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Create Press Releases That Get Attention

By Dean Wiltse

If you operate a website, press releases are useful, cost-effective ways of publicizing and promoting your website. Moreover, they can generate regular interest in and traffic to your site, at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.

Press releases are typically one page, engaging news stories announcing or promoting newsworthy events, written in a distinct, industry-accepted format. Press releases don’t cost much to create, but they do require some investment of your time and effort learning how to write them, where to submit them for publication, and more importantly, discerning what’s newsworthy enough to publicize.

You’ll find that they’re effective and low cost tools for announcing inaugurations and grand openings, workshops, shows, product debuts and other unique or out of the ordinary events. In some uses, they’re as effective as traditional advertising, but at a fraction of the cost. In addition, you might generate enough interest with the publication’s editor for him to seek an interview with you. Advertising can’t beat that.

However, press releases are also an effective method of generating continuous or regular interest in your website, particularly if you combine their use with interactive content attraction strategies on your site, such as on-line polls or online surveys.

For example, if you already use on-line polls to attract traffic on your website, you’re collecting a significant amount of quantitative data as a result, not to mention opinions and discussions arising from any forum discussions you’ve linked to your polls. This is a sure-fire topic for a press release. Start with well-formulated polls with strong response rates, regarding topics relevant to your site users and the target audiences of the publications, and then announce your results on a regular basis with press releases.

Use the releases to report on the on the quantitative data you’ve collected. Provide your opinions or feedback on their significance and use the results to back up them up, then mention any discussions generated on your forums resulting from the poll. Whenever possible, to take the opportunity to mention other features of your site as they relate to the topic of the press release.

Remember to keep these five quick tips in mind when using press releases to generate more website traffic:

1. Know your intent

You’re not writing an advertisement, you’re writing interesting stories for publication about your website’s events and interactive content. Your poll results and their implications are news. Your press releases should be engaging, but it’s not a fluff piece. Write them with substance.

2. Keep it relevant!

The releases must be appealing to your audience, beginning with the editors of the publications to which you’ve sent the release. You must first catch the eye of the reporters or editors who’ll first read the releases and make a decision about their newsworthiness. Beyond that, however, your releases must be relevant and interesting to potential users and visitors of your website. Clarify the benefits of reading your press releases-and visiting your website-for the editor and your target audience through the significance of your press release topics.

3. It’s news!

Make your points and include as many details as you can. Try to include quotes from participants in the polls or poll discussions that you’re publicizing, indicating their opinions, perceptions, and what it means to them. This allows the editors and the target audiences to relate to the news items more easily.

4. Learn the basics

Make sure you follow accepted formats, such as standard components of any press release. Be sure to use proper line spacing, spelling and grammar. Your headlines and content should be appealing but factual. Avoid “fluff” and hype and do your best to attract your readers with real value.

5. Develop a distribution list

Compile a solid list of publications that your target audience likely reads, to which you can distribute your releases. Pick your targets effectively, because their editors will also judge your press releases’ suitability for their publication as they read them. Over time, editors will learn that your press releases are newsworthy, and that will help you create a good reputation with them.

Press releases are a good way to promote your significant events on your site. Moreover, they can also increase your site’s traffic and interest in the public eye by using use them to draw attention to your interactive content, such as polls and poll-driven forum discussions.

Dean Wiltse is CEO of Search Engine Internet Marketing (SEIM, Inc.), a search marketing firm specializing in real estate, travel and politics.

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Amy Hall says:

    I am new to this field but I want to become a freelance writer. In searching for potential job opportunities I discovered how many companies are looking for writers who can conceive press releases. I began my research on the topic and I arrived here. These are wonderful advice. If you could speak more about the news agencies it would be perfect, although I understand this is not really the topic of your site.

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