Despite all the Now that you’ve seen how a press release is formatted, let’s look at each section. Headline Just as a headline is important for attracting readers to your blog content, it’s also an essential component for your press release to grab attention. How do you write a killer headline? I think it’s wise to start by identifying blah headlines. Here are a few examples, as well as why I think they lack verve: PaymentVision to Participate in Upcoming Conferences in May Why would I want to read this? It doesn’t specify which conferences this business is participating in. Heck, I don’t even know what the business does. ICAP Patent Brokerage Announces IP Valuations of Ecosphere Technologies’ Clean Tech Patent Portfolios: Clean Tech Market Opportunities Valued In Excess of $600 Million First off, this headline is far too long. I fall asleep trying to get to the end of it. There’s too much going on, and nothing appealing for the reader to latch onto. Now, let’s look at some press release headlines that are engaging: Adults Buying Wine in Their Youth This headline got me to click on it, but by a technicality. I thought it meant the adults were young when they bought the wine, not the wine being young. At any rate, it’s short, to the point, and stands out in a sea of press releases overusing the word “announce.” New NEPC Review Finds Report Makes Poor Use of Good Data This topic had the potential to be really dry, but I think they did a good job with the headline. The fact that it points out a weakness (the report making poor use of good data) piques my interest. Overall, your title should be succinct, make it clear what the company does, and provide people with a reason to click to read your release. Intro Paragraph Your press release’s first paragraph is super important. After all, if you don’t get people’s attention here, they won’t keep reading. Some won’t keep reading anyway, so make sure you include the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your news here. Anything that’s essential to know about your news should be included in the first paragraph. Supporting Paragraphs The rest of your press release (typically 3-5 paragraphs) provides additional information about your news. Announcing an event? Spend a paragraph talking about who the entertainment at the event will be. Talking about a new hire? Delve into his extensive industry experience. Quote Spice up your press release with a really fantastic quote that relates to the news. Now, this is another potential pitfall; I’ve read some truly awful quotes that say something like, “We’re really excited about [news] and look forward to future growth.” If you can’t say something interesting, don’t say anything at all! There’s no point in saying you’re excited about your news. It’s a given. Add something more to the release. You can see in my release above I talked about how many home-based businesses there are out there, and then attributed winning to our strong online community. I tried to enhance what was already there in the press release with my own insight. The person you quote should be directly involved with the news. If you’re a solopreneur, that’s probably you. If you have staff, get the quote from the person organizing the event, the new hire, or the manager in charge of the project you’re writing about. Boilerplate Wrap up your press release with a strong boilerplate. This is the “about us” section you see at the bottom. You may already use something you can copy on your website, though try to keep it to a paragraph or two. Your boilerplate should explain what your company does (including the types of products or services you sell), where it’s located, and what market it serves. Don’t forget to include a link to your website! Supporting Materials You can boost your press release reads as much as 5,000% simply by including photos and/or videos with your release. At the bare minimum, include your company logo. If you sell products, include an image of the one you’re talking about in the release. If you’re issuing a press release about a new hire, include her photo. If there’s a relevant video, upload that. Just keep whatever multimedia you include relevant to the news you’re sharing. Last-Minute Tips Make sure to include all contact information for you or the person who can best answer questions about the news. Link to relevant pages on your website within the press release. Include your social media links so people can follow you on various social sites as well. After you’ve written a few press releases, check your analytics to see how much traffic the releases are sending to your site. If it’s significant, plan to incorporate more press releases into your overall marketing and public relations strategy. If you struggle at first, don’t worry. Writing press releases will get easier. Look at other press releases on sites like PRWeb to get a sense of how a good release is written (as well as a bad one!). mages: Author’s Own ____________________________________________________________________________________ This contributor’s Tweak Your Biz articles have reached more than 100,000 people. Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.