Many built environment business owners are familiar with press releases; most have written at least one and sent it to a local magazine or newspaper. Though, there is more to an effective press release than the information contained therein. It’s how you write it, how you optimize it, and how you distribute it. Here are some things to bear in mind when the next order comes up, some things to avoid, and a few tips on how to make the most of your press release, beginning with the first line. 

Write a Draft of Your Press Release

1. Avoid writing in the first-person, except where permitted via direct quotation. 
2. Keep it short, 500 words is ideal and get to the point within the first sentence. The last thing you want to do is lose readers because they have no idea what the release is about. 
3. Adjectives are okay but try not to overuse them. Remember, it’s a press release, not a sales pitch, so don’t draw the readers away from the information with extraneous embellishments, or personal opinions. 
4. Do not assume that everyone who reads it will be familiar with the industry-specific terminology. Ensure that it’s reader friendly. 
5. When you’re finished, look it over. Don’t make the mistake of sending a typo to a thousand people. 

All Public Relations Should Contain Newsworthy Content 

1. Ensure that your story is newsworthy. 
2. Is your content unique and engaging? 
3. Ensure that your content raises emotion within your target audience. 
4. Will it solve a problem or bring important issues to light? 
5. Press releases are factual. This does not mean that they cannot be powerful. A 500-word press release can pack a serious punch, especially if it relates to contemporary issues. Draw small comparisons within your release that highlight the major issues that the release of such an item, or items, might solve, or highlight. 

Search Engine Optimize Press Releases For Keywords

1. Use relevant keywords, a phrase that readers are liable to type into a free search engine looking for related news. 
2. Use keywords in both the headline and the body of the content. Remember to use your keywords as the anchor text for relevant hyperlinks, like links to your blog or your social networking page. Try not to overuse the keywords, as it puts a strain on your visibility. 
3. Use file-sharing platforms to create engaging videos with the link to your press release. As the video is redistributed, the release is distributed with it. As your influencers, or users in your network who have a bigger network than you do, to spread the word on your behalf. Most will comply. 
4. Use SEO to your advantage by posting a link to your press release on the Homepage of your website. Make certain to link back to your site from within the textual content of the release. 

Distribute Your Press Release Using a Service Like PR Newswire

1. E-mail your release to the contacts in your target audience. Email is the first step to garnering interest in your release. 
2. Often, press releases are blocked by spam filters, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Sometimes all it takes is hearing a human voice lend credit to what you’ve sent out, and informing them that you did send it out may be the only way they see it. 
3. Ensure that you distribute the release to the right audience and that the information that you present in the release is relevant to what consumers want to see. Use tact in your release timing, as it should vary with circumstance. Are there certain hours within which your content is redistributed most often on social media platforms? Gauge the needs of your target audience and time your release to satisfy those needs. Remember, a press release is factual, but the relevance of the information contained therein, as well as the visibility that it enjoys, will ultimately determine its success.

About Michael Conway

I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition.

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