How to Write a Killer Lead for Your Press Release
The lead is one of the most important pieces of your press release. If it isn’t strong, you’ll lose the interest of your readers, and they won’t waste any time reading the rest of your press release. As a result, your release won’t get picked up, so you won’t get any media coverage.
Answer the most basic questions – After reading the lead of your press release, the editor should have answers to the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions. Your goal with the lead is to hook the reader in while providing a clear, concise overview of your story. With that in mind, don’t bog your lead down with any unnecessary details. Focus only on answering the most basic questions.
Include your targeted keyword – Google loves press releases. An optimized press release can grab a page one ranking for the targeted keyword. In fact, I’ve distributed press releases that have stayed on the first page for the targeted keyword for more than a year! When optimizing, keyword placement is always important. That’s why you should try to get your keyword up top in your press release lead.
Keep it short – When writing your press release lead, you should always strive for brevity. Your goal is to get as much information across in the fewest words possible. You probably won’t get it right the first time, which is why I recommend writing several different versions of your lead. When editing, cut out unnecessary words, jargon, repeated words, and anything else that isn’t necessary for answering the who, what, when, where, and why questions.
Ditch the template leads – The editors you’re sending your press release out to will likely be going through dozens of other press releases that day. Your lead needs to stand out from the pack so that it grabs their attention. This means you should ditch the template leads. In other words, don’t start your press release out with “ABC Company, a leader in the such and such industry, is pleased to announce …” It’s boring and overdone. Find a new angle, but always be careful of trying to be too clever and losing clarity.
Focus on something special – Your lead needs to “wow” the reader, so that he’ll feel compelled to read the rest of the press release. Find a unique angle for your story, or focus on some special feature or benefit that makes you different from everyone else. This gives your press release the best chance of standing out from the hundreds of others you’re competing with.
What do you do to make sure your leads suck in readers? Share your best tips by leaving a comment.