Feb 14 ' 19 - by admin - Tutorials - 0
How To Use A Press Release To Announce An Upcoming Contest
Business owners have been using contests to get consumers excited about their products for as long as they've had products to sell. Holding a contest is a great way to generate buzz, drive traffic to your site, build an email list, and inspire goodwill among your customers. One of the easiest ways to get the word out to your audience is to use press releases to announce your contest.
Why? Because people LOVE TO WIN FREE STUFF. It's simple human nature.
And great news! We've made the job simple for you by creating a Press Release Template for announcing a contest. Simply copy the template below into a clean doc, follow the prompts for the details to include in each section, and drop in the information relevant to your business's contest.
Follow The Rules For A Successful Contest
If you want a new way to engage your customers, blog readers, Facebook fans, or Twitter followers, running a contest is a fantastic way to get people excited.
When you're organizing your contest, particularly if you plan to use social platforms to promote it, it's important to follow the rules for each site. For example, did you know it's against Facebook policies to ask your followers to "share" your contest with friends? You can, however, ask followers to "like" or "comment" on your post to enter. Alternatively, you can direct them to a landing page to provide more details to enter to win.
Understanding the rules of any platform you're using to promote your contest is important, as you will need to be able to provide clear instructions for entering as part of your press release.
The type of contest you run will largely depend on your business and what your customers and followers consider a valuable "prize." For example, restaurant-goers may appreciate the opportunity to win a free meal, while a marketing agency's followers may be motivated by the chance to win a free user experience (UX) audit.
Some ideas include:
Regardless of the type of contest you host, make it clear:
- Hashtag and selfie contests
- Caption the photo
- Video/photo submission
- Fan of the Week
- Trivia, quiz or puzzle
- Facebook Live contest (announce when you'll be live to provide a clue/code/etc. for a chance to win)
- Fan photo contest (ask followers to vote for their fave!)
- How to enter
- How winners will be selected
- How winners will be notified
Contest Press Release Template
Onto the good stuff! This template can also be found in the "Resources" section when you log into your free Online PR Media account. Along with this template, there are 11 other press release templates for a variety of newsworthy topics.
For the purpose of this blog, we've beefed up this template to provide more in-depth instructions about what to say when announcing a contest. All of the press release templates on Online PR Media provide helpful step-by-step instructions to make writing your news release quick and simple! If you haven't already seen this feature on the newly designed site, check it out here: https://www.media.onlineprnews.com/resources
Enter your 3 primary keywords below. You may choose to add longtail keywords as well. Use this area to keep track of your keywords as you use them. Use at least one in the title and 1-2 in the summary. Use each keyword at least once in the body.
Title: 100 characters or less (use 1 keyword, as close to the beginning as possible)
Summary: 175 characters or less (use 1-2 additional keywords)
Paragraph 1: Load this paragraph with the most important details about your contest. Describe the prize, and reveal who is giving the prize away. Explain who is eligible to enter the contest and the date on which the winner will be chosen. Also, mention how the winner will be announced (social media, your blog, by email, etc.). Use an anchor text link to link your company name to your website’s homepage.
Paragraph 2: Provide instructions on how the reader can enter your contest. If the instructions are complicated, this might require two paragraphs.
Paragraph 3: Provide additional details about the prize. For example, describe its dimensions, explain what it does, and disclose how much it would cost if the participant purchased it at a store. If you're giving away several prizes, list them in bullet point format. Rank the list according to how the prizes will be assigned to the winners (1st place, 2nd place, etc.).
Paragraph 4: Include a quote from someone at your company. The quote should mention how the participant will benefit from entering your contest in ways that extend beyond just winning the prize. (Example: "Each participant not only has the chance to win a home treadmill, but will also receive our information-packed monthly newsletter Simple Fitness For Busy People.")
Use the following format for the quote:
"Quote," said Name of the person being quoted, Title of the person being quoted of company name. (http://www.companywebsite.com) Make the person’s name an anchor text link linking to their LinkedIn profile, if applicable.
