Monthly Archives

July 2016

Five tips for writing an effective press release

By | Public relations | No Comments

One of the best ways to promote a business is by making the news.

A well-written press release can be a great way of getting a positive story about your business published, reaching your target market in the process. Here are five tips that will help you make that happen.

Make sure your press release is newsworthy

Your press release needs to cover a subject or story that people will be interested in reading. Ultimately, this is the main criteria that a journalist will be looking for when your press release lands in their inbox.

Good subjects tend to be employee successes and achievements, such as a member of staff going the extra mile to help a customer. Long service and notable retirements also tend to make good copy. From a company perspective, recruitment drives, record profits and innovations are of interest.

Any human interest story involving the company would be a good angle to cover. This would be something that most people would be interested in seeing rather than a memo full of corporate jargon that will most likely ignored by a journalist.

Tailor your press releases

It’s worth researching the publications you’ll be sending your press release out to. For example, trade magazines are more likely to respond to stories outlining record profits or growth, whereas a local newspaper should be more interested in human interest stories.

There are crossover opportunities though, such as business pages in the local paper. It may be a case of finding out who the correct editor is for a particular section, and researching the type of stories they normally publish.

Gather as much information as possible

The basics of reporting involve finding out WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, HOW and WHY. This will be no different for a press release, so make a journalist’s job easier by including all the information they’ll need to publish your story.

You’ll need to include full names, addresses, ages, dates and times of events, and job titles. Including high resolution photographs will also help your chances of being published, so they should be fully captioned with names and ages of people pictured too.

Structure your press release like a news article

News articles are usually written using the inverted pyramid structure, and your press release should be too.

The first paragraph contains a general overview of what the story is about, and should only be a sentence or two. The second and third paragraphs expand the story by giving a more full description of the details, containing the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, HOW and WHY.

Further paragraphs will contain quotes from company personnel and/or the subject of the story, with less important details and background information at the end. To signify the story is over, type ENDS below the final line.

Try to write the press release in a style as close to the target publication as possible. The less work a journalist needs to do on a story, the more likely it is to be published as you intend it with your key messages intact.

Include notes for the editor

State the company name at the top of the page, with a brief header stating what the press release is about.

At the bottom, include a ‘notes to editor’ section that gives background information about the company and any possible leads a reporter could follow up. These can be interview opportunities, press conferences or related future events.

Finally, email over your press release and photographs/sources to the publication’s editor or journalist. Don’t feel the need to follow up the email, unless there’s something you’d genuinely like to add to the story. Editors won’t appreciate being hassled and it may harm your chances of being published!

For further tips and advice about press releases, please feel free to give me a call on 07738077516 or email david@contentnortheast.co.uk.

The benefits of quality online content

By | Content marketing | No Comments

Over the last few years content marketing has really taken off.  Rather than simply aiming to get their name into a marketplace, businesses are using online content to build reputation and gain a rapport with customers that can change the way people think about a company or product.

According to Copyblogger, content marketing is: “Creating and sharing valuable content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.”

So what defines valuable content that can help you win clients?

Firstly, your content needs to be original. The best organic way to boost SEO (search engine optimisation) rankings and traffic to your website is to create relevant, non-duplicated content. There is the chance that Google may actively punish a site that simply re-publishes content from elsewhere, but – perhaps more importantly – why would a reader be guaranteed to visit your site when they can get the same thing from a hundred others?

Update your website or blog on a regular basis with new content. This will help Google see your site as more relevant as their bots will be always on the lookout for new pages and frequently updated sites will be indexed by them more often.

The more content added will also mean more keywords (terms people might search for) to be found by those looking for what you can offer. However, don’t be tempted to simply fill your site with unrelated content! Keywords are important, but the real skill is incorporating those into well-written content that will work within Google’s algorithm.

From a journalistic point of view, written content can be most effective when it is concise and tells the reader what they want to know quickly. People tend to scan websites, so articles and blog posts should be loaded in a ‘top heavy’ way with the most relevant information at the beginning. An informative, snappy headline is a great way to do this too, as it can hook readers in and is a great place to add keywords.

It might also sound obvious, but spelling, grammar and punctuation errors will drive readers and potential customers away from your website. People are unlikely to take your company seriously if your site reads badly, no matter how insightful or informative the content may be.

Finally, bespoke content targeted towards your chosen audience should attract more hits and ultimately more sales. Build a profile of your ideal customer, and try to put yourself in their situation. What would they be looking for? What search terms would they use?

With this in mind, you can write in terms they’ll understand and include keywords that could lead them to you. Crucially, you’ll also build a body of content that will build your reputation as an industry insider and a name to be trusted.

For further information about quality content and how we can create it for you, please feel free to get in touch at info@contentnortheast.co.uk, or follow us on Twitter.