You have a local business that needs more exposure. It’s the way of things for most local businesses.
Don’t send out your press release (PR) campaign.
At least not until you consider the value of local backlinks within the equation.
Why Local Backlinks Matter
Define Backlinks: A clickable link (hyperlink) that leads readers from one page to another be the external (outside your website) or internal (inside your website).
An important aspect of ranking on search engines like Google today is found in having a strong network of local links Click To Tweet. You know that they are local because they come from the same area as where your service is offered.
As you send out your PR announcement there is an excellent chance that your site will be published along with the information but only if you do it correctly.
What to Do Before Sending Your Press Release
Create an extremely informative article that presents everything that you will be sharing in a clear concise manner that informs and educates your readers. It is this page that you will link to when sharing the details of your press release.
- Use short paragraphs with bullets and numbers when possible.
- Include quality images that help tell your story.
- Use headings and subheadings that allow readers the ability to quickly scan content.
The easier it is for your readers to secure the information you are attempting to share the more they will like what you are sharing. The journalist that visit your site will see that you have gone the extra mile and reward you accordingly by opting into sharing your press release with their audience.
What Local Business Can Share in Their Press Releases
Here is a list of 12 newsworthy ideas your local business may be able to generate press releases from.
- News about your new products coming to market
- New services that you are now offering to the community
- Information about a new store opening within the area
- Company awards and recognitions that have been earned
- How you are the first local area product or service provider
- Contests that your company is involved with locally
- Winners of local area contests you have sponsored
- Free seminars or booklets you are offering locally
- Results of a local survey that your company conducted
- Solutions to community problems your business is offering
- Details about the new business your launching locally
- Nonprofit donations your company has contributed to
As you can see there are numerous ways to create worthy PR news.
HOT TIP: It is important to note that especially in larger populated areas PR releases are a dime a dozen. As such you need to do things to make your campaign stand out in the eyes of a journalist or be whisked away into oblivion.
How to Positively Catch a Journalistic Eye
It’s not that journalist are not interested in what you consider to be newsworthy, but rather how you present your local business news either makes or breaks the deal.
I think of it like asking someone out on a first-time date. If your approach something like, “want to go out” you may or may not get a positive response because you have not really spiced up the deal in any way.
Instead, knowing that you are both interested in science if you said something like, “I’ve 2 tickets for access to the Seattle science fair exhibition on July 17th. Doors open at 9 AM and I’ll take you to lunch too. Interested?” You’ve now given specifics of the details that outline your entire offer. All this being equal they are now much more enticed into responding with a resounding “yes.”
Within a press release scenario here is an 11-point template of how everything would flow for your local business.
- Company Logo
- Contact Details
- Date for Release
- Irresistible Headline
- Optional Sub-Headline
- First Paragraph
- Remaining Body
- End Notation
- Final Note (Optional but Recommended)
Following we will take a deep dive into each of the 11 points described above.
The 11 Points of Creating A Powerful Press Release
#1: Start with Your Company Logo
Before you begin writing even one word present your logo in the press release. Place your logo in the center at the top of the page.
HOT TIP: If you are reaching out by email attach a high-resolution copy of your logo and name it “PressRelease1.jpg.
#2: Present Your Contract Details
While some people may suggest this section go after the body paragraphs, I recommend left aligning it at the top. Your press release is a branded image of who you are and what your company is. Making it super easy for journalists to understand how to contact you is a very good idea.
Here is what it would look like.
Contact: John/Jane Doe
Tel.: (111) 222-3333
Cell: (111) 222-3333
Email: [email protected] (hyperlinked)
Website: www.doe.com (hyperlinked)
If you have branded social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) properties you can include them here to further build your authority and credibility within your press release.
#3: Date for Release if Time Sensitive
There are two ways of presenting this right aligned within your press release.
If there is a time-sensitive component to your press release than acknowledging that at this point by the following words.
FOR RELEASE ON [date] AT [time]
If your press release does not have a time-sensitive concern, then you could either leave this part off or use the following words instead.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: [date]
#4: Creating Your Irresistible Headline
When it comes to writing this is perhaps the most important part of your entire document. If you truly want to get your local business noticed locally then this must be created correctly. To make your headline stand out, make it a slightly bigger font than the rest of the document while centering its position and bolding the entire line.
