89 Press Release Tips
Click here to begin this press release course with tip 1 or choose a module below.
Module 1 – Tips #1-7
Today, smart self-promoters write press releases for consumers, not only for journalists. I’ll explain how this gives you many more opportunities to use releases to promote your product, service, cause or issue. And you’ll learn about what you should do before you start to write.
- Stop writing press releases only for journalists
- Don’t write press releases only when you have “legitimate news.”
- You don’t need the “5 W’s” in the first paragraph.
- No hype or industry jargon
- Decide what you want the release to accomplish
- Define your audience before you write
- Keep your key press release message simple
Module 2 – Tips #8-14
Even though you can write a press release many different ways, every well-written release has five important components, and two optional sections. I’ll tell you what they are so you don’t miss a chance to pull traffic to your releases and your website.
- Include complete contact information in your press releases
- Write a clear, helpful headline and subhead
- Include a dateline that shows when and where you wrote the release
- Write the body copy and include links
- Include a call to action in your press releases
- Write a boilerplate paragraph in longer press releases
- Optional note to the media and the Safe Harbor Statement
Module 3 – Tips #15-21
Press releases for routine news like meeting announcements and employee promotions can sometimes be as important as longer releases for bigger news. I’ll show you some anything-but-routine treatments you hadn’t thought of.
- Explain why someone won an award
- How to write about multiple employee awards
- Publicize contracts you’ve won or awarded
- Announce a grand opening
- Publicize a meeting
- Create a calendar listing
- Use a press release as a ‘Help Wanted’ notice
Module 4 – Tips #22-28
Because you’re writing press releases for consumers, not only for journalists, you’ll see seven examples of releases that, in the old days, wouldn’t have qualified as “legitimate news” that would satisfy traditional media. Readers will gobble these up!
- Use Your Press Release To Tell a story
- Write a “Top 10” list
- Give free advice
- Explain how to use your product
- Take a survey
- Highlight the local angle to a national story
- Prompt the media to call you
Module 5 – Tips #29-35
If you’re press release headline is vague or confusing, people won’t bother reading the rest of the releases. You’ll learn how to use things like keywords and simple statistics in the headline and avoid the types of words and phrases that turn off readers.
- No “mystery meat” headlines
- Include sub-heads
- Use the problem/solution angle
- Don’t use jargon, buzzwords, acronyms, abbreviations
- Use keywords in your headline
- Use simple statistic
- In the headline, answer three questions
Module 6 – Tips #36-42
After you’ve compiled all the information that will go into your press release, I’ll show you how to organize it so it’s easy to read. Three tips will encourage readers to do exactly what you want them to do.
- Include a calendar listing within a release
- Use bulleted lists
- Use charts and tables
- Use numbered lists
- Insert your web address high in the release
- Pull buyers into your sales funnel
- Use a landing page
Module 7 – Tips #43-49
One of the best ways to learn how to write a press release is to see a poorly written “before” version and it’s super-effective “after” version. You’ll see several examples of ghastly press releases that include extraneous information, poor organization and boring headlines and writing. They’ve been made over into “after” versions that look nothing like the originals.
- How to promote a new product
- Skip the self-congratulation
- How to promote an event
- Avoid alphabet soup
- How to promote a product for a niche market
- Write for the Web
- Tweak your releases for different audiences
Module 8 – Tips #50-56
Many authors and publishers write press releases only for a book launch. You’ll see four examples of those releases, two examples of releases you can write after you launch, and one example of a release for the second edition of your book.
- Use long headlines
- Explain why you wrote the book
- Tell a dramatic story
- Tie your topic to a celebrity
- Use blurbs within the release
- How an author promotes a website
- How to promote a book’s second edition
Module 9 – Tips #57-63
Press releases offer opportunities to present your information in the type of format that readers prefer. I’ll explain how to use photos, graphics, audio and video within your releases to add value to the copy you’ve written, and to pull more traffic to your release.
- Why photos and graphics are important
- Your photo and infographics options
- Give trade magazines generic photos
- How to write photo captions
- How to use an audio file
- How to use video in press releases
- How to create the social media press release
Module 10 – Tips #64-70
Because you’re writing press releases for consumers, not just for journalists, it’s more important than ever to make it easy for the search engines to lead people to your releases. Five tips deal with using keywords. Two tips show you other ways to make your release more findable. And you’ll even get a checklist for SEO that you can use the next time you write a release.
- Why keywords are important
- Write for humans, not for the search engines
- Best tools for keyword research
- Don’t stuff keywords
- Use multimedia that include keywords in titles
- Use hashtags and Twitter handles
- Your Press Release SEO checklist
Module 11 – Tips #71-77
Google has changed the way you can use links within press releases because too many writers were gaming the system and stuffing links within their releases to get Google juice. I’ll explain Google’s rules, show you the two types of links, and give you other tips for making sure that when someone clicks on a link, it takes them where you want them to go.
- Use a minimum of links
- Use quality links that readers find useful
- Use a link in the call to action
- Use a combination of anchor text links and navigational links
- Use keywords in anchor text links
- How to type a “no follow” link
- Double-check all links
Module 12 – Tips #78-84
Two of the most frequent questions self-promoters ask are: “Should I use a free or paid press release service?” and “Which is the best free service and which is the best paid service?” My advice on the free services has changed since I created this press release course more than 10 years ago. Learn the difference between both services so you can make an intelligent decision.
- Advantages of paid distribution services
- The major press release distribution services
- Questions to ask if they write your release
- A press release service for experts
- Industry-specific press release distribution services
- The 5 best free press release services
- Follow directions
Module 13 – Tips #85-89
When you’ve completed your press release, you’re not done yet. I’ll explain one more important task. Then you’ll learn how to use your release in tandem with a customized pitch to a media outlet, blogger or podcaster. And I’ll show you lots of other ways to use your release.
- Proofread your press release
- Write customized pitches
- Follow up the right way
- Other ways to use your press release
- How to make the most of this course