Example: "Each participant not only has the chance to win a home treadmill, but will also receive our information-packed monthly newsletter Simple Fitness For Busy People," said Stephen Noble, President of Simple Fitness Inc. (http://www.simplefitnesswebsite.com)
Paragraph 5: Describe your company's background. Include details about how it serves your target audience. Highlight the ways in which your company is better than your competitors.
Paragraph 6: Include another quote from someone at your company. The quote should underscore why you're excited to run the contest. Mention how doing so will build awareness around your product, an item that will provide value or help your target audience solve a problem.
Paragraph 7: Reiterate when the winners will be chosen and explain how they'll be notified. Then, include a link to a page on your site that provides all of the information that's relevant to your contest.
About Your Company: Your Company (http://www.companywebsite.com)
Include a brief description about how your company serves your target audience and highlight the things that set you apart from your competitors (i.e. your unique selling proposition). Mention specific benefits your customers receive by working with your company.
Examples Of Effective Contest Press Releases
A casual stroll through the archives of press releases we host at Online PR Media shows how popular contests are as a promotional tool. Reviewing some of the press releases that have been written in the past to announce contests is a great learning experience! Here are a few examples:
Have you used press releases to announce a contest for your company? If so, did you include any details that we didn't mention in the above template? Do you have any questions about writing a contest press release? Let us know in the comments section!
Jan 17 ' 19 - by admin - Tutorials - 0
Tips For Using A Press Release To Promote Your Book
You’ve spent months, maybe even years, slaving at your keyboard. You’ve overcome countless cases of writer’s block. You’re researched, written, and revised. You’ve gone back and forth with an editor. Finally, the time has come: your book is being published. The time and energy that have gone into your book deserve nothing but the best chance for success. Now comes the key question: how are you going to sell it?
While there are no shortage of companies offering their services to help market your book, these services are often extremely costly with no hard results guaranteed. Conversely, online press releases are a simple, flexible, and cost effective way to help promote your new book. Here are some tips for using online press releases to walk consumers through the buying journey to maximize your sales.
You finished your new book - but no one can buy it if they don’t know about it! Including a press release as part of your launch strategy will help your book stand out. By their nature, press releases are of limited length - meaning you’ll be forced to pack a punch into 500-800 words, long enough to get the point across but also keep the audience’s attention. Also unique to the press release is the tone in which it’s written (refresher available here). With a press release, your book release becomes an urgent and important event.
What to include:
We recommend using the following format for your launch press release:
- Headline – less than 100 characters; should grab attention and include the author name and book title.
- Summary – limited to 175 characters, this is the 1-2 sentences summary that should build off of the headline.
- Dateline – location and date of the press release
- Intro – as an author, you know the importance of an introduction. Be concise, make it interesting, and make your audience want to keep reading.
- Quote – this should make you relateable, but also share insight into the content of your book.
- About You – a quick intro to who you are and what compelled or qualified you to write your book. Keep this short and relevant. You can add more in your boilerplate.
- About Your Book – quick summary of your book in 1-2 impactful paragraphs.
- Contact Details – this info is required by Online PR Media so that journalists and news media representatives can easily contact you.
- Call To Action – where can your book be found and why should someone buy it.
- Boilerplate - include a little more about you, your accreditations, your website, and anything else that can add to your credibility.
Book Signings & Other Events
If you’ll be participating at an event to promote your book, like a book signing, expert panel, or book fair, a press release is a good tool to help get the word out. The standardized format of a press release lends itself to sharing events and building a sense of importance around them.
What to include:
Especially important in marketing events is making sure the important questions are answered: who, what, when, where, and why.
- Who addresses the names of anyone participating.
- What includes a little info about the event itself.
- When is, of course, the date and time of the event.
- Where should include the specific location, i.e. the auditorium on West Campus of Middletown University
- Why should include an explanation of the significance of the event; why someone may want to attend.
If you’ll be doing a signing at a bookstore or with other authors, be sure to list all other parties involve, and share the press release with them once published.
We already know that reviews have a huge impact on purchase habits. In fact, according to G2Crowd, nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase (Spiegel Research Center, 2017). A review can carry even more weight if it comes from someone who is considered an authority on the subject. Did your book recieve a good review from a reputable journalist, subject matter expert, or other trusted source? Share it with your audience in a press release.
