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Press releases for content marketing – are you there yet?


If you haven’t overhauled your press release writing and distribution for content marketing in the social media age, you have no time to lose.  Journalists and bloggers – like their readers – look to be fed succinct morsels containing social media, linking and multimedia. These titbits need to be digestible, relevant and timely.

Take a look at this structure below. Once you have written your release, you can easily break down the relevant stats, quotes, photos, videos etc. for distribution on for e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

Your press release - the skeleton

1. Headline – make it Tweetable and to the point; include a key word or two. Use a secondary headline at your own discretion; it isn’t necessary but it can help explain the primary headline and whet curiosity.

2. Overview – briefly summarise the release; include a couple of keywords; make it engaging so the reader wants to continue.

3. Body – this is the ‘who, what, where, when, why’ part and should be written in the third person. Be careful not to gorge on keywords here; sure you should optimise it for SEO but it’s the editorial content that’s the key value of this section.

4. Quote – as with a traditional release, include a quote from a relevant spokesperson, introducing new, valuable content. This is the place for presenting opinion.

5. About – write a summary of your organisation and give a link to your website.

6. Multimedia links – include visual links to images, videos and RSS that reflect the content of your release. These could be buttons to LinkedIn and YouTube, for example.

7. Relevant links – link to relevant past press releases or blogs on your website.

8. Tags – suggest a few relevant tags, such as content marketing, to readers; this will also encourage social bookmarking and help increase your SEO.

Are spiders scared of you?

Important as it is to gear your press release for the digital world, you must be wary of going over the top or doing it for the sake of it.  For example, Associated Press, the global news network, while a fan of multimedia (video) still uses a narrative approach to copy. So, for example, their writers don’t use bullet points, bold or italics.

Do you think you can go overboard with press release formatting to the detriment of search engine pick-up?

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