Press Release

Dennis Benjak

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A press release is a short informative text (approx. 400 words) that reports on current events or news from a company. The goal of a press release is to attract the attention of the public.

Definition

A press release, often called a press release, press text or even press statements, is a short message sent to specific members of the media. The aim of a press release is to arouse the interest of a journalist or a publication. The press release should contain all the essential information (the so-called W-questions: who? what? where? when? how? and above all why?) so that the journalist can derive his own story from it.

Press Release



Image credit: © Scanrail – stock.adobe.com

The content of a press release

A “typical press release” begins with contact information that includes the following:
– Name,
– Telephone number and
– E-mail address of the person who wrote the press release (or who is responsible for the release – often the management or department head).

This is followed by the headline, which is probably the most important four to five words in the entire press release.

The so-called headline is what the journalist reads first. If it doesn’t attract enough attention, has news value and is unique, he won ‘t even read on.

The headline therefore decides whether the news item is disseminated or not.The headline is often followed by a short, one-line summary of the press release. Like the headline, the summary should quickly hook the reader and motivate them to learn more.

The form of a press release

Since a press release is usually meant to look like a story in a newspaper, it is important to include a location and date stamp at the beginning of the first paragraph – something like, “Bonn, May 7, 2020.”
As with a standard news story, the first sentence should summarize the main news of the press release in 25 words or less.

The rest of the body should answer any questions a journalist might have about the product, service or event you are announcing.

Since a press release is a public relations tool, it should not be too promotional.

Good to know: If it sounds too much like a sales pitch, it loses credibility in the eyes of the journalist.

Press releases usually end with a brief description of the company or organization issuing the press release, along with a call to action. The call to action could be to attend the event being promoted, test a product, or simply learn more by contacting the author of the press release.

The most common mistakes when writing a press release

  1. Don’t think too complicated: This is the biggest mistake most amateurs make when writing. The sentence structure should be kept as simple as possible!
  2. Stick to short sentences and verbs instead of nouns.
  3. Don’t advertise, tell the story: Often a press release that doesn’t come from a PR professional reads like ad copy on a company website. Good tip: Drop it! It’s not about convincing, it’s about reporting!
  4. Addressing journalists: should be exciting and get the journalist to put the story into their own words. Keep in mind that this form of PR work is “free” and the journalist will certainly have better things to do than report on your revolutionary curling iron. If you, for example. buy an advertorial, things are different, because you pay for your product or company to be advertised.

The relevance for SEO

A press release is not a typical tool of search engine optimization, but of public relations.

However, publishing on press portals can bring a certain advantage, which is obvious: BACKLINKS!

By publishing on press portals or by editors on traffic-strong web pages, backlinks can be generated, which are again valuable for the range of the search machine optimization.

Note: The links of a press release are always marked with the Nofollow attribute, because it is a PR measure.

Conclusion

Depending on what is being reported, a press release can have a huge impact. One should consider, however, that if, for example. reports on a summer party for a kindergarten, the PM does not have as much news value as an announcement about a scandal at a car manufacturer.

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