Tips for creating the perfect headline.
- Keep its length between 80 & 170 characters.
- Use action verbs.
- Be clear with simple to understand language.
- Make your headline interestingly enticing.
- Don’t tell the whole story upfront.
Here are 317 power words you can use in creating your title.
#5: Share an Optional Sub-Headline
If you choose to create a sub-headline to support the headline, then position it centered under your headline. It should be the same font as the rest of your document and not be bolded.
Putting your headline and sub-headline together as one element it would look like this.
If you choose to include a sub-headline, then make sure that it supports rather than repeating the content of your headline.
#6: Release Your Dateline Details
At the beginning of your first paragraph, before starting the actual content you need to let your reader know the where and when of your press release.
It would look like this.
SEATTLE, WA, November 15 – [Body Text…]
Notice that the city and state are both presented in caps with the full name of the city spelled out. Another point of interest is that the year is not included because it is assumed that your press release is for the current year. Even if you’re between years people will understand that the January you are speaking of is for the preceding year rather than any other option.
Once all the details have been shared make sure to include a dash between the actual body text and your dateline details.
#7: Presenting Your First Paragraph
We are now at point 8 of 11 and it is time to dive into the actual content of your press release. While typical articles end with a summary of all the details, press releases present this end type paragraph upfront and in the beginning.
Simply put, this paragraph offers the most important information of your entire press release. It answers the who, what, when, where, why and how of the details within your press release. The paragraph itself should be kept short and concise without the hyperbole.
Another way of looking at this paragraph is the format given to a typical speech. You tell the person what you are going to tell them (first paragraph), then you tell them (main body content) and finally you tell them what you told them (boilerplate – yet to be discussed.)
#8: Share Main Body Content
Here is where you offer supporting content that backups what has been presented thus far in your press release.
Do not speak from a first-person perspective or journalists will not be able to use your content as it is written. Write from the position of the reporter themselves as if they are the one writing the press release about your company.
Keep your content informatively valuable without weaving in your own slant or point of view. Keep each paragraph to no more than 2 to 4 sentences. I recommend keeping your entire press release between 400 and 600 words in length.
You can use quotes within this section of your content if they are offered in a block style so that your reader can see the clear difference between details and opinions (even if facts) shared.
#9: Closing Content with Your Boilerplate
Boilerplates offer factual details about exactly what your company does and why it is the best solution to the details shared within the press release. In a short concise fashion, it revisits the information that your entire press release has been speaking about. This is the part where you tell people what you have told them.
#10: Handling End Page Notations
Should your press release extend into 2 pages (not recommended), then there are specific attributes that should be shared at the bottom of each page.
To lead people from page 1 to page 2 you would use a centered more tag like this.
– more –
If you are on the last page of the press release, then that can be represented by a centered triple pound label like this:
#11: Concluding Final Note (Optional but Recommended)
This final section was already covered to a certain degree in in #2 when we covered contact details. However, the easier you make it for journalists to find out how to connect with you the better it is for you.
With that said this is how this section could look:
For more details about this press release, contact [Name] at [Number] or [email].
This line can be left aligned with the rest of your main document.
7 Additional Ideas to Help Your Press Release Shine
By now you should have a much clearer understanding of exactly what to do to make your press release shine in the eyes of local news media outlets. Here are 7 more points to keep in mind as you prepare to send your press release out.
- Write from a journalistic 3rd person perspective while avoiding words like I, we, and you.
- Keep your font standardized by using Times New Roman or Calibri.
- The bodies text should be single spaced with a double space between paragraphs.
- When working with a time sensitive release send it out the day before the event.
- Uses online and offline methods of distribution for your press release.
- When sending a hardcopy letter use 1-inch margins on white paper.
- Share your content with specific local area journalists whenever possible.
Concluding Thoughts About Your Local Business Press Release
The more you do to present your press release in a manner that your local media will appreciate the greater the possibility that they will be willing and interested in taking part in distributing the news of your event.
HOT TIP: While you are encouraged to work within your local media in order to secure local links that you need to rise to the top of results on Google search today, consider the advantages of going beyond local to regional, national and even global outlets as appropriate.The more you do to build your brand the greater the reward from your efforts put forth can be. Click To Tweet
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