Making Content With the Media – What Are They Looking for?
The media are very specific about what they are looking for in terms of press releases and pitches about your company. Knowing the “secret formula” can make all the difference between more media pickups and your pitches being accepted, and your company being ignored.
It does take time to learn how to write a great press release, but it will worth it in terms of improving your SEO rankings, traffic, media pickups and leads.
1-The Content Must Be Real News
Your press release should not be a sales letter for a new product you are launching. It should offer information of genuine interest to your target audience, the journalists in your niche or industry, and the people who read their publications.
This is not the time to try to steal content from another website and try to get away with it (which is plagiarism). Write everything from scratch. If you do have to quote industry-related facts and figures from external sources, give credit to the sources you use. Not using original content will give you a duplicate content penalty from Google and damage the reputation of your business. It could even get you involved in legal issues.
3-Write Short, Powerful Headlines
The search engines and press release distribution services will show 45 to 65 characters (letters, spaces and punctuations) of the titles you are publishing, so learn how to write tightly. Your headline should have keywords to help people determine what the story is about. It should also have short, strong words and engage the emotions.
Above all, it should make people eager to read more.
When people are scanning a newspaper or press release site, 100% of them will read the headlines, but only 70% might be willing to read the summary or first paragraph, so you need to make them count.
4-Write a Great Summary
Press release distribution services offer a field where you can put a summary of what the press release is all about. Part of it will often show with the headlines, so be sure to include important information in the first few words so they will give the audience more information to entice them to read more.
5-Captivating Opening Paragraph
A solid opening paragraph gives the most important information about the story.
Journalists use the checklist of the 6Ws to try to get all of the essentials into the first paragraph:
Try to write tightly and the media will be impressed with your content because it is on-topic and concise, not vague and long-winded.
6-Clear CTA (Call to Action)
There should be a purpose to the press release. Setting your goal from the outset will help you create the right call to action for the release. For example, if you are giving away a free e-course, and they have to give their name and email address in order to get it, then the call to action in the press release will be, “Please visit URL to get your free download.” On the landing page, you will give a call to action to subscribe to get the free e-course.