Should You Hire a Press Release Writing Service?
Should You Hire a Press Release Writing Service?
Press releases have long been a staple of business promotion. Succinct and sublime, they work their magic through gravitas, rather than hype. A well-written press release has the power to pique interest in your company, building your reputation in the business world and influencing the impressions of customers and business partners alike. Conversely, a poorly written press release can strike all the wrong notes, making your company seem unprofessional or self-aggrandizing. Using a press release writing service can save your company time and take the guesswork out of writing press releases.
How Press Releases Are Different From Other Content
Press releases are written in a different tone than other types of content. Blog posts, for example, are normally conversational. Social media updates often use a casual tone. Press releases, on the other hand, have a dry, journalistic tone.
The formal tone of a press release reflects its origins. Historically, press releases were sent to news outlets to disseminate information about companies or organizations. They got picked up by the wire services and served as the basis for news stories that journalists would write.
Today, online distribution broadens the reach of your press releases. Services such as PressRelease.com, PR.com and ReleaseWire.com circulate press releases via media outlets, RSS feeds and other distribution channels. They also publish press releases on their own sites.
How Press Release Writers Promote Your Company
Professional press release writers will have experience with many different types of press releases. They can skillfully design each press release to reach its intended audience and effectively communicate your intentions.
Press Release Intention
A press release writing service will work with you to determine the intent of your press release, making sure that its purpose is clear to readers. Press releases can be written to achieve various objectives:
- Advertise or summarize an event
- Introduce a new product or service
- Highlight an existing product or service
- Announce a partnership
- Showcase company ethos (charity work, response to social trends, etc.)
The most basic function of a press release is to advertise a piece of news, such as an upcoming event that your company is hosting. Press releases can act as compact case studies, describing problems that your customers face and explaining how your company solves their issues with new or existing products or services. They might stimulate interest in your company by announcing a new initiative, round of funding or corporate partnership. Through a press release, you can demonstrate good corporate citizenship by showing your company’s generosity or thoughtful response to high-profile social issues.
Press Release Slant
Even though a good press release will read like a factual news item, its style and content can influence readers to think a certain way about the subject matter. A company accomplishment, such as a new product line or a design award, is easy to characterize in a positive light.
What about broadcasting bad news? No company wants to announce a controversial resignation, contentious litigation or imminent bankruptcy. Should lamentable circumstances such as these arise, though, you’ll want professional writers to help you navigate these delicate situations and control your corporate narrative. Accomplished press release writers can spin even inauspicious news in a favorable way.
Elements of a Press Release
Press releases follow a basic formula, which can be modified to suit specific purposes. Let’s look at each part of the press release and see how a press release writing service can use it to promote your business.
Headlines and Subheads
No matter why you’re sending out a press release, you’ll always start with a headline and subhead. Just like newspaper headlines, your press release headlines grab readers’ attention. Keep your headlines fairly brief — 160 characters is a good rule of thumb for headline length. Slightly longer than headlines, the subheads provide a few more details, further drawing in readers. A press release writing service will create headlines and subheads that entice readers, showing how your company is truly newsworthy.
Opening Paragraph and Main Body
The main body of the press release is the most flexible part of this content form’s structure. It can be used to publicize events, products and services, or partnerships and programs. Even though the bulk of the main body will be different in each press release, it will be bracketed by a few fixed elements.
Company Location and Release Date
The first paragraph of a press release will generally start with your company’s location, followed by the release date. The location is normally a city and a state, or a city and a country. If it’s a city and a state, the two-letter postal abbreviation for the state will be used. Including the location helps put your company “on the map” for readers. Local readers might feel more connected to your company if they see that it’s headquartered in their city or a neighboring town.
The release date will be formatted so that the month is written out, followed by the day and the year in numerals. The release date anchors the press release’s news in time, helping readers to easily evaluate its relevance. Often, the name of the press release distribution service will be inserted before or immediately after the release date. The beginning of your press release’s first paragraph might look something like this:
Paris, WI — July 14, 2020 — (FakeNewsService.com) — Revolution Cheese Corporation announced plans to build an Eiffel Tower replica using Colby cheese girders. The homage to the French landmark will replace the company’s brick-cheese Bastille, which was destroyed in an unexplainable melting accident last July. Company officials state that these likenesses honor their state’s French heritage […]
The first paragraph should serve to define the purpose of your press release. You’ll notice that the company name is mentioned very early on in the first paragraph. Often, it’s right at the start of the first sentence.
The body of a press release usually follows the “inverted pyramid” style long favored by journalists. You’ll find the gist of the press release and the most important details in the first paragraph. Successive paragraphs will flesh out the item with additional, less-important details.
