more detail. Explain the importance of the event and why it's taking place. This is a good place to provide detail about the participants. Another section could discuss the history of the particular event, program, or news event. Keep paragraphs at about 3 to 5 sentences in length. The last paragraph is called the "boilerplate." It is usually no more than 3-4 sentences. ### Media Contact: Person Name, Phone, E-mail, Website

21 Social media press release Are you using the TwitPitch in your press releases? For that matter, are you using social media press releases at all? A social media press release is a press release designed to be delivered digitally; and while every press release today should be created in a social media format.

22 Social media The social media press release is structured in such a way that it can be used in any format -- print, web or tablet-ready. A social media press release leads with the key words, phrases, and links (embedded in anchor text) in web-appropriate content clips.

23 Twit Pitch The press release could begin with a TwitPitch. The TwitPitch is simply putting your proposition and your call to action into 140 characters, while allowing room for contact information and a shortlink. Lead your press releases with it because they are then forwardable through any means out there, including the tweet.

24 Let’s look at examples Wisconsin DNR 48276/ -- notice use of embed video 48276/

25 For more information on press releases To review, watch this how to video: To distribute try a service like:

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