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They obviously bring with them numerous other benefits. If they're picked up by the media, the release can be reported in publications across the world. They can also help boost a firm's reputation, helping it look authoritative and important.
And in today's digital age, online PRs are vital. If they end up in Google News, they have the potential to be read by a huge number of people and be displayed in searches relevant to the business's specific industry. They can also lead readers direct to the firm's website, if they include links (which have SEO benefits, too).
Their success, however, often depends on whether they are well written, correctly structured and properly optimised.
If you're considering writing online press releases for your company, take a look at the checklist below and make sure you get the most out of your PRs.
A Basic PR Checklist for Businesses
- Be objective - Write it like a news story, not an advert. Therefore, avoid calling your company/services/products things like "fantastic", "the best" and "great". Also consider the 5 Ws: what, where, who, when and why. Answer those questions, if you can, as early as possible and give your audience the key information that will encourage them to read further.
- Pick a newsworthy angle - This should be a no-brainer, but try and find a way to make your story as interesting as possible. This will obviously make it more likely to be picked up by the media. For example, announcing that you have a new employee isn't that interesting. Noting that the reason for making the appointment is unprecedented new business growth is more so.
- Optimise - Online PRs need to properly optimised. This means placing keywords (for more information on how to choose your keywords, take a look at this blog post) in the headline and first paragraph if possible. Make sure your content reads like natural language, though, and don't shoehorn keywords in. Also, try to make sure the name of your company is in your attention-grabbing headline.
- Struggling for ideas? Manipulate the news - If you want to put out regular PRs but are unsure what to use as their focus, have a look at the latest news in your industry. For example, a solicitor specialising in medical negligence might use new statistics on misdiagnoses by health professionals as a way of highlighting the importance/value of its own legal services.
- Harness your quote - A quote from an employee at your company is the place where you no longer need to be objective, and can explain to readers what is so good about your business or services. Use it well.
- Notes for editors - You may have seen this section at the bottom of press releases. Although it's not part of the actual PR, it offers you another chance to tell readers and journalists about your business, such as where it is based, when it was established, specialities, number of employees, key clients, and so on.
- Check, please! - It goes without saying that once you have written your PR, you should check it for typos and grammatical errors. Such mistakes could undo your good work helping the company appear professional, authoritative and a leader in its industry.
Or You Could Just Leave it to the Online Marketing Experts
Here at I-COM, our online marketing experts write and submit our clients' press releases themselves and aim to have the PRs in Google News within two hours. Many then go on to appear in Google's organic listings within just 24 hours.
To get in touch, call us on 0844 704 6830 or fill in our easy-to-use contact form on our website.