What to include:
This type of press release should focus on the reviewer’s opinion of the book and what makes the reviewer’s opinion credible. Be sure to include:
- A brief summary of the critic’s review.
- Who the reviewer is and when their opinion matters.
- A quote from the reviewer that contains strong positive feedback on your work.
- Boilerplates for both you and the source who reviewed your work, specifically listing anything that shows your featured review comes from a credible source.
According to Hubspot, newsjacking is the practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success. Basically, if your new publication somehow relates to a (very) current event, you can ride the wave by using a timely press release to either share your expertise on the subject, or relate your fictional work to the event or issue.
For example, if there were recent news related to strange weather patterns expected in the coming year, and your new book is on the impact of global warming, you could write a press release about how your new book can offer insight into the science behind the expected weather pattern. If your book is a science fiction novel about an apocalyptic future after severe climate change, you may also be able to relate the book to current news via press release.
What to include:
The key here is not to directly promote your book, but to explain the relationship you and your book has to the event. If your book is nonfiction, be sure to include any degrees, certifications, previously published works, or affiliations that would lend to your credibility on the subject at hand.
Share, Share, And Share Some More
It’s not just what you say - or even just how you say it! It’s also where you share it. Once your press release is picked up by news and media sites, you’ll have dozens of options of sources to share from. After you have found your favorite couple outlets, make the most out of your press releases by sharing them via any media platform where you have presence.
Don’t forget about:
Remember that sharing across social media doesn’t end in front of your immediate circle. If you’re an established author, your excited fans will be delighted to share with their circles. If you’re a first-time author, don’t be afraid to ask for additional shares from your supportive friends, family, and professional circle. Sharing is caring!
- Your website - if you’ve been updating your fans on the progress of your book, they’ll be excited to read the press release announcing its completion and publication, any events you'll be attending, and peer reviews.
- Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Professional social platforms like LinkedIn.
- Your monthly newsletter, if you have one.
- Personalized emails to family, friends, and fans.
- Personally reaching out to media sites and review sites
Online PR Media Makes It Easy To Promote Your New Book
Press releases are a simple, cost effective tool that can have a big impact. For more tips on writing good press releases, check out our blog. When you’re ready to promote your book with a press release, you can find our distribution packages here.
Jan 03 ' 19 - by admin - Tutorials - 0
Write Better Press Releases In 2019
It’s the New Year, and you’re feeling ambitious! You’ve mastered the basics in How to Write an SEO Press Release, and now, you’re ready to bring your press release writing skills to the next level. In the ever-evolving world of search engine optimization and online marketing strategies, knowing and applying the latest tactics to your writing is critical if you want your press releases to stand out. Here, you’ll find the latest tips to stay ahead of the game so you can write stronger press releases and make the most of them in the publicity climate of 2019.
Headlines Still Matter
It’s been said many times before, but it bears repeating: your press release headline matters. Your headline is the first thing people see. Whether or not your audience reads your press release greatly depends on the strength of your title. Is it intriguing? Is it relevant? According to Holly Chessman, VP Marketing at Glowtouch:
“If your title doesn't catch me from the first moment, I won't read your release. Make sure your title contains appropriate keywords and some good, solid meat. Moreover, the more interesting the wording of the title, the more likely I'll be to share it. That doesn't mean clickbait – it just has to show that the piece is providing valuable information that it would behoove me to share.” (Forbes)
So a great headline means increased reads and increased shares. How do you make it intriguing? When creating your headline, Cision’s suggestions include:
Think you’ve got a solid headline? Why not test your score? Run your title through CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, which rates your proposed headline according to power, likelihood to convert, and digestibility.
- Using an active voice.
- Writing your headline as if it were on the front page of a newspaper.
- Using alliteration (brush up on this poetic strategy here).
- Writing your headline last.
