What is a Press Release?
“A news release, press release or press statement is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value.” — wikipedia.com
Businesses write an overview of a newsworthy event (related to their business) and submit it to news agencies (newspapers, TV, radio) in the hopes that the media will publish a story on their event — or contact them for an interview.
How can a Press Release help you get traffic?
Press releases, when used correctly, can be an effective method of generating traffic to your website. Imagine seeing an article about you or your business in your local newspaper (or even a national paper) — and you didn’t pay a cent for the exposure.
Here are some disclaimers before you get started.
1. You must have something newsworthy to write about. If you don’t, then create something newsworthy and then write your press release.
What is newsworthy?
- A charity event — raise funds for charity
- A contest to highlight an aspect of your field
- A new product or service that can benefit others
- A problem — and you came up with a solution.
2. Your press release must be written in a manner that is informative, instead of reading like an advertisement. Try to write your press release without any hype.
- Bad: “The solution to solve all of your problems!”
- Better: “After dealing with her son’s chronic asthma for years, Miller wrote a book to help other moms who feel discouraged and frustrated…”
3. Your press release must be formatted correctly if you hope to have it read by an editor. The media receives thousands of press releases each day. If yours is formatted poorly or filled with typos, it will likely be tossed aside.
What are the other benefits of a press release?
Not only does a press release give you the opportunity to have your business (and URL) mentioned in front of a large crowd, but, when it does work, it adds legitimacy to your business as well. You aren’t viewed by the readers as someone who paid to have their ad in the paper. You are considered valuable enough to be interviewed as a resource for their readers. That adds a lot of credibility.
Once you have been interviewed or highlighted in any media (online or offline), start a “Media Page” on your website to showcase your exposure. This will prove to any interested press that you are worth looking into. Include links to any online interviews, pdf copies of print interviews, and audio clips of recorded interviews.