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March 17, 2018
24-7 Press Release Newswire recognizes that writing a press release may not be an easy undertaking. This holds particularly true if you have never written one before.
This article shares some answers to questions we have received from our customers over the years, and we hope they will help you to understand the best ways to approach press release writing.
If you would like a press release template, or information on how to write a press release, check out this article within our Knowledge Base "How to Write a Press Release - A Press Release Template Example".
Press Releases, Advertorials and Articles - Differences You Need to be Aware of.
Sometimes publications won't publish press release information because the releases aren't written using standard practices. So here are some guidelines to help you avoid this situation.
When you submit a press release with 24-7 Press Release Newswire, your news is reviewed by human editorial in our office to ensure quality content for our audience. Most major press release distribution companies, including PR Newswire and Businesswire will follow a similar protocol. When your press release is reviewed, we typically look for major typos, links within your press release, and a number of other criteria. By far, the most important pieces we look at include general content, style and the readability of your news.
As previously mentioned in our article, "How to Write a Press Release," the review of your press release typically will include questions like "Is there proper attribution in the headline or within your press release." Attribute where your information comes from or what makes it a fact. By just stating a fact without attribution leaves you open to the feared question: "Says who?"
More about attribution may be found in this article over at Business Wire.
We also look at the news angle you are writing about and the general style.
There is a big difference between a press release, an advertorial and an article. This is a topic that more people need to be educated about and why we have written this.
We see a large number of press releases that have been written like an advertisement. The press release does not include any attribution, includes key words like Sale, % discount and free in the headline and worst of all is not of any news value to a journalist looking for a meaningful business story. Save your advertising for Google AdWords.
The second type of information that we see trying to be published as a press release is an article. This practice is used by some to try and game the system with back links, which may have worked several years ago, but not in today's world. While these articles will likely not be published, even if they were, they would look very out of place. The reason they would look out of place is because the article does not contain any attribution, limited value to the media and in some cases may be a rant. Save these for a blog post - they are not a press release.
Do Press Release Companies Guarantee Publication?
There is a reason why on a cup of McDonald's coffee there is a warning about the beverage being hot. Similar to that example, there is a reason why we are including this question in our informational piece. Believe it or not there are some people out there that believe just because they submit their press release to 24-7 Press Release Newswire, it will be published in major outlets like The New York Times.
We understand many customers couldn't possibly have knowledge of the PR industry, so let us explain how getting your story published works. With 24-7 Press Release Newswire, you submit your press release to us. Which press release package you have chosen for your distribution will determine what outlets your press release is made available to. When your news is distributed to journalists (included the Associated Press, or PR Newswire, etc.), at that point it is up to the individual journalist as to whether your piece of information will be considered appropriate and newsworthy within their niche. If they consider the piece to be newsworthy, they may contact you to further the story, or may possibly take the information you have provided through the press release and re-write part of it.
In some cases, bloggers may take your story and run with it, or post the piece to their blog.
So why do we (and some other press release companies) send you an email with links that you can click on and see your press release posted on various sites? Because these sites are 24-7 Press Release "partner sites" that will publish everything that we send them. Just because they publish what we send does not mean that major mainstream media outlets will do the same.
How Long Should a Press Release be?
Typically, the optimal length of a press release is between 350 - 550 words. The longer your press release is (once you go over the 550 words), the less chance it has of being picked up, read or republished. Some journalists we have talked with have mentioned "textual shock," where they view a press release and see a wall of text over 1,000 words. This also holds true for a press release that is too short--where the press release may be lacking important elements. This could affect pickup within search engines as well. A shorter press release (but not too short) also has a better chance of being used to fill a column in a newspaper or magazine.
What is the Ideal Number of Links in a Press Release?
We typically recommend no more than 3-4 links within your press release. After that it starts to become "spammy," does not look great, and may be flagged by search engines, which you definitely do not want.
What is the Best Day for Distribution of my Press Release?
This is always a loaded question. Typically, we will recommend Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. We have found that in the business world (journalists included), many will mentally check out early on a Friday, leaving Monday as a "catch up day." We do not advise sending out a press release over the weekend as a majority of people in the business world still work Monday through Friday. Again, this includes journalists. This does not mean to say it includes everyone, just the majority.
Should I Bother to Include an Image in my Press Release?
Yes, yes and yes! Including images within your press release is absolutely pertinent. If you can include a video or a link to a YouTube video within your press release as well, you are looking at a double bonus.
Here is why: Many people are visual and images break up text making a press release more interesting to read; particularly if you are talking about product shots. Here is an example of a press release in the housing industry that has some excellent professional images. Your press release will certainly attain more visibility with great visuals than a press release that is text only.
Difference in Press Release Distribution Companies Pricing
In the press release service industry, you will typically get what you pay for. For instance, when you pay $750+ with one of the major wire services, you receive some excellent statistics and reporting of where your press release was sent, as well as a distribution report. There are some places that will charge a low monthly fee for unlimited submissions, however do not expect to receive a very comprehensive report, if one is provided. Many of the bigger press release distribution companies pay for wire services, like the Associated Press, or PR Newswire to name a couple. Although 24-7 Press Release Newswire is not the most expensive nor the least expensive, feedback from our clients is we provide one of the best "bang for buck news distribution" in the industry.
Tips to Finding a Press Release Service Company
Typically, word of mouth is always the best gauge; particularly if the testimonial comes from someone that is in a very close industry as yours. If you are new to the business and do not know anyone that uses a press release as a part of their marketing strategy, here are a few tips to consider.
1. How long has the company been in business?
2. Does the business have any ratings, like the BBB?
3. Does the company provide an actual address and phone number prominently on their website?
4. When you call the business do they pick up the phone or if you leave a message, do they call you back within a reasonable time? (2-3 hrs).
5. Can you find their press releases online?
6. How knowledgeable are they when you call?
These are just a few points to consider when looking at the vast array of press distribution companies out there.
These are five significant press release tips or FAQ's that should help you on your way with a successful campaign. Remember to always keep your information newsworthy. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer, journalist or audience and ask yourself if what you are sending out, would it be of interest to them? If not, revise your content and ensure it will be something that is of significant interest. And remember, the headline is the most important part. This may determine whether your email gets opened or deleted.