Write Using The Inverted Pyramid
In their post on How to Write the Best Press Releases With 21 Examples and 7 Templates, CoSchedule.com reminds writers that a good press release follows the inverted pyramid framework: broad, big picture and important information comes first, followed by more specific, detailed information toward the end. The idea is to introduce with the essential information first so that the reader (a journalist, for instance) can determine that this story is newsworthy without needing to search for key information. Once the reader is hooked and has decided your story is important, further detail can be introduced.
Let’s use a merger between two small businesses, Company A and Company B, as an example. In the first paragraph, the big picture facts should be presented - usually, the “who” and “what” of the story. In this case, the “who” includes Company A and Company B, and the “what” is the new partnership between the companies along with any immediate big picture impact, like the number of new jobs created in the community as a result.
Next, you can move into the “where” and “when,” followed by some of the less urgent or important facts surrounding the merger. This is also the appropriate place to include a quote from a figure involved in the move. The “when” may include the date the merger will become or became official. The “where” to share here would be the location(s) of of the businesses as it stands, as well as the location(s) that will exist after the merger. The quote included should be a concise thought from a leader from one or both companies that informs the reader, frames the news in the desired manner, and lends a personal tone to an otherwise more formal piece.
Finally, you can address the “why,” “how,” and other details of your event in the last paragraphs of your press release. The ”why” may include supporting information about what made the merger a good decision for both companies and the “how” could include logistics surrounding the merger, if it's beneficial for the public to know. Finally, additional details could include other helpful, but less important information about the merger that readers may find interesting or useful, but not “story altering.” This is also why boilerplates appear last on a press release.
Timing Is Everything
While having a catchy headline and sharing the right information in the appropriate order is certainly necessary, timing is now also an important factor to consider when sharing your press releases. This includes both timing as it relates to the subject of the press release, as well as the time and date you choose for publication.
First, news is called news for a reason; no matter its significance, it only maintains relevance for so long before something “newer” happens and detracts from its attention. Thus, it’s best to publish your press release as close to the related event as possible. Waiting too long to publish once the event is over will result in lost audience, who may see your event date and think “old news!”
Next, there is strategy to the actual time of day and day of week that press releases publish for best results. According to CoSchedule, the best times to publish are Tuesdays between 9am and 10am, followed by Mondays between 8am and 9am. This will maximize the likelihood that your story is picked up and published by good sources as quickly as possible.
It’s All In The Follow-up
One of the most important things to remember after your press release has been published is: it doesn’t end there. In fact, some of the very best benefits of an online press release come from what you do after it is published. Once your story is picked up, you’ll have your pick of sources from which to share your press release! Here are some great places to share your press releases to ensure they reach as much of your desired audience as possible.
The power of social media is well known at this point - but suffice it so say: it’s not going anywhere in 2019. According to Statista, a whopping 77% of Americans have a social media profile - that’s a huge potential audience. Sharing your press release from your business or personal profile along with a quick, thoughtful post will accomplish two things. First, it will allow your followers to easily access all of the information they need without exceeding your character limit. Second it will give your followers something succinct and objective to share with their circles.
Finally, a press release makes a great temporary add-on to social profiles - often the first exposure a potential follower has to you or your brand. Linking to a press release with your newsworthy activity is a simple way to make a stellar first impression and show your credibility.
If you have a website, include a link to the press release and a personal intro on your news/announcements page. The objective tone of press releases creates an air of formality that will lend credence to your words, since press releases are stylistically similar to news articles.
If you have a monthly e-newsletter, link back to your press release to share your announcement with your contacts. This will save valuable space in your newsletter and encourage readers to click through to your press release, giving it social currency to boost organic SEO.
Don’t be afraid to reach out directly to journalists, publicists, or editors who work with relevant publications, asking them to share your news. Include a personal note about why your news is a good fit for their publication and audience. As an added bonus, since you have reached out to them directly, your contact information is readily available should they have follow-up questions.
Online PR Media Is Your Partner In Success
Ready to get the most out of your press releases in the coming year? With 10 years of experience and 230,000 published press releases, Online PR Media is your partner in success.With multiple distribution packages at a variety of price points, you can easily and cost-effectively include press releases as part of your 2019 digital marketing strategy.
