What prompted you to click on and read this article? I bet the HEADLINE had something to do with it?
Most of you are making this common, fatal mistake.... Your press releases have headlines that are pathetic!
oABC International is attending an obscure sales conference in Timbuktu
o XYZ Co has just released a new mousetrap (that's pretty much the same as every other one)
oSusan Smith has just started up a new business (for no compelling reason) and she wants you to check it out
Plus, a lame headline is often followed up by even more lifeless copy in the body of the release. Believe me, these are not the types of stories that end up on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald or The New York Times. They will never get you on Community TV, let alone Oprah!
Over the years, I've seen and sent many more releases than the average entrepreneur...and if I had known these 4 powerful secrets from day one, it would have saved me a lot of time, grief and money.
Less is More
A good press release should be between 200 and 400 words. Less is more. The priority is to give only enough information to whet the appetite of the reporters and entice them to contact you to for the main course.
Most make the mistake of thinking that a press release is the opportunity to give every conceivable fact and overload the media with data. A press release is really just an elevator pitch--something you could comfortably say to someone in about 30 seconds. You wouldn't dream of giving a three-hour lecture in order to get someone's phone number at a bar. Similarly, you don't need a 1,000-word press release to get booked in a newspaper or on a radio show. Keep it short, news worthy and intriguing.
Next time - Have a Point!
If your product is really "the best" or "world famous", you shouldn't have to tell us....we've already heard of it. Pretending to be something that you are not is the quickest way to have your PR end up in the deleted box or the garbage bin. Next time, do something really novel - Have a Point! The story should be about how what you do/sell relates to something newsworthy or will help the audience to fix an annoying or costly problem once and for all. If you don't have a point, put your pen down now or stop typing and go back to square one.
Remember to make it easy for the media to get in contact with you: an e-mail and phone number work best. Invest in a domain that says you are a professional and not some fly by night operator. Dennisbrowndoggydoesdaycare@gmail.com isn't going to cut the mustard. The media doesn't want to sort through reams of paper and type lengthy, difficult phrases to get in contact with you.
Maximize Search Engine Traffic
Did you know that most individuals and businesses are posting press releases purely to boost website traffic? A press release is much more than just a way to get media attention and free editorial. It can also be a great way to increase the organic traffic you get from Google and other search engines. The online press release services focus time and money on search engine optimization and rank extremely well in search results. You can literally piggyback all of this for next to nothing!
According to top website VisiblePR.com (a free search engine optimization tool for press releases), your press release body should contain 3-5% keywords. For example, if your release is about self sabotage and the body copy is about 100 words long, the phrase "self sabotage" should appear at least three times - but no more than five times. Conversely, your headline can contain 15-20% keyword density.
Aside from organic traffic, search engine optimization has the potential to produce radio and TV bookings months after your release is sent out and long after you have forgotten that you even sent it! Think about it, a busy, overworked journalist, booker or producer may search on Google for "self sabotage experts" only to find your well-written, opinionated and informative release appearing on the first page - and a direct link to your website!
Persistence, Persistence, Persistence
Most of the success that we have had either for Imagineering Unlimited or our coaching clients was a result of multiple press releases, constantly refined, tweaked and improved over time. Follow up your press releases with a telephone call and ask for feedback - the key is to uncover the secret angle or hook that will grab attention and garner you some editorial coverage or an appearance on radio or TV. Ensure your press release is revamped to tie into holidays (if applicable) and newsworthy events (I.e. Is Brittany Spears Crazy or Just a Simple Victim of Self-Sabotage?). Be topical - who in the Western World doesn't want to know the answer to that question? And remember, above all, persistence is everything.