Five Ways to Increase the Pick-up on Your Press Releases
September 20, 2012
One of the benefits of Social Media is that audiences now expect to find anything they want, when they want it, how they want it. This means that as release writers, we’ve got to squeeze every ounce of meaning out of our releases.
We’ve already looked at one of the main problems of releases – being written for company execs rather than an audience – and how this can be an obstacle in the way of reach and understanding. If pick up is an issue, take a look at how the release is constructed, the messages and most importantly the language used.
Does it have a lot of jargon? Are the messages clear? Are there multimedia and interesting content such as images, video or audio? Any of these will add to a press releases appeal and penetration with the target audience. There are also other techniques that can be used to get it in front of more eyes and make a lasting impression.
Reframe your news in a new way – Always stress the benefits to your audience of your announcements. For instance, if you are writing about a technical upgrade with new or updated specs or features then stress how which problems the customer faces that these will solve.
Be generous with your audience – Social media has changed interaction between customers and businesses for good; and customers have got used to it a lot quicker than most businesses have! They are now used to greater access and material so play to this expectation and give them what they want. Feature stories with popular tips, secrets and best practices; video and images always work well here. It generates positive attention and goodwill through issuing content and material on an ongoing basis. This will help build a loyal and receptive audience for future releases, eager to learn more about you and your company and services or products.
Use ‘Sticky’ content – Journalists love data, tables, facts & figures. General audiences also appreciate data and trust data-based content as more credible. If your content contains reference to stats or results then make them your main theme. Highlight them in the headline if they are positive enough. Research from PR Newswire and others have shown that numbers in headlines generate more views.
A picture is worth a thousands words – No matter what the release or material concerned, the eye is drawn to an image or video first before any headline or phrase. If they are tagged then they will also help with SEO and search rankings. Again, releases with multimedia traditionally get better results, especially as they now contain trackable analytics such as shares, likes, retweets and reposts. The more viral the content, the better the overall pick up for the release.
Focus, Focus, Focus – content and messages that tries to pack in two or three different angles will be confusing for both readers and search engines. Readers will be confused as to what the call to action is and search engines have more difficulty categorizing the content and won’t be able to rank it as highly. Make sure that your releases are specific and relevant to gain the best possible chance of pick up.