Producing high-quality content and delivering it to a specific audience can be difficult. Whether the target audience is a customer, investor, or journalist, you are competing against a lot of noise out there – from long headline queues at 8 a.m. to instant public reactions on Twitter.
A few seconds is all you have to get your audience to take the next step with a press release. People will move on if the message doesn’t grab them right from the start.
All too often, content that had good intentions falls flat because little thought was put into it before it was tossed out into the news cycle.
Common pitfalls of press-release writing include: headlines with 200-plus characters, blocks of text that are difficult to scan, jargon-filled writing that causes confusion, and stale messaging that doesn’t deliver relevant meaning to the brand’s audience.
If you follow these five rules of producing high-quality press releases, your message will have a better chance of getting through.
Make it insightful and relevant
Your content needs a purpose that goes beyond filling a website’s news section. By practicing patience and being prepared, you can make sure you’re delivering meaningful content.
Start by creating an editorial calendar at least three months in advance. Coordinate with marketing, product, sales, and other teams to produce content your target audience will care about.
Is there a new study to report on? A new infographic with up-to-date data? A white paper with thought-provoking insights? An upcoming trade show you’re excited about?
Readers and search engines will quickly pick up on whether the message you’re relaying is insightful and relevant. Don’t make the mistake in thinking you can fool them.
Be the authority
In SEO and website terms, becoming an authority can be a nebulous challenge, a reflection of the never-ending evolution of search engine algorithms.
But authority also means owning your content with confidence and expertise. Spot-on data, clean writing, and well-attributed quotes will never go out of style.
Transparency is the key to success. Don’t try and be overly clever or too subtle with the message because you run the risk of undermining the content’s authority. Make sure the audience knows your intentions early on.
Avoid short, unsubstantial messages
Search engines may not be looking for a minimum word count, but they are looking for high-quality content. That means you should not be producing messages that consist of a 50-word post with a few links to outdated product pages. You need to craft content that builds trust with readers so that they – and search engines, in turn – don’t see you as a spammer.
Creating short, low-quality content is a surefire way to not get noticed. Instead, make sure you are delivering substantial messages throughout the year.
Engage the reader from the start
Don’t lead your press release with a dry quote from an executive that explains why your product is the best or why a deal will be great for your company’s future. Likewise, if you have an important link you want people to click on, put it near the top of the message.
You need to engage the reader as soon as possible by focusing on why your story matters, including a call to action early on, and incorporating relevant and eye-catching photos and videos. Readers engage with visual content more than text-only.
Make the story easy to digest
With 52.2% of global website traffic coming from mobile phones, your content must be formatted with mobile devices in mind.
The challenge there lies in balancing style with substance. By using the right formatting, you can accomplish your goal of making your content mobile friendly.
Shorter headlines, bullet points, and bolding are all tried-and-true practices for making stories easy to discover and digest on any device.
If you follow the above five rules, you’ll be putting your content in the best possible position to connect with your audience.
Looking for more help? Download “Quick and Easy Guide to Sharing Your Press Release with the World.”