Press releases are one of the many effective ways to generate targeted traffic to your website.

Plan on making a little effort to write the press release well. If written well, they will be recieved well, and passed along. If they look like nothing more than self-serving advertisments they will not be published.

The one word key to an effective press release "newsworthy". If it's not newsworthy don't post it. If it is newsworthy then a press release becomes a contribution instead of a shameless advertisement.

What might be newsworthy?

  • Launching a new web site.
  • Introduction of a new product.
  • Development of a new technology.
  • Your company win an award.
  • Your old CEO indicted on felony charges.
  • Your company hires a new CEO.
  • Your company reachs new sales goals.
  • Your dot.com doesn't go belly up in the third quarter.
  • Your company has an interesting mission.
  • You made a significant donation to a charity.

There are many different companies in the business of submitting press releases into the industry. These services can be very useful. They can help target where to send a release and most will also help you write the release. That's theire business. They make money helping you create a press release and then they make money sending your release to various editors and publications. A true and noble profession we're sure. But like any other marketing profession is it also full of sharks ready to make a living off the sweat of your back. Be careful to not let your dreams of riches pull you into a promotions contract which has you running around in the mid day heisting television sets to pawn for your promotions habit. In other words be prudent.

Here are some companies on the web submitting/publishing press release:

  • PR-Web
    Looks to be pretty straight ahead submission process.

  • PressBox
    Looks to be pretty straight ahead submission process.

  • SourceWire
    Inexpensive (not free) press release service. Primarily UK.

  • Comitatus Consulting Inc
    Not familiar with them as yet. The system looks to be a little complex and like it might entail a commitment.

Generalized Press release format.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:
Contact Person
Company Name
Phone #
Fax #
Email
Web site URL address

Headline

(If geographic in nature include City, State, Date):

Opening Paragraph -- make sure to answer the 5 W's (who, what, where, when, why)

Remainder of text -- Should contain relevant information. Try to construct so that a cut at any paragraph leaves meaningful content.

If you must go to more than 1 page use: "-more-"
If you have more than one page at top of next page:
Abbreviated headline (page 2)
Finish text

After finish of (either 1 or 2 page content) restate contact information. Maybe include an invitation such as "For additional information or a sample copy contact:"

Include a tag paragraph summarizing your company or website history.

Traditionallay "# # #" is the indicator of all done.

Before you start submitting your news through third-party services exclusively consider some of the do'es and don'ts of several press release publishers.

  • Send a copy of the press release in email.
  • Don't just send a URL address and expect them to do all the work

  • Post the press release on your web site.
  • Make sure the press release publisher has a URL address for further information. A primary publisher of a press release will not like linking to a news site or to another service. They want to link directly to your website.

  • Don't send old news.
  • Everyone likes to read current events and folks publishing news know this. Think of a press release like a filet mignon. If might start out being great, but a week or two on the shelf and you can't spread any amount of sauce on it to make it better.

  • Make sure the press release is newsworthy.
  • Those who publish a press release are doing it to serve an audience. That audience is served when news is delivered. Somehow for some silly reason few people find shameless self-promotion much fun to read or publish.

  • Start with a brief description of the news, then add distinguishing information about who announced it.
  • Don't try to buildup the announcer of the news first. It really works better to announce the news first.

  • Deal with the facts.
  • Don't try to massively build very, very, amazing, over-the-top, never-to-be-missed, incrediably, laudiatory adjectives and adverbs. It sounds stupid....don't ya think?

  • Wait for newsworthy facts before jumping into a press release.
  • The media want to use news. They just don't know yet that they want to use yours. It is your job to give them good solid newsworthy material in a format which makes their job of selling it to their time/space accounts easy.

Note: The way it works in our view. There are several high end promotion companies that look like they will do a decent job for you. But if you are looking for a deal press release services may not be the best place to look. Problem being: many of the average and below average services have a news media contact list which they spam every time someone hires them to do a promotion.

In our opinion you might do better researching your verticle. Make a list of media and internet contacts in your industry. Send them a cold email yourself. If you are hoping for behind the scenes secret hand shake buddy-buddy relationships to help your press service place a release then must use the good ol' boy network and pay the dollars. The young bucks in the trade have little more clout then you do. And besides doing the research for media contacts in your industry is great background work future article placement, etc.