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How to Write a Press Release: The Definitive Guide
What Is a Press Release?
A press release (likewise known as "media releases" or "news release") is a piece of content made to notify members of the media regarding a company's current developments.
Put another way:
A news release is something that a company writes to allow individuals learn about new stuff.
Why Send Out a Press Release In 2019?
Why should you even bother writing a press release?
Here are a few key benefits that you can get from writing and distributing press releases:
Get covered on media sites and blogs
Drive traffic to your website
Have your company show up in Google News
Improve your Google rankings
Boost your company’s trust and credibility
To be clear:
A press release isn’t going to magically get your company featured on the cover of Forbes or Fast Company.
But when done right, a release can be a powerful tool to spread the word about cool stuff that your company is doing.
Press Release Template
Here’s the template I recommend using for your press release:
The "Perfect Press Release" template
And now it’s time for me to break this template down into a simple, step-by-step process.
Starting with chapter 2…
Do Something Newsworthy
Do something newsworthy
Your first step is to come up with something that bloggers and journalists will WANT to cover.
In other words:
And in this chapter, I’ll show how to do just that.
The Truth About “Newsworthy” Stuff
Doing something “newsworthy” isn’t hard as it might sound.
Your “news” can be as simple as putting on a local event. Or redesigning your website. Or hiring a new CMO.
In fact, I recently sent out this press release to announce a new blog post.
Backlinko press release example
So yeah, your news doesn’t have to be earth-shattering to work.
As long as you’re doing something new, you’re good to go.
With that, here are 4 newsworthy topics that you can use for your next press release.
New Industry Study
It’s no secret that industry studies are HUGE right now.
In fact, more and more public relations firms are using industry studies and surveys to get media coverage.
That’s probably because 39% of journalists state that they want to be pitched content that contains “exclusive research”.
39% of journalists state that they want to be pitched content that contains "Exclusive research"
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
Deloitte millennial survey
I’ve used this approach myself. And I can tell you from first-hand experience that industry studies are a PERFECT press release topic.
First off, a study brings something new to the table… something new that’s backed up with real life data.
Second, unlike most boring press releases, your study is about something interesting that journalists will want to cover.
For example, a few months ago I teamed up with BuzzSumo for this industry study.
And to help get the word out, I wrote and distributed this press release.
BuzzSumo Backlinko press release
Not only did that release send targeted (journalist and blogger) traffic to our study…
BuzzSumo post Google Analytics
…but it got us featured on business news sites (like The Drum).
The Drum feature
This release also helped my site’s SEO. Even though the original release used a nofollow link, a handful of blogs picked up my release. And those blogs added a nice dofollow link back to my site.
MarTech series backlink
If you’re launching a new product or service, a press release can help spread the word.
If you want other sites to pick up your release, your product needs to be interesting.
For example, here’s a press release about a new blockchain trading platform.
Blockchain trading platform press release
This platform probably isn’t going to be the next Coinbase. But it’s interesting enough to share in a press release.
Is your company putting on an event, like a charity pancake breakfast or block party?
If so, you’ve got fodder for a press release.
For example, this press release bills its event as “The Biggest Cat-Centric Culture Event In The World.”
The biggest cat-centric culture event press release
Note how their release isn’t just: “We’re putting on this event”. It has a compelling hook that makes people want to share it.
(More on that in the next step)
Website Redesign or Rebrand
Unless you’re Google or Facebook, a new website isn’t going to light the world on fire.
If you’re hungry for a press release topic, a redesign can fit the bill.
Plus, you can always turn your redesign into something interesting with a strong hook.
For example, Shots.net positioned their redesign as a relaunch of their core offering (now without a paywall).
"Shots.net drops paywall" press release
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