Nov 29 ' 18 - by admin - Tutorials - 0
How To Promote Your Press Release On Social Media
Did you know that hitting "submit" on your press release is just the first step in sharing your company's news? For maximum reach and exposure, social media is an invaluable tool for promoting your press release and getting it in front of your target audience.
We've previously talked about what to do after submitting your press release. Now, let's take a specific look at leveraging the power of social media to promote your release and share your news far and wide.
First, Grab A Relevant Link
While you may be eager to share your news with your followers, it can sometimes take a minute for news and media sites to pick up stories. Wait 24 hours after submitting your press release, then go to your Dashboard on Online PR Media, and view the report for the release you want to share. You'll see a list of full-page reprints where your press release has been published. This is why Online PR Media is such a valuable partner in your press release distribution strategy; the report you get for each press release is a veritable goldmine of links that prove your press release is getting noticed.
You'll want to share your press release from a relevant media source. For example, if you're a national company reporting financial earnings and the Wall Street Journal runs your release, that's amazing! Use that reprint as a tool to build credibility with your audience. Likewise, if you're a construction company in Buffalo, New York and you want locals to know about your emergency services following a storm, look for your press release on a local outlet, like The Buffalo News to show that you're a local business.
Tell Your Followers Why They Should Care About Your News
How you share your news on social media will largely depend on your audience/followers. Are they customers following you for deal alerts? Investors keeping tabs on you? A mix of both?
While you can do a single post that simply announces the news and shares the link, a better strategy might be to segment your followers and personalize the message based on why each audience should care. As with all online content, assume that your followers always want to know, "what's in it for me?" If in sharing your news you answer that question - tell them why they benefit from the news - they're more likely to click, read and take action.
Here's an example: say you're an online retailer. You have a mix of followers on social media, and you want to share your recent press release about third quarter earnings being up 25% over last year.
Your investors or shareholders care because you making more money means they're making more money. And maybe your customers care because you're taking some of that profit and putting it into a new automation system that will significantly reduce shipping costs.
In this case you could create separate posts for each audience to announce your news in a relevant way.
Consider Paid Social Advertising
Deciding if you want to pay to have your news reach more people on social will depend on the topic. Using the example above, it probably wouldn't make sense to create a paid ad just to announce your earnings report. However, dropping your shipping costs as a result of those earnings could be a major draw for new and repeat customers.
All social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram offer a paid element. The beauty of paid social advertising is that you can target your audience on a very granular level: by location, demographics, interests, etc. Meaning, your ad is only shown to your ideal customer, giving you tight control over advertising costs while sharing your news with the people who are most likely to take action.
Start A Conversation
Remember, social media is a form of two-way marketing. Don't toss up posts and share your press release for the sake of meeting your daily quota. Share your news because it matters to your audience. Ask a question. Invite opinions. Reply to commenters and let them see there are real people behind the news. This is also a great opportunity to be more candid and share additional information that wasn't succinct enough for a news release, but that adds value to the story.
So let's recap. After you hit submit on your press release, it's time to leverage the power of social media to continue sharing your news. This is accomplished in four simple steps:
How do you share your news on social media? Log in and leave a reply below - we'd love to hear from you!
- Share a relevant link - Grab a link from your news release published on a local, national or industry-specific news site, depending on the topic.
- Tell followers why they should care - Craft your social media post with your audience in mind. Consider segmenting followers and creating separate posts to keep it relevant.
- Consider paid advertising - Reach a greater audience beyond your followers with a paid ad promoting your news.
- Start a conversation - Invite followers to comment on your news, and be prepared to respond and keep the conversation open and engaging.
Aug 12 ' 18 - by admin - Tutorials - 0
Online PR Media’s 6-Step Press Release Strategy
Something exciting has happened at your company - a new product launch? a sale or promotion? an award? a new website feature? - you want to share the news! But, how do you get the word out? Using a press release
for a newsworthy event is a great way to showcase these developments. Before digging in though, you need to have a plan.
