Mastering The Skill: Turn Your Press Release Viral And Improve Your SEO
Excellent press releases can turn viral and bring a lot of visibility to your company without paying for advertising. It goes beyond the release of a news item and can improve your SEO, bring new customers, give trust to investors, etc.
2. Why press releases are important?
3. How to write a good press release?
3.1 Have a catchy headline
3.2 Writing your content like a journalist
4. How to promote your press release?
4.1 Where to publish your press release?
4.2 How to write a good email to share your press release?
What is a press release?
The press release is written to be directly used as a whole or in part by journalists who will write a complete article in their way. The press release can appear in both online and offline press editions.
Here is an example of a press release we did recently at GuruWalk to promote one of our new 'pay-what-you-want' tour in Valencia:
Why press releases are important?
Awesome press releases can turn viral and bring more visibility to your website without paying for advertising. Here are some of the benefits of a good press release combined with a sound diffusion:
How to write a good press release?
Have a catchy headline
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Writing your content like a journalist
Could you imagine experiencing in real life the Netflix series 'Narcos'?
This one is catchy, short, and engages the reader.
The European concept of "free walking tours" are expanding around the world as travelers like the idea of paying what they want. At the end of the tour they can choose how much they want to give to the guide, depending on their experience and budget.
The Cali Cartel Tour will take place on Friday and Saturday at 11am and start on Cali's main square. The Pablo Escobar Tour is available on Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 7pm on Medellin's main square. Both tours are in Spanish and English and take about 2 hours.
GuruWalk is a free community platform allowing anyone around the world to create unique and original tours such as these ones inspired by the two most powerful cartels in history.
How to promote your press release?
Where to publish your press release?
- Start by doing a list. List the potential online newspapers and reference websites.
- Look for articles related to your sector. Search with relevant keywords among recent articles on the website related to your business sector.
- Identify the author of the post. When it's possible, write down the name of the journalist that wrote the article. He/She may be interested in your story!
- Look for the author's email. Sometimes it is directly available, sometimes you have to look on Google or Twitter. I recommend this tool allowing 10 free searches and giving you the email of the person you're looking for. Eventually, you can also add them on LinkedIn and asking for their email.
What about general emails (press@..., info@...)? Well, chances are very low that you'll ever receive an answer from them. But you can use these general emails to ask who would be the most relevant person to contact regarding your press release.
So, you have now your email contact list ready? Great! Now it's high time to send your press release, the right way!
How to write a good email to share your press release?
How? There are many options available:
- Hi, 'contact name'! Yes, this one is very basic, but it shows the email is personalized and is not spam. People are keener to open email identifying their name.
- PR: the title of your press release. This is the most common one. Your contact will know you're sending for a press release and can directly look for the information. Don't hesitate to invent a new title. It'll give even more ideas for the journalist to share about it.
- Contact name + asking a question answered by your press release. This one is also very good but could seem like spam if too formal.
Anyway, make sure to adapt your subject according to your contact and to avoid a long subject (it may not be entirely visible).
To know which option works the best, I recommend using an email tracker (like mailtrack or mailtag) and seeing which one has the best opening rate.
- Short. Try to summarize your press release in two or three sentences. You should consider it as an appetizer to click on your full press release.
- Attractive. As we said, we want the contact person to read your press release, so make sure to give the right incentive.
- Start by introducing yourself. A lot of people forget this point as they are obsessed with releasing their news. Introducing yourself will increase reply and interest as it's more personal.
- Mention your contact's name. Of course, you must start by using 'Hi + contact name,' but it's also recommendable to write it another time in your email. Again, it's to make it more personal.
- Choose the best format to send your press release. I prefer sending a Google Doc link with your press release. But be sure you're sending the correct link: it must be public (anyone can access it) and allowing your document to be read (but not to be modified or commented). Don't write your press release in your email. Your contact may find your email too long to start reading it or will quickly get lost between the lines. Moreover, don't attach your press release. Many people are afraid to receive a virus. Don't use other links such as Dropbox or WeTransfer for the virus issue as they don't know what they are downloading. Eventually, Google Doc allows you to modify directly if you notice that something is not correct. And you can also see who is entering your document.
- Finish by asking a question. Don't just send your press release. Ask them if they find your press release interesting. Again, you will be creating a personal relation and encourage a reply.
Sure, massive sending is also an option, and many are using it. But imagine yourself as a journalist receiving tons of emails every day. Would you click on a cold and formal email? No, right? If you want to have a better opening, share, and reply rate, you have to be personal.
Include the reference of a related-article written by the person you're contacting. Can't do better for personalization.
Don't forget to do follow-up (3 maximum) and add links of your press release if it was published on other important websites.
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How do you get featured on big sites??
This would be a complete post, but to make it short, you should have a very interesting and trendy news item (if it's surprising, even better) but also have the right contact. Network is very important, so take time to build your contacts.