Many today don’t even know what a press release is, so here goes: it’s information that is garnered for a client usually by a journalist (if you’re lucky), and then sent out to international press releases distribution service, who in turn send it to search engines and approved email addresses.
It is mainly websites that will use press releases and they usually promote an event, product or service. It’s normally company specific, so the website is probably run by or for the company and whoever is used to produce the site will pick up releases sent to it.
Press Releases and Disseminating Information
The press releases are produced by writers and journalists on behalf of the client by a PR (public relations) company. Normally accompanying the text are images, videos, and other multimedia, so the service provided today is a far cry from what they did in the past.
Apart from sending out these press releases, they also send out tweets alerting the public and companies about what news the company wants to disseminate.
- The general premise is that the press release will add to the company’s brand within their demographic, or an added sector is that is what is being targeted. So, the main purpose of the release would be:
- To inform the media about an event or new product and service, hoping the media will propel this knowledge further. More than likely it is various bloggers who will come across this news and promote within their social networks.
- To inform the media what the company’s business is all about, hoping that it will catch the eye of a journalist or blogger who will investigate and write more on the story.
- To promote the company’s business online via blogs, websites and social networks
Who, When, How, Why?
If you are writing press releases, think of writing them like this: Who, When, How, and Why. You’ve got to grab the attention of people, and you’ve got to do it quickly.
The amount of information that is being released online every minute is staggering. So, if you’re not doing your job properly, that incredible story won’t grab anyone’s attention.
Also, remember the attention span of the viewer is about six seconds before they click onto something else. You must make something sound so riveting (even when it is isn’t) while still being credible and trustworthy.
Remember that last word. If any outlet publishes your story and it contains false information, you are for the high jump. No one will ever use a story that comes out of that agency ever again.
The Internet is very unforgiving. There’s just too much information and too little time to process it all.