So you’ve just written a press release, and you’re ready to blast it out to your media list. Not so fast, partner. Before you send out a press release, you need to do a quick quality check to ensure it’s the best it can be.
Here are 5 simple things to check before sending that press release.
1. Your story’s newsworthiness – It’s really the whole point of writing a press release, to share news. If you don’t have an interesting, relevant story to tell, you’re wasting everyone’s time. Sure, press releases are, in the end, about getting your name out and promoting your company, but there has to be some news substance there in order to accomplish this.
If you send out stories with no news value, you’ll lose credibility, and eventually, reporters will start ignoring you. Read these tips for determining if your press release is actually newsworthy, and if you need help coming up with an interesting angle, check out this huge list of press release ideas.
2. Claims and statistics mentioned in the press release – While advertisements might be about hype, press releases and news stories are about facts. Yes, you want to write an interesting story, but it has to be unbiased and accurate. Otherwise, it’s not a news piece.
That’s why it’s so important to fact check your press releases. If you include any statistics in your press release, double check them to make sure they’re right. Then, go through your press release with a fine-toothed comb looking for any hype, unsubstantiated claims, or misleading phrases and eliminate them.
3. Its optimization – Like it or not, SEO is an important part of any press release distribution strategy. Chances are, your press releases will end up online, and if they aren’t optimized, they won’t be doing you much good.
Thankfully, optimizing your press releases is actually pretty easy. Just make sure you’re targeting relevant keywords, including the keyword in the headline if you can do so naturally, and adding keyword-rich, relevant backlinks. Oh, and make sure you double check those backlinks to ensure they’re correct.
4. The press release basics – You should know these by now, but let’s go over them again. These are the things that need to be in every press release you send out:
- Headline and subtitle
- Release date
- Answers to the who, what, when, where, and why questions
- Contact information
- Brief bio about your company
5. Find the fluff – And finally, go through your press release to make sure it’s as tight and to the point as possible. Too much information can actually be a bad thing. Remember, the point of your press release is to get across a simple news story and to tease reporters into asking for more information. Any unnecessary or off-topic information should end up on the cutting room floor.
Is there anything else you check before sending out your press releases?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html