press_releasesPress releases are important. Anyone in the business of PR knows how important it is to put out a timely and well written press release. A press release can give any company the opportunity to boost their visibility, as well as taking control of the news that is being shared about that company.

There are two important questions that you should ask yourself:

1. Is the content that you’re sharing something that reporters would find newsworthy?
2. Is the announcement that you’re making something that journalists in your niche would like to cover?

If you answered no to either of these questions, then you should stop what you’re doing, and rethink the news you’re sharing. If, on the other hand, the answer to the questions above is yes, then go ahead and begin writing!

Following are five tips that will give you the ability to write the most effective press releases for your brand.

1. Make sure you know the alternatives. Are you sure that a press release is the best way to share the news? Try being a strategic advisor. There are other alternatives that can be just as effective as a press release. It’s possible that the alternatives are even better than press releases. Alternatives could be as simple as social media updates or corporate blog posts.

2. Avoid corporate speak. The point of a press release is to get your message out to as many people as possible. Make sure your message is as clear as possible. Instead of using technical terms that only people in the business would know, or using corporate jargon, use terms that speaks directly to your audience. Forget about using terms like “innovation,” “unique,” “leverage,” and “optimize.” In many ways, these terms are meaningless, as they are incredibly overused. If you want to use other terms, use websites like Un-Suck It or

3. Get your information streamlined into one, single angle. Further make things simple for your audience by focusing the press release on one idea. By including several corporate messages in your release, it could just confuse the reader, resulting in disinterest. And that isn’t the point of a press release. Stick to active sentences, and include strong verbs. Make sure you keep the amount of qualifiers and conditional tenses down to a minimum. By keeping the message simple, you will have a greater impact on your audience, and there will be a better chance of remember the key facts.

4. Focus on the features and the benefits. The two questions your press release should be answering is “What?” and “Why?” Make sure that when you write your press release, the features your release include should answer “What?” while the benefits are answering “Why?” It’s all about showcasing the facts within your announcement. You want to be sure that you are focusing on making the people want to learn more about the information being given to them.

5. Optimize for search. When writing your content, you need to remember, the content that you’re writing will be going online. That means that search engines will be picking it up and indexing it. In that sense, keep standard SEO tactics in mind. Always make sure you include relevant keywords within the first 60 characters of the headline. If you’re curious about what keywords you want to use, utilize Keyword Tool in Google Analytics. This will help you see the best and most searched for keywords that will yield the best results.

When you’re trying to get your content out there, press releases are a core part of getting the attention of your target audience. This is why when you are writing your releases, you need to sit back and rethink your approach.