What is a Press Release and why it can dominate your market share
Simply put, A press release (PR), a “press statement”, a “news release,” or a “media release,” is an official announcement that an organization issues to the news media and then to the general public. It can be written, media, or even a statement posted on a public door.
A press release — also known as news releases — is a “brief, printed statement that outlines the major facts of a news story in journalistic style from a primary source” . The main purpose is to promote something significant and specific, and to do so clearly. It is also a formal declaration with a timestamp, therefore, even though it is not the same as a copyright, it does prove, and has held up in some courts, that you were the first.
- History of the press release
- The Format
- How to publish a PR
- Why Use A PR Agency
- The SEO benefits of a good PR
History of the press release
Long before the 1906 beginning of the press release, there was always a method to inform the people and public. Back even before the printing press, the way to release information was to hang the post at the town hall or the town church. The people in the area knew to go there to gain information on current events.
The invention of the printing press in 1440 allowed the message into people’s homes.
In 1906 a reporter named Ivy Lee, shared his story with friends and fellow reporters so they all could print out the events of the Atlantic city train wreck
Lee later created the rules of conduct for sharing stories and events. Most of them still applied today when writing a good PR. Prior to this, every newspaper and other forms of news was solely left to the employees working for that one specific paper.
Press Release Format
The press release should contain all the essential information. You may have heard the 5 W’s (Who?What? Where? When? How?) And most importantly, Why? Therefore the journalist has all the tools they need to easily produce their own story.
How long should a press release be? They are quite short, typically consisting of a single page (between 350 and 500 words). To sum up, anything more than this is generally considered too long.
The order of a press release format is:
- Image or Logo
- A dateline
- The lead paragraph
- Body paragraph*
- A quote*
- A “boilerplate”
- A “###” at the End
- * This is where a Hyperlink is allowed
The Enhanced explanation of a press release format:
Start With An Image or Logo
An image is always worth a thousand words or more. Some reporters will only scan logos to see something appealing that catches their eye. Therefore, do not overlook this step or the quality of the image. The Image needs to be 72 dpi in a square format of 200 x 200 pixels, no bigger than 750 x 750 pixels
Make your headline stand out and make it curious to the reader. Give the news editors a reason to click on it and read further. It is perfectly fine to save the headline to the end as it will probably change multiple times before you complete it. A headline should be 65 to 85 characters with spaces and quotation marks.
Think like a newspaper reporter printing an article on the front page. The Heading and subheading go hand in hand. The heading needs to wow them. The subheading needs to intrigue them more. The subheading needs to be 105 characters and no more than 120 characters.
Simply the date and time you are planning on making the announcement.
The lead paragraph
Convey the message to the press.
- For reporters.
- Followers that could be inclined to share your announcement.
No fluff in the lead paragraph. Though the lead paragraph can be up to 150 words, we therefore recommend no more than 75 to 100 words
A body paragraph
Up to 300 words, the body paragraph offers more room for an explanation but with only 250 – 300 words, try not to repeat yourself. The people who see this can read hundreds of these press releases a day.
As in most headline news stories, it is wise to use a short quote from someone who was there. If you are writing your own press release, you can quote yourself, but limit it to around 50 characters
How many Backlinks can a press release have?
In short, you are allowed three total. However, not every news agency will allow all 3. Almost all will allow a hyperlink of your website in the boilerplate section of a press release.
How to publish.
You can publish just by going down and posting on your library bulletin board. As you can imagine, the reach of how many people would notice would be very limited.
The two biggest publishers of press coverage are Business Wire and PR Newswire (PRN). Both are a membership only global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure. They however have their own internal policies on format. Therefore they can reject your article without any notification.
Why Use A PR Agency
Simply put, there are a lot of variables to writing a proper press release. In addition, it’s important for your business that it’s done correctly. A public relations agency will have the required training needed to make sure all aspects are handled properly. If you submit a press release that is missing information, or unorganized, no media outlets will even spare a minute to read it. We at Martek have trained press release services experts that can make your PR shine and be seen within the format allowed to reach the largest audience.
The SEO benefits of a PR
If you are starting out, The SEO benefits of a press release are definitely worth it. It exposes your website and links to 100’s if not thousands of legitimate news channels. However, it can’t stop there. The benefits of a press release will expire over time. Or tagged with a “no follow”. This means that in time, the effect wears off. Think of the SEO benefits of PR as a stepping stone to build upon.
For many, it is also a way to use it as a stepping stone in all of your marketing. As a marketing tool, press releases alone can’t support a marketing strategy. However, you can use the phrase” as seen on” because you will be published on all of the main news media outlets like ABC, CBS, NBS, Fox, CNN… etc
In conclusion, they increase your reputation. Your company looks more legitimate. When you share exciting or inspiring news about your business, those who Google it will see this news and see that your company is out there, accomplishing great things!