Guest Post by Barbara Rozgonyi
Thanks to online distribution services, you can transform a simple press release into an always-on, stand-alone social media-enabled news site with global access. That’s a lot to say about a project that usually encompasses 400 words or less – especially when it’s one you can do yourself.
Here’s how we position our clients as news-worthy subject matter experts. It’s a simple system that works.
1. Select Keyword Search Terms
How do people find you and your business online? Do they search by location, industry, product, customer, needs, communities? Test out your sample keywords on Google News and Yahoo! News. What comes up when you type in your term? Does it look like you belong here? Set up a Google Alert for emails that tell you when and where your terms appear so you can track newsmakers and jump in with a news release of your own that tells your take on hot topics.
2. Write a Compelling Story in 400 Words or Less
Answer who, what, when, where, why and how in your introductory paragraph. Then write three short paragraphs that each elaborate on one point or quote one person. Keep in mind that a single story can often be redirected to multiple audiences; focus on one topic at a time. Most online news distribution services allow you to upload images and videos to help you tell your story in words and pictures.
3. Come Up with a Catchy Headline
You gotta grab ‘em to get ‘em to read or click on your headline. Here’s the formula that works for us: under 60 characters, include the top search term, mention a number and be intriguing. This one, “50 Pizzas Rolled Into 1 Pie,” got a call from a major metro magazine within 15 minutes of sending the e-release. Sending to local media contacts? Include your town in the email subject line.
4. Call for Action
A call for action tells your reader what to do next: call for more information, request a free report, show up to an event or get a discount. Put your call to action at the end of your first paragraph and your contact information at the end of the release. What’s your special offer?
5. Distribute to a Variety of Outlets
- Personal networks: alma mater, social clubs, house of worship
- Professional networks: chamber of commerce, trade associations
- Social networks: link to your release on LinkedIn, twitter, Facebook and your blog
- Local Media: make a list of the media outlets you’d like to be featured in – newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. Then call the reporter and introduce yourself. Let them know what you like about what they cover and how you can help them.
- Online Distribution: your options range from free to $500 and up, the more you invest, the more you get in terms of statistics and reach. WebWire distribution starts at $19.95. PRWeb’s distribution levels range from $80-$360.
What’s your biggest question about how to get more publicity or get your name in the news?
Barbara Rozgonyi writes Wired PR Works, a top 50 PR blog. The founder of CoryWest Media, LLC, Barbara’s client list includes Fortune 50 companies, global consultancies, non-profits, almost an entire village and even kitchen sinks! A speaker and educator, Barbara is on the faculty of The Non-Profit Academy for Excellence. For a complimentary Power PR Secrets guide, visit www.CoryWestMedia.com.
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