Often, press release writers will cite statistics to underscore the seriousness of a problem or situation. For instance, if your organization has a solution to the problem of childhood hunger, it helps to set the stage with a statistic that stresses the dire seriousness of the issue. By laying this foundation, press release writers create a context in which the importance of your company’s achievement can be appreciated.
Statistics should always be taken from a reliable source, such as a government statistics bureau, a university or a policy institute such as The Pew Research Center or RAND Corporation. A reliable press release writing service will carefully follow your company’s style guide to ensure that all statistics are cited correctly.
Press releases often contain a relevant quote from your company’s management. Like an eyewitness account of a news event, quotes instantly capture audience attention, making the sedate press release “come alive” for readers. Quotation marks signal speech — storytelling — and nothing hooks readers better than a good story.
A quotation from a company official, identified by name and title, gives your press release the stamp of authority. In the context of a press release, a high-ranking company official will be seen as an expert. Quoting a perceived expert also reinforces the importance of the press release’s topic.
In addition to providing a sense of narrative and authority, using quotes can create name recognition for company officials. Why is this important? People relate better to other people than to a faceless corporation. Using an intriguing quotation humanizes the plain press release. In the matter-of-fact context of its unembellished text, the quoted official automatically sounds earnest and trustworthy.
Since press releases will get their widest distribution online, it’s critical to make sure they find their audience. Thousands of press releases are published online every day. How will yours be seen by your target audience?
A press release writing service that’s well-versed in all aspects of press release writing will understand how to use search engine optimization to promote your press release. Once writers have discussed your objectives and identified your target audience, they will perform keyword research. Keyword research uses statistical analysis tools to determine the most effective keywords to include in your press release.
Deciding on the right keywords is not enough, though. With the sophisticated algorithms now used by top search engines such as Google, the days of reaching the top of the search results through keyword stuffing are long since passed. The keywords must be distributed evenly throughout the press release. They have to be used in a way that will seem natural to readers. In addition, keyword density must be carefully balanced: If keywords are used too seldom, the content might not rank well in search engines. If they are used too frequently, the content’s SEO ranking will suffer.
Press release writers close out their work with two important sections: the company bio and contact information.
The contact information will normally remain the same in each press release. Even so, phone numbers, email addresses and contact people may change. Corporate website and social media links could be incorrect. A thorough writer will check the contact information each time.
In theory, the company bio can remain the same for every press release your company issues. Customizing to match the topic of the press release can yield a few advantages, though. Just make sure that the bio remains fairly consistent from one press release to another so you don’t dilute your company branding. Strong branding can accommodate corporate growth and new directions, but any changes must be built on the company’s existing brand foundation.
Let’s say that your standard company bio reads like this:
Based in Paris, Wisconsin, Revolution Cheese Corporation is a leading American producer of coagulated dairy products. Founded in July 1989, Revolution brings the revered art of fine cheese-making to discriminating global consumers. From hard rinds to runny cheeses, Revolution is on the cutting edge of cheese-making technology.
You’re about to publish a press release about Revolution’s new line of economy cheeses. Your press release writing service decides to emphasize your new product line in your company bio, potentially scoring some extra SEO points:
Based in Paris, Wisconsin, Revolution Cheese Corporation is a leading American producer of affordable coagulated dairy products. Founded in July 1989, Revolution brings the revered art of fine cheese-making to cost-conscious consumers. From hard rinds to runny cheeses, Revolution is on the cutting edge of cheese-making technology.
Simply by changing a few adjectives in your boilerplate company bio, press release writers can make your company’s work seem even more relevant to the target audience. The difference is subtle. The new product line is not explicitly mentioned. Rather than naming the product line in the bio, the benefit to the cost-conscious consumer is emphasized: affordability.
Distributors reading this press release with the altered company bio will no longer think of Revolution Cheese Corporation as just another Wisconsin cheesemaker. Now, the company’s image has subtly changed to better suit the distributors’ needs, while still maintaining the integrity of its branding.
When distributors are looking for a new line of cheese products to offer their frugal customers, they’ll think of Revolution.
Press Release Writing and Blog Writing Services: Marketing Efficiency
Once you’ve worked with a high-quality press release writing service, you’ll come to realize how professional press release writers can ramp up your marketing while freeing up your in-house staff for more business-critical tasks. You might even consider outsourcing other ongoing writing tasks. For example, you could use blog writing services to keep your company blog active and engaging for your customers. This will foster customer relationships, build authority and increase your SEO as your company regularly delivers trustworthy, helpful content.
When you need blog writing services and press release writers with marketing expertise and a commitment to quality, consider a content company such as BKA Content. Whether you’re a small business or a large company, BKA Content delivers consistent quality at reasonable prices.