Writing effective technical and industrial product press releases for online media sources can significantly increase your Web site's exposure.
by Conrad Bailey, Industrial Marketing Consultant
The most common and negative traits online press releases have, is most of them are poorly optimized for search engines, value-less and just downright boring. No wonder so many Web site promoters complain about getting poor results from their press releases. They'll blame the media, the media's audience and even the competition... but the real problem is almost always the press release itself.
Call it what you want, a press release, news release or media release, it really doesn't matter because if it lacks richness in value, relevant keywords and of course, newsworthy content, it's not even worth distributing. I don't care how many media sources you send it to, if it fails to reach your target market, nothing else really matters.
Forget Branding and Start Selling
The biggest myth in public relations and in the advertising industry in general is the "need" for branding. Just ask any competent direct marketer about branding, and you'll get your answer. Branding is for deep pocket corporations that have unlimited funds to throw around... or should I say throw away. Branding is just a poor excuse for what I call simple minded marketing that offers little if any measurable ROI.
Case in point: Did you know the word Coca Cola‚ is the second most known word on the entire planet only after the word "Okay?" Yet, it does not stop the Coca Cola‚ company from being one of the most aggressive advertiser's in the world. From television and radio commercials, to sporting events and bulletin boards, Coca Cola‚ appears to be everywhere.
With such a huge marketing budget, some people might call all that promotion a form of branding. But I beg to differ, because a closer look at their commercials will tell you they are always marketing to a specifically targeted audience, mainly consumers between the ages 17 to about 35 years old. Why you ask? They are strategically creating new generations of coke drinkers by utilizing clever customer-centered marketing on its widest scale. Obviously, their marketing campaigns go much deeper than just branding. And the same approach should be taken when you write press releases.
Writing An Effective Headline
The headline of a press release is directly responsible for 50% off its success or failure. It is the first words of the release the editor reads, so it better be darn good. Take your time and come up with a headline that offers a solution to a specific problem. Or perhaps ask an open-ended question to build curiosity and generate immediate interest. The best headlines are client-centered messages that express value and/or indicate a solution that people in your target market are dealing with.
The Advantages Of A Sub-Headline
Your press releases should always include a sub-headline or lead paragraph that briefly but accurately explains what the release is about in a manner that indicates why it's newsworthy.
A sub-headline is often the difference maker in whether or not an editor or prospect will decide the rest of the material is worth reading. Just remember, you must avoid all marketing hype and focus on the news you are providing that hopefully expresses value to the editor's audience.
The Body of The Press Release
Writing technical and industrial product press releases is not exactly an art like many PR people claim. Just like everything else, you'll get better with practice. The key however, is to constantly look for and analyze press releases published in various publications... ideally the ones submitted by competitors in your industry. This will give you a good idea of the press releases different media sources that serve your target audience publish.
With a little research you can also learn which press releases online are getting the best results. Many news distribution sites (see examples below) have thousands of press releases marked or listed by popularity. It's easy to learn which releases are currently generating the most interest by the clicks and/or views they are getting. Thus, you can use that information to create a similar but completely different press release that will generate as much or even more interest. At the very least, by analyzing the press releases your competitors are putting out, you'll spawn a lot of good ideas for writing highly efficient material.
Some Press Release Writing Tips To Keep In Mind
∑ Keep it brief, no more than a single page (about 240 words), 4 to 6 paragraphs with no more than 3 to 4 sentences each;
∑ Remember, you are writing for the editor, as well as your target audience and also the search engines... all of which happen to have different needs;
∑ Write about the facts just like a journalist's would. Avoid all sales hype completely or the editor will reject your material;
∑ Always include keywords throughout the release that naturally 'flow' with the copy. Avoid the negative SEO tactic of keyword stuffing;
∑ Each paragraph should be newsworthy enough and factual-oriented in such a way that it could stand alone as its own press release if it needed to;
∑ The closing paragraph should offer a brief description of your company's profile, target market and corporate capabilities;
∑ End the release with an editorial contact as well as a company contact person's name, telephone number and email address.
Distributing Your Press Release
First and foremost, you should submit your press release to the many free PR distribution sites available. Most of them also offer paid submission options that can dramatically increase the distribution. Here are my 10 favorite press release submission sites that we have received the best results from. Listed in no particular order.
Online Trade Publications
There are a lot of media directories available online, some are free and others are quite expensive. One of the ones I use is Gebbie Press All-In-One Media Directory at Gebbiepress.com. They offer a comprehensive selection of trade magazines you can access directly from their site free-of-charge. You'll certainly find some publications that serve your target market... make sure to send them your press release.
I also have extensively used the publications portal Publist.com to locate hundreds of trade magazines, journals and newsletters all over the world. Yes, that directory is free as well, but I have found it needs to be updated, a number of publications on the site are no longer in circulation. Nonetheless, I'm sure you'll find the site useful for locating print and electronic trade publications that are ideal for your press release.
You'll also find hundreds of pre-selected trade magazines and publications for industrial, technical and engineering fields on our partner site at, www.IndustrialLeaders.Tradepub.com.
Just 'Google' the ones that interest you to locate their Web site or simply request a free subscription. New trade magazines are added on a regular basis.
About The Author
Conrad Bailey is co-founder and vice president of www.IndustrialLeaders.com, and author of the popular Co-Op Industrial Advertising Blog at: http://www.IndustrialLeaders.com/blog/
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