So, you have a big launch coming up, you’ve written up a press release to land some PR coverage, and….crickets. Has this ever happened to you? It happens to many business owners, and here’s the thing: press releases are a dime a dozen. Journalists are used to getting inundated with them, and it’s challenging to stand out from the noise when these publications have their fair share of coverage material at their disposal.
Harry Sanders is the founder of StudioHawk, Australia’s largest dedicated SEO agency. He and his team of SEO experts are gearing up to launch Hawk Academy: a digital learning platform for hopeful SEO learners. Of course, a valuable part of SEO ranking, digital marketing, and online visibility is landing PR for your business. That’s why one of the free modules within Hawk Academy is all about press releases and how to make them work for you.
We sat down with Sanders to get the details on how exactly to get traction on a press release on your own, without needing to hire an expensive PR tem to do it for you.
- Make the press release succinct and catchy.
First, Sanders says the content of the press release is critical. “No journalist wants to receive a long, winding story in a press release,” he said. “Rather, use the press release to incite interest and attract attention.” This is done through making the press release quick and to the point, while also making it catchy. You don’t need to give them the backstory and all relevant information — just the story-worthy pieces. Tell them what exciting, juicy details will make an article on your company a must-read for their audience.
- Have additional information ready.
This tip aids the first: if you have additional information prepared in a document, you can rely less on the “who what where” and more on the real story in the press release. Then, if a journalist is interested and wants to know more, send this additional information over. Time is of the essence if a journalist is interested in a story, so make sure you’re ready if (and when) someone is interested! Within this document, include any information a journalist would need: the backstory, about the founders, the dates, and all of the details. Everyone’s life will be easier if the journalist can then just rely on that document to write the article, rather than constantly facilitating a back-and-forth to get important bits of information like the year your company was founded.
- Utilize websites to find journalists info.
Once the press release has been written and reviewed and your additional information document is at the ready, begin to reach out to journalists with the press releases. There are many websites where you can find journalists’ contact information (make sure to find their business or publication email address) and utilize an equally succinct and catchy subject line to pique interest. This is really the bulk of what a PR team does, so knowing these sites and how to email journalists can help your team do all PR efforts in-house.
- Follow up on Twitter.
If you don’t hear back after an adequate amount of time, follow up on Twitter. “Twitter is an easy way to follow up, just to attract their attention back to your email,” said Harry. “However, if they don’t respond after that first follow up, leave it be. It’s better to move on and find someone else than keep incessantly contacting them and burning that bridge.”
By landing press, your company name may rank better in the search engine. Of course, this isn’t an exact science, as Sanders teaches in Hawk Academy that backlinks aren’t everything. However, the quality of the backlinks are, and a top-notch publication covering your story is going to count for something. At the very least, exposure, which isn’t so “least” after all.
To take the free press release module, learn more about Hawk Academy at hawkacademy.co.