One of the mostly utilized methods in public relations (PR) studies is the distribution of press releases. But what is a press release? A press release meaning a news article or news story distributed to journalists, is an announcement made by an organization, most likely written by a PR professional, and distributed through a news release service. So what is the importance of a press release in public relations? Is an online press release different? What are the benefits of using press release distribution services like B2Press? Let’s start one by one and discover the importance of a press release in business communication.
What is a press release?
The first press release is said to belong to Ivy Lee. In 1906, the Pennsylvania Railroad, a client of Lee, had an accident. Instead of waiting to see how the journalists would handle the story, Lee wrote a statement and proactively distributed it to the media. And there it is! All publications covered the issue from the perspective of the railway.
Now that we know the press release concept was born 115 years ago, let’s talk about our main topic: What is a press release? A press release, also called as a news bulletin, is a media statement distributed to a broad range of media outlets.
A press release is a basic marketing and communication tool to help organizations increase sales. They are used to present information about a specific subject or to make an announcement to a target audience. But writing it is not so simple! A press release should always be giving the key messages in the title and spot. It should also answer 6 important questions namely 5W1H (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How) in its first paragraph.
OK then, how long should a press release be? Quite short! Typically consisting of a single page with 350 to 500 words. Don’t go further. Especially the young generations do not like reading too much! If you want to know more on how to write a good press release, see how the editorial team of B2Press | Online PR Service does it.
How to write an online press release?
The concept of an online press release is not entirely different from that of a traditional press release, and the usual rules of writing an effective press release also apply to online news releases. In both cases, attention should be given to answering the 5W1H questions. The main difference is that online press releases should be written with attention to search engine algorithms, and with reasonable use of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Let me tell you before I forget; there is another very important difference. An online press release is sustainable in many ways!
When to distribute a press release?
There are many occasions to use a press release distribution service. Are you starting a new business? You should make your potential investors aware of you. Do you have a new product or service? You should let your potential customers know it! A new partnership made, an event organized, an award received, a new senior executive hired can be the subject of a press release.
What are the benefits of press release distribution?
Before talking about the benefits of a press release, let’s discuss what a press release is and what not!
- A press release should always be objective and use sourced data. Don’t forget, it is not an advertisement. Try standing in the shoes of a journalist not a marketer.
- Clickbait doesn’t have to be a bad thing! A good headline always makes the press release readable.
- Everyone loves numbers! Use numerical data (stats, numbers, ratios, etc.) as much as you can to highlight your product/service and attract the attention of the target audience.
- A press release should always be kept short and simple. Do not use industry-specific definitions and terminology unfamiliar to the majority of people.
- Don’t forget to add your contact information. They might need additional information. They should know how they can reach you. Who knows, maybe they want to propose an interview.
- Please note that the publication rate of a news content supported by visuals is 45% higher than the content without any images. But the image should not be an ad. Delete any texts on the image, if any.
- Last but not least… Distribute a well-written press release through a press release distribution service like B2Press in order to constitute great PR value. This allows you to spread important news using online media channels and social media platforms.
In this almost fully digitalized world, online press releases can raise awareness or improve the image and reputation of your brand by utilizing all relevant and effective online channels. Thinking that the online media is the shop window of your brand, you can increase your visibility, thus your chance to interact with your target audience. Accessibility in search engines contributes positively to your brand’s value in the eyes of the target audience. More importantly, the content seeded in the media channels drives organic traffic to your website.
Rendering a PR distribution service is also very affordable and economical. Thanks to pay-as-you-go models (like B2Press uses), you can allocate your budget when you need it, and pay when you use it. Please keep in mind that media monitoring and reporting are the great bonuses of such PR distribution services.