Press Releases – Proactive Press
When we respond to an existing editorial calendar, it is reactive press. We are reacting to an existing review that is already scheduled. However, when we have “news,” we can be proactive. We usually do this in the form of a press release, or we should call them, a “news” release–since it better have something newsworthy.
There are numerous articles on how to create a good press release. I have attached a few of them below:
- PR Web Press Release Guidelines (PDF)
- Press Release Template-280 Group (PDF)
- Press Release Template Generic (PDF)
- How To Write A Press Release-Bill Stoller (PDF)
These templates provide basic guidelines. However, one of the measurements of an effective press release is if it is replicated with few edits. If it has any “puffery” (we’re so great, we’re so grand, we’re #1, etc.), or if it is boring (think IBM stuffy copy), then it may take too much work for the editor to use (he/she will have to re-write or strip it of the sales copy) and it either won’t get published, or you’ll get a summary version that often does not replicate your primary positioning. As a result, your unique positioning will get watered down (instead of repeatedly hammered home) and you’ll have a mess all over the Internet.
Following is an example of a very effective news release. This release was almost copied exactly and was published in over 300 locations! On the Thursday before Christmas, the company was unknown–by the following Monday–there were hundreds of mentions and links (which is also great for SEO).
Note that the product has positioning, it bucks against the trend (call-centric), it is newsworthy and has a little bit of controversy (“Most CRM is junk.”).
Pitch vs Press Release
I primarily use press releases to create a Pitch and for SEO (especially if there are a lot of places that pull syndicated content). When the release gets published it links back to our company and creates an inbound link that Google uses to determine relevance and site reputation.
So what is a pitch and how does it differ? For this, refer to a Chanimal blog, “Pitching to the Press.“ It is an interview with Todd from Spread The News. It is a pitching machine and explains EXACTLY how he does it.
Press Release Resources
- A great review for the value of 60 free press release (for getting press and for getting links)
- The Chanimal PR KIT (register to download) contains sample releases, editorial calendar templates, select articles on getting press, sample reviewer guides and much more.
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