10 Things You Didn’t Know About Press Releases

Most people believe that press releases are fairly cut and dried. That there’s a format that you follow and you can essentially plug in the information and you’re good to go. This isn’t true. There are most definitely some tactics that can help you get more attention for your press release. Let’s take a look at those tactics and some other information you probably don’t know about press releases.

  1. The First Press Release Was Created In 1906 By Ivy Lee. His agency was working with the Pennsylvania Railroad when there was a train wreck. Ivy Lee and his company created a version of the story and submitted it to journalists so they’d have accurate information about the accident.
  2. A Press Release Can Be Distributed Early. They’re called embargoed press releases and they can be submitted to new organizations with a request that they’re not released until a specific time. They’re usually used by politicians who want journalists to have the information so they can be prepared, but aren’t quite ready for the public to know.
  3. You Have Stiff Competition. Last year there were approximately 642,000 press releases released, which averages to about 1,759 press releases a day.
  4. Choose an Uneven Time to Publish. If you choose an off time to publish your press release, you may have fewer to compete with. For example, publish at 12:13 instead of noon when hundreds of other releases may hit the Internet.
  5. Quotes Are An Essential Element Of A Press Release. Without them, your release will fall flat. Press releases are highly structured and formal documents. Quotes bring emotions, opinions, personality, and insight to your material.
  6. Customer Quotes Are More Useful Than Quotes From Staff. They help add credibility and public opinion to your release. They’re more interesting to journalists, bloggers, and to your general audience.
  7. Jargon Isn’t Impressive. Skip the big words and technical phrases. Journalists won’t know what you’re talking about, and neither will your audience. Whenever possible, use words that are simple and easy to understand.
  8. There’s A Perfect Length for Press Releases. Strive to make your press release between 300 and 400 words. It should be contained on one page, not two. No one wants to devote time to reading more than one page. However, if a release is too short, chances are you’ve missed some important information.
  9. The Lede is Often Buried, or Forgotten. Like a standard news story, the first sentence, or lede, should summarize the main news of your press release in 25 words or less.
  10. Keywords Matter. More than ever before, journalists are searching online press release resources like iNewswire to get content related to their beat. Guess how they search for content? Keywords, of course. Capitalize on this approach by making sure your release has the relevant and appropriate keywords.

From keywords to the time you publish your blog post, there are simple steps you can take to gain more attention. Now you know more than ever about press releases, including their history.

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