Using press releases (PR) is one of the greatest ways of marketing your website and Internet business. It gives you backlinks, it gets the word out about you in an exciting and informative way, and if you write the PR piece correctly you will never come off as just marketing a product or service; rather, you’ll simply make headlines, and people are very attracted to newsworthy stories.
PR pieces that are well-written really capture people’s attention. Some PR websites require a fee for you to publish there, while others are free. Generally speaking, the paid-for sites give better exposure. They are sites that journalists, bloggers, researching writers, and website owners looking to add or link to interesting content for a new post all frequent.
PR pieces are also a great way of making yourself quotable. You should include quotes from yourself or from someone authoritative about the topic in a PR piece whenever possible. This lends your piece an air of authority and authenticity. A great quote can spread like wildfire on the Internet and really generate a lot of interest in you as a person, which is the best way of generating interest in your business.
A PR piece should follow a specific format and formula to be successful. First, begin with a catchy headline (title). Remember, this should sound like a newspaper headline and be quite informative but punchy at the same time. Read some front page headlines to get a feel for how yours should sound.
Next you may want to consider writing a catchy summary of your article to appear just below the headline. But this is optional.
Your next step is to give a “dateline”. This is where you write the location where the story is generated–it may be the World Wide Web–and the date, written out in full (So, for instance, July 14, 2008). This is followed by a long dash, and then you want to write a sentence that really grabs the reader’s attention but, again, sounds like news and not like one of those midway-hawker online marketing splash pages. This opening sentence should contain very relevant and important information and compel the reader to feel like she’s about to learn something very important if she continues reading. If you need it to be so, feel free to make this sentence quite long (but be sure it’s not a fragment or a run-on).
Most important about that opening sentence is that it’s powerful WITHOUT sounding even remotely like a sales pitch and that it’s chock-full of vital information that makes the reader desire to read more. One of the best ways to achieve this is to open with “[Yourself, your business, or the producer of a product you are promoting] today announced that [latest and greatest event, such as the launching of a hot new product].”
Next, proceed to outline everything someone should know about the newest event. Use straightforward language always, not overly-emotional or hyped. Try to remember your essay-writing classes from high school or college. Save anything emotional for a direct quote from you or someone authoritative like a product producer.
Finally, at the bottom of the PR piece include a brief, informative summary about you or your product, and then follow it up with Contact Information with a link to your website. Go to a site such as “PR Newswire” or “Marketwire” to see models.