So far we have been publishing tips and articles that help you manage your website and its applications or technical advices. This is useful; however it neither helps you promote your website nor increase its online presence. That’s why we start this section where you will find practical articles about driving publicity to your business, increasing value and traffic. Feel free to comment on these articles and write us if you require more assistance or have other questions.
Useful tips that will help you write your press releases and get your story read
Have you ever thought of writing a press release or an article about your product or services? If so, then you probably know that putting in words your business’ bright side ain’t always easy. It gets worse when you are desperate to come up with a story that must catch attention, push readers to act and eventually reach your goals.
Here you will discover the essential steps of writing a good story about your activities or business.
How to find your voice
Before starting to write a press release ask yourself a question: What do I want to tell? Is it a new product launch? Is it a new use of an existing product? Did you win an award? Are you nominated for an award? Are you going to take part in a particular event? Did you hire someone we’ve heard about? Think for a moment before you decide what exactly you want to share.
It is easy to write your story when you have something to say. But what do you write about when there’s nothing new to say? Then you have to think longer. My advice is to think about what people like to read. Go on your favourite forums, read the newest posts in your community blog, go through the newsletters and e-magazines that you never had time to read before. Then you will come up with an idea about your story which can match your product, services and customers’ interests.
The headline is the most important part of your story – probably you’ve heard this before. Well, it is absolutely true if you want your article to be read. I personally prefer short headlines with clear words and straight-to-the point meaning. When you write your headline try to be a little bit different, somehow funny and even a bit shocking. Try to write as many headlines as possible. Then read them and select the one that conveys most clearly your message and is easier to read.
The subhead is very common in newspaper articles; however it is often skipped in online press releases. The main purpose of the subhead is to give more information to your reader about the story. The subhead does not substitute the headline, the subhead complements it. You should not write the same line with different words. Instead, you should present more information about the content of your story. The subhead is usually typed in italics right underneath your headline.
Generally, the copy is divided into three parts – the opening paragraph, the main text body and the closing part.
The opening paragraph usually describes in a straight line what the article is about. It shouldn’t be too long; this paragraph consists of two or three sentences to tell what exactly happened, who is involved, when and where the event occurred. Don’t be too descriptive in the first paragraph – try to assemble as much information as possible in a few lines. You will present more details in the next paragraph.
In the main paragraph you should present more elements about your story – this is where you actually dig into more details. Very often the main paragraph is divided into shorter paragraphs. After saying what exactly happened in the opening paragraph, you can take your reader back in time and explain the reasons that made your story happen. Here you can include some history background information or just a short flashback description. Then you come back in the present and give more interesting details about your actual story. Usually this is the part where you can use quotes or cite what someone else said about your product, service, event or company. You may also include some relevant examples if you think this is necessary. In the last part you should write about the impact of your new product or services as well as analysis and forecast about the future.
The last paragraph is typically used to summarize everything said earlier and to make final conclusions. This paragraph shouldn’t be too long either – two or three sentences to sum up your story and repeat with different words your main story line.
- Use clear, comprehensive words – keep in mind that not all of your readers are native speakers. If the words you use are too complex they will not read your article. Avoid using grammar, long sentences or jargon and make sure your spell check is on.
- Make smooth connection between the different paragraphs – keep your story constructive and assemble logically your paragraphs. You don’t want to confuse your readers – write down your main points first and develop your story around them.
- Contact details – in most cases copy writers include a short paragraph at the end of the copy about the company. You can include the name of your organization, main type of activity and short summary of your mission statement. Sometimes a very brief history of the company or the CEO is also included. If you don’t want to write this, at least make sure you include a company’s contact details like website address, phone number and someone’s email address should any of your readers needs to get in touch with you.
- Links – online press releases have this advantage over the print articles that you can include links in body. Let’s say that you quote someone – the information will become more credible if you include a link to the source of information where the reader can click and read more. Links are commonly used if you write about partner organizations, suppliers, distributors, places, and past events you have organized.
- Don’t use your press release for advertisement purposes – remember that you are writing a press release and its purpose is to tell a new story that is of interest to your readers. If you start using language that appeals more to an advertisement copy you will loose very quickly your readers and credibility amongst the ones who read it up. Avoid using big words about your company and do not mislead your readers with made-up quotes. Most people today can immediately tell the difference between an advertisement and news release. So don’t try to trick them – it would get you more harm than good. Plus you will be rejected from most free press release websites.