The news release has evolved greatly over the last 20 years since the advent of the online world; it is no longer just the domain of journalists, but also consumers who are looking for trusted sources of data to inform their purchase decisions.
These tips and guidelines are designed to help you reach the various audiences or personas that are important to your brand, from media to bloggers to the end consumer.
- Lead with the story, not the brand. Today’s news releases are all about the start of the storytelling process for the brand. The story is what’s most important. Create interest with the story, and the brand will follow.
- Headlines should be short – below 120 Characters with spaces with the most import content leading in the first 65 characters with spaces.
- Lead with the why – Why is this content important for the audience to read? Why is this content pertinent to the audience? Leading with the why encourage brands to lead with the story that is being told first, and then the brand elements second. The caveat is that if the Why in the story is the Brand, then lead with that.
- Use subheadings – Subheads add additional value and context to the headline and allows the main headline to be shorter.
- Use multimedia such as photos, videos, and graphics. Multimedia content increases both visibility and engagement with the content. It also adds to the likelihood that the content will be used by media / bloggers. Multimedia also gives the content more discoverability over a longer period of time.
- Resist use of more than 1-3 hyperlinks in a release. Restrained use of links helps with search visibility because that make all of the links that are used more relevant. Relevancy is the key to good links. Ask yourself, does this link truly add value to the reader and bring them in the direction that is the purpose of the release?
- Don’t create news releases that are blocks of paragraphs. A news release should read almost like a good email. Use bold, bullet points, and other tools to make the content easy to read / scan quickly.
- Have a call to action. Make sure to give your audience direction with where you want them to go next. That call to action should be within the first 1-3 paragraphs of content.