Online press releases are both similar and different from traditional press releases. Online press releases, also referred to as news releases, don’t exclusively target the press. Your audience is much wider than just journalists with a news release. The specific audience you are targeting determines the differences between news releases and traditional press releases.
A press release targeting the media needs to include more details for journalists to use in writing an article or story. An online press release doesn’t need to be as detailed; therefore, it’s usually shorter than a traditional press release.
With an online press release, anyone who is searching for keywords that are in your news release can potentially be your audience. With that wider audience comes a broader range of subject matter that an online press release can cover.
Target your audience
Announcements of all kinds, including opinions, can be newsworthy topics, as well as the more typical topics like receiving an award or a contract, or launching new products and services.
If you have something to say, or advice to share, you can write it up as a tip sheet and offer it in a news release. However, you must write to your target audience. If your main points differ between buyers and journalists, you may want to write two press releases.
Format for the Web
Like a traditional press release, an online news release is written in a journalistic style and answers the 5 Ws (who, what, where, when, and why). Your headline should convey the main message of the press release. You still have only a few seconds to hook your reader in, so make sure your headline and the first paragraph or summary statement is compelling.
Since a journalist or potential client may be scanning your press release online among hundreds, be sure to link to your home or landing page near the top of the release. A link to your website should be at the beginning and at the end of the press release.
Optimize for search engines
You optimize your online press release the same way you do a web page. Your top keyword phrase should be in the heading of your press release for search engine optimization. An optimized press release has a long shelf life, and can still be bringing you leads months after it was posted online.
Have a press release schedule
Sending out press releases through a distribution service or to your local media should be a regular part of your marketing plan. Two of the most popular and affordable distribution services are WebWire and PRWeb, which offer various levels of distribution.
A monthly press release is a good strategy to keep a steady stream of traffic flowing to your site. Be sure that the links you provide in your press release take visitors to pages with the appropriate information or call to action.