3 Don’ts When Writing A Press Release

When writing a press release, don’t go for the Hail Mary

3-press-release-dontsPress releases can be an important component of your online marketing mix, reaching multiple audiences and driving SEO results such as traffic and keyword visibility. To correctly harness this potential, it only makes sense to have a good game plan when writing a press release.

When creating a press release there are loads of Do’s– keep it brief, proofread for errors, provide newsworthy information, etc. Just as you follow the Do’s, it’s equally important to know the Don’ts.

1. DON’T go keyword crazy.

Just like the coach who only runs trick plays, overdoing anything can be a bad idea.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a fantastic channel for driving readers to your website, but there is a healthy balance when it comes to optimizing your press release with keywords. Remember that if the copy doesn’t make sense to the reader, it’s not going to make sense to search engines either.

When integrating keywords to create an SEO friendly press release, use these rules as a guide:

  • Use a keyword research tool to know which keyword phrases are often searched – optimize your release with high-demand keywords
  • Incorporate your keyword into the headline, subhead and first paragraph
  • Be sure your anchor text (the highlighted clickable text) links to the most relevant page on your website, not just your homepage.
  • On average only hyperlink 1 keyword per 100-150 words

2. DON’T go long.

Readers are moving fast on the net. Expecting them to read content top to bottom is setting high expectations. Hail Mary passes rarely work on the field and the Internet is no different.

Brevity is your friend, follow the best practices below:

  • Headlines: keep them to 8-10 words
  • Body length: 300-500 words is optimal
  • Bullets and paragraphs: Keep both short. Use bullets to divide your paragraphs and keep paragraphs to 3- 4 sentences

3. DON’T forget the fans.

The fan base for press releases has expanded beyond the newsroom. When crafting your releases, be sure they can score with journalists and your target audience alike.

Consider the following:

  • Establish an image. Write copy as if you are painting a picture in the reader’s mind using descript, vibrant words.
  • Use reader friendly language. Your audience doesn’t know everything you do about your product or service. Keep your content clear, simple and free of jargon.
  • Resist the urge for “product push.” Readers are looking for relevant information rather than hyperbolic sales pitches.When you create a careful game plan for your press releases and you craft them in ways that readers will appreciate, you’ll find press releases to be an invaluable tool in your online marketing mix. Remember, the best Hail Mary is the one that never has to be thrown.
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