As a B2B marketer, you probably could write a press release in your sleep. Maybe you could put one together with a blindfold on. Better yet, you might even be able to do one without knowing all the facts.
That being said, do you ever stop and wonder how many good B2B press releases hit the world each and every day?
If you took a minute to stop and read the bulk of them, you may shed a tear or two. The reason? Not because of how great they were, but rather because they needed more tender loving care. Yes, some of those press releases are quite embarrassing to read.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you might need a refresher course in putting together a winning press release, as the saying that practice makes perfect is quite true.
So, how can you as a B2B marketer press forward in 2013, at times tasked with crafting a release that will get the attention of the world over?
A number of things to keep in mind include:
Reason – First and foremost, always define what your reasoning is behind the press release in the first place. Stop and think about how that simple one page release will put you front and center at the attention of current and potential customers. How will you separate yourself from the competition in the words and message you want to convey in that release, Finally, what is your goal behind issuing it in the first place? Know your mission before you go off to battle, making the likelihood the release will actually be read and not placed in the dumpster (electronic or physical) a reality.
Money and Message – Whether or not your company is spending money like it is going out of style or watching every dollar closely, you need to have a marketing budget in place each year. With that being said, how much do you think will go towards press releases? You might be surprised to learn that they are one of the more cost-effective ways to get your message out to consumers. Yes, many in the media will come across your release, but your targeted goal is really not them, although they do help you carry your message. The customer, especially the ones you are trying to get, are the ones you are oftentimes targeting. Given that is the case, your message must resonate with them. Unlike your current customers who know something about you, the substance of your release could win over or lose a potential sale;
SEO and Linking – You know the game in this day and age, search engine optimization is crucial. If your company is not heavily engaged in SEO, you are likely throwing money out the window. As a result, your press release will help funnel traffic back to your website, especially given the fact that it should contain keywords relevant to your business. With more links working its way back to you, your company’s search engine ranking goes up. Keep in mind this is especially true if you are fighting an online reputation problem. In order to help get the negative news down on the search engines, positive news about your company through press releases, blogs, customer testimonials and other forms of communication provide you with a more positive search engine experience.
Grammar – Have you ever sent out a press release, then discover that there was an error, perhaps more than one in it? It is safe to assume that you couldn’t crawl under your desk any faster at that point. Depending on where and what the error is, it can make or break the integrity of the release. By all means, get another set or two of eyes focused in on wording, meaning, relevancy, contact information and more. At the end of the day, receiving a press release with even one noticeable error lessens the credibility of both the message and the sender;
Shelf Life – Finally, make sure your press release has some longevity to it. Yes, you can’t control how long the person receiving it will keep it, but you can give them more incentive to hang onto it longer if the message is clean, strong, relevant, timely and worthwhile.
Press releases do not have to be brain surgery, but they do need to be healthy and written so that they will remain around for a long time to come.
About the Author
With 23 years’ writing experience, Dave Thomas covers a variety of business and consumer topics, including reviewing physician reputation.