7 Publicity Tips for Press Release Writers

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I won't say exactly how long, but I've worked in public relations for quite a while. This has given me an interesting perspective on how the Internet is revolutionizing press release writing as well as press release distribution.

What's different is that publicists, public relations consultants and D-I-Y media seekers such as small business bloggers, ezine publishers and ebook authors no longer have to pray that media reps bless them with media coverage. Everyone now has the power to build traffic for their establishment or website without traditional media's consent.

Thanks to the web, you can put your press release directly in front of your targeted audiences. The Internet makes it increasingly easy for anyone to write a press release and upload it various places in cyberspace, where many potential customers can find it.

But if you want your information taken seriously and actually acted on, you'll want to be much more strategic than just slapping it up...

What follows are 7 key tools, techniques and tips that today's press release writers can use to secure Internet (and other) media coverage.

1. One best practice for press release writers involves SEO (search engine optimization).
Little sets the course for making your information findable like the use a keyword search tool such as the one at Google AdWords. It helps you identify which phrases your target audience searches for the most. Choose, say, three or four of your strongest, related terms -- those which your potential customers are likely to search to hire someone like you or shop for what you sell.

2. Write your press release draft plainly, as if you were just talking.
One-and-a-half pages long is a good average (approximately 500 words, single spaced). Vary your sentence lengths; some short, some longer. Sprinkle your key terms five or six times throughout your press release, including in your document's title. Include links to your website or blog in at least three different sections -- in your lead paragraph, last paragraph and contact section.

3. Proofread your press release and in the process, add your key terms a few more times.
This really helps your SEO strategy, strongly telling Google and other services what your information focuses on. (For example, my main keywords for this article are the terms press release, press releases, press release writers, how to write a press release and press release distribution.)

4. Sorry, but you should proofread it again.
This time, you're focusing on writing style. Go for some type of drama in your lead paragraph. You need a compelling angle or sentence upfront that'll engage readers and keep them. Sometimes simply rearranging the order of paragraphs (or sentences) makes a stronger lead-in. Now Spellcheck what you've written to catch any typos.

5. Next, implement your press release distribution.
PRWeb.com is one of the best, most affordable paid press release distribution services available. Not only do countless people visit PRWeb to read what's new (and sometimes post those press releases to their blogs or otherwise contact you), the service also has an RSS feed system which delivers press releases to those who've subscribed to your keywords. This includes major media, online and offline.

6. Also take advantage of some of the free press release distribution services online.
Work smarter, not harder here... If you're short on time, just pick those offering your social bookmark support for free. Some of the free sites also allow you to include a graphic image or photograph. Almost all of the sites, for a fee, provide additional visibility for press release writers, though. (Note: We rarely use the free sites that aren't picked up by Google or those which bury new press releases waaay in the back of their listings.)

7. Commit to commenting on a number of sizable websites, zines and blogs.
Choose these smartly and on each leave a thoughtful, relevant comment with a link to your press release. If you've used a paid service such as PRWeb, use this as your link in comments, as PRWeb lends more credibility than the free services.

If these steps on how to write a press release and get publicity seem like more work than you have time for, find an affordable PR consultant or freelance ghostwriter to get you on track. Choose a committed service that will provide you a customized plan designed to meet your budget -- not one that treats you in a run-of-the-mill factory fashion. We're here for you and may be right under your nose!

Viqi French is the principal consultant for PetLeopard.com, an innnovative virtual marketing communications boutique.

Pet Leopard provides affordable publicity, marketing and ghostwriting services that specifically meet the budget needs of today's small business and Internet marketers.

For service details, visit: http://petleopard.com or subscribe to the blog at http://fiercelystrategic.blogspot.com

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