Monday, November 20, 2006

Top Ten Rules to Get Your Press Release Picked Up

If you have not been using PR to promote your real estate business, you are missing a great opportunity to enjoy increased awareness in your community and across the web. Press releases and periodic announcements help to increase exposure as well as help position you and your organization as a leader in your area. They serve to increase community awareness about your company, and if picked up by the media, can result in a significant local and national notoriety.

When choosing to create a press release, there are a number of specific rules that you should follow to get your announcement picked up. Your piece should have the release date, your contact information, a brief synopsis about you or your company, word count, dateline, etc. It should also be written in a professional non-promotional (read no hype) manner that would be appropriate if read in the newspaper. Finally, your press release should have a headline that garners interest, and contains terms that would appear under a topic-search.

Aside from those specific rules about how to format your press release, there are a number of ways to break specific rules of journalistic writing to increase the likelihood that your announcement gets picked up. Most of these points are from PublicityHound but I thought I would summarize them below:

1- Write your press release for the people who are going to read it. This may sound like it should be unwritten, but my point is to write your release using text that can be found in search engines as well as in a format that is easy for your target audience to understand.

2- If you have news, make a press release…. even if it isn’t all that newsworthy. You don’t need to be announcing the release of construction on a new billion dollar building in order to qualify for a press release. Make an announcement if you make a new hire, launch your website, close a large deal, support a charity, or any other activity that may be of interest in your community.

3- Use online PR services. I am partial to PRWEB.com and ERelease.com However, there are a number of other free and pay for placement press announcement services.

4- Include search engine text in your title. Most press releases end up being submitted to large directories with very simple search algorithms. If there is a specific search phrase that you want your announcement to be associated with, include it in the title.

5- Include subheads or abstracts of the press release. A simple summary of the article posted directly under the title is extremely effective at increasing the adoption of the announcement as well as increasing the likelihood that it will appear when searched.

6- Include a call to action. If you have taken the time to make the announcement, make it clear to those who read it that they should contact your for more information. Always include a call to action in the body of your press release so that readers can call, click or email to get more information about your services.

7- Prompt the media and readers to contact you. Another way of saying this is tell enough of the story to intrigue the reader, but leave enough out that they will need to contact you or your brokerage to learn more. Big advertisers are doing this with television and radio to direct users to their website.

8- Offer your expertise as a local expert, available for comment or consultation on related topics. Journalists are often in search of somebody to corroborate or comment on their stories. Become one of their trusted advisers.

9- Use your headline to describe your announcement. Your headline should be catchy enough that it will create interest, but descriptive enough that the reader will understand by that one line the purpose of your announcement

In an attempt to be different, I am stopping at nine instead of going to ten. Sometimes you need to push back against social norms and expectations in order to create a different experience. As for my blatant call to action today: Click Here For A Simple System to Close More Sales -4MySales.com.

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2 comments:

Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound said...

Thanks for linking to my free press release course called "89 ways to write powrful press releases."

You said you like EReleases for distribution. Another good one is Expertclick.com, particularly if you want to submit more than about 8 releases a year.

Real estate agents can crank out one press release after another because, as I state in my course, no longer are we only writing press releases for journalists. We're also writing them for consumers who can find our releases online, click through to our websites and enter our sales funnel.

Anyone who wants to sign up for the course can do so at http://www.PublicityHound.com

REBlogGirl said...

Excellent post. As a marketer I use press releases to announce important events in our company and have had marvelous results with PRWeb. Some of their premium SEO release services can boost traffic by as much as 50% over the course of a week.