Not sure where to start? We've put together a six-step plan to help you integrate ongoing press releases into your marketing plan. Once you master the process, you'll be able to grind out exceptional press releases in no time - dare we say monthly? - to leverage this valuable strategy.
Step 1: Understanding The Value Of A Press Release In Your Marketing Plan
Press releases are more than just a simple means of sharing your news; when used as a strategic part of your online marketing plan, press releases help to increase your online visibility, market your brand, and reach a greater audience.
In addition to increasing brand exposure, press releases also have significant SEO value. Building links, increasing web traffic through organic search (i.e. when potential customers search for keywords used in your release), and adding social currency, all work together to improve your site's overall rankings.
Step 2: Identifying Your Goal In Using A Press Release
When thinking about sharing your organization's news, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is "what is the goal of using a press release?" What kind of attention do you want for your news? Do you want to increase traffic to your website, get traction on social media, or both?
For example, a press release can be used to highlight a brand new product that you’ve developed, or a sale that only lasts for a couple of days. In the first case, your goal might be to drive traffic to your website to the new product landing page. In the latter, your goal might be to drum up a ton of interest on social and get people sharing the news of the sale to ensure its success.
Knowing your goal ahead of time makes writing your press release and defining your audiences much simpler.
Step 3: Defining Your Audience
Defining your target audience helps your release get traction in the proper media channels (i.e. reaching potential customers on mainstream media sites, versus reaching investors on financial news sites).
Creating a list of key audiences, deciding if you need to segment your lists and write multiple releases for different audiences, and understanding the scope of the publications where your release will go are key considerations in the PR planning process.
For example, if you announce a sale, the audience should clearly be your end customers. Announcing this same sale to your vendors and investors doesn’t make sense and can lead to lower engagement with the news. In the same light, announcing a new vendor partnership isn’t a detail that customers need to know, but rather your board and investors should know so that they are aware of the new trajectory of the company.
Step 4: Choosing Appropriate Channels
After defining the target audience for your release, the next step is deciding how you will communicate with them. WIll you use an online PR distribution partner? Or, do you have an up to date list of media partners and plan to personally reach out to pitch your news?
When choosing channels, it's important to understand how syndication
works. At Online PR Media, we have hundreds of partnerships with reputable media and news sites. Through our strategic partnerships, we’ve already done the work of sourcing the best industry-specific channels for your news, which can save countless hours on your end. When using Online PR Media
to syndicate your news, you will have the option to select up to seven categories during the upload process -- this is where you'll fine tune the channels to ensure your news goes to sites that are relevant to the topic and industry.
Step 5: Writing Your Press Release
Writing the release
itself is obviously one of the most important steps in the development of a PR plan! However, writing the release should be calculated, and should include relevant keywords, links and content that will increase your SEO footprint as well as human engagement.
Make sure to include current media contact information, lead with a strong title and summary, as this is often the information that is pulled and displayed in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), include impactful quotes from people close to the news (i.e. a quote from a customer about how a new product made their job easier is more impactful than a generic quote from an organization's CEO), and always include links to sources you cite.
The best releases also include content that would be relevant to use in other media channels at later times. For example, writing about topics that you could share to your Facebook or LinkedIn pages will save time down the road when you’re looking for media and marketing content for your social media strategy.
We've created an in-depth source for writing SEO press releases so that they're optimized for both search engines and human readers. Check it out here
Step 6: Optimizing The Timing Of Your Release
Understanding the right time to deploy
the release can have a significant impact on your results. We recommend sending Tuesday through Thursday in the morning, and avoiding Monday and Friday unless the news is time-sensitive.
Of course, once you hit 'publish' you will be eager to know where your press release went! Here at Online PR Media, we offer robust reporting features with interactive components to help you understand the impact of your release and specifically what sites published your news. Reviewing and understanding this reporting can help you develop even better strategies for future releases.
Online PR Media Is Always Here to Help
We’ve put this resource together to help you understand the best approaches to creating a comprehensive press release strategy that supports your overall marketing plan. Have a question? We're here to help! Our expert SEO press release editors can assist with preparing your release for distribution, editorial suggestions, timing recommendations, and how to select categories to best distribute your news to relevant channels.