50,000 press releases. How to get yours to say, “Pick me!”

by Karen

There are at least 50,000 press releases that hit the wire services each and every day. That’s a lot of competition.

To get noticed by journalists, bloggers, industry journals, and other publicists you need to make an effort to get noticed. You need to do something interesting to stand out in that crowd of 50,000 competitors.

The example for today’s post is typical of the vast majority – it’s not interesting. By the way, I searched PRWeb’s archive of press releases for an example. Within the “alternative energy” category I saw this press release with the following headline and summary:

One Stop Green Now Carries Plumen Energy Saving Designer Light Bulbs

One Stop Green now carries the Plumen 001 CFL and Plumen fixtures. Plumen is the antithesis of low energy light bulbs as we know them. Rather than hide the unappealing traditional compact fluorescent light behind boring utility, Plumen 001 is a bulb anyone will want to show off.

And here are the first two paragraphs of the release:

One Stop Green now offers Plumen Energy Saving Designer Light Bulbs.

Glass tubes can be bent is many different shapes so why are there thousands of manufacturers but only three types of light bulb designs? Plumen aims to address this problem by using a dynamic, sculptured form that contrasts to the dull regular shapes of existing low energy bulbs in an attempt to make the Plumen a centerpiece and not an afterthought.

Yawn. What a missed opportunity.

One reason I chose One Stop Green is because they have a cool looking product. And it’s disheartening for me to see a company with a good product miss out on publicity and more sales because of boring copy.

Below are the top six characteristics undermining this press release:

1. Ho-Hum headline. There’s nothing exciting, intriguing or captivating about that headline. I read it and thought, “So what? Why should I care?”

Here’s one alternative:   11-Watt Work of Art

Or perhaps:   No lamp shade required. These light bulbs look that good.

2. Marketing jargon. The summary reads like a product description.

The headline is supposed to grab us and get us to read more. Next the summary needs to tease us with additional enticing tidbits of what we’re about to discover. Its job is to get the reader to start on the lead paragraph.

3. Dull lead. There’s no story, anecdote, or customer praise to personalize the lead. Humans LOVE to read stories. Open with a story about your product or service whenever possible.

Most readers won’t even finish the first paragraph as it’s written in this release. Many will think, “Who cares?” after reading it.

And because it is self-serving to the company, it hints that the rest of the text is going to be dull and all about the company. Not a captivating approach. It doesn’t draw us farther into the copy.

4. No apparent SEO efforts. Including not a single hyperlink back to their website within the body of the press release. The ONLY link is to the home page and you’ll find it at the end with the contact information.

Ouch.

As with any content you create, one of the goals is to get as much mileage out of it as you can. This includes driving quality traffic to your website through keyword-rich links which enhances your SEO efforts.

5. Long sentences and paragraphs abound in this example. Walls of text look harder to read. And frankly, they do take more effort. So if it looks harder and IS harder, then it’s far less likely to get read. Add more white space to improve readability with shorter paragraphs.

6. No call to action. What’s the next step? What do they want me to do? It left me wondering, “Why did they write this? What were they trying to accomplish?”

Those six detrimental characteristics make it unlikely this press release will get noticed by publishers; let alone re-published or linked to. Another opportunity lost to the competition. I think that’s unfortunate.

One more point. Make certain your keyword-rich links go to unique landing pages, or at least take people directly to the product or topic featured in your press release. Make it easy for prospects and other readers.

In this example, the link in the contact section took me to the home page. Then I had to look around to find a probable path to learn more about these light bulbs. It took three clicks to find the relevant content. You’ll lose a lot of people along the way if you make them work that hard – if you make them use that much of their valuable time.

What should you do instead?

Turn the 6 characteristics listed above to your advantage. Write online press releases with captivating headlines, engaging summaries, strong leads, hyperlinks with keywords, plenty of white space, and a solid call-to-action that takes us to the right landing page. Drop us a line here at B2B Scribe, if you struggle to pull all that together into a compelling online press release. We’ll write it for you.

Related posts:

Attracting Prospects through the Online Press Release

Why your landing page is wasting space

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