I have learned so much over the past five years about creating an online presence. There is so very much to know and most people who start their own businesses really don’t know how to create, maximize and leverage their online presence.
I know I have only scratched the surface but if I can in any way reduce your learning curve by sharing the things I’ve already learned, then that’s what I want to do.
Whenever you are rolling out a new product or service, you want to do a press release however, you want to tie them to something newsworthy so it doesn’t seem like an advertisement described as a press release. Do this by connecting your news or product offering to something currently in the news.
In general, a press release shouldn’t be longer than one page. Keep it concise and write in journalistic language answering the basics of who, what when, where, why and how in the first paragraph. Deal with the facts and avoid marketer’s language. Write it in the third person voice. If appropriate, provide quotes from those in the news. End the first paragraph with a “hook,” that will keep your readers interested and reading more but also must be relevant to the news editors.
In about ten words, create a grabbing headline that summarizes the content of the release in an exciting way.
Write the rest of your press release with the most important information first so that if the editor must cut the length of your release, the less important information is at the end of the release.
At the top of the release write the release date or “For Immediate Release.” Be sure to include your contact information: name, title, address, phone number, fax, email and website addresses.
There are three press release sites I would recommend: PR Web,
PR Newswire and 24-7 Press Release www.24-7pressrelease.com. They have free
listings but if you want to increase your exposure and the likelihood
that your release will be picked up by more venues, then you want to
pay. Paying also allows you to include hyperlinks in your release that
direct traffic (and search engines) track back to your site, another way to
increase your traffic.
What tips do you have about writing and submitting press releases? One thing I recommend is to contact the person at the venue in charge of press releases and ask how he or she likes to receive them--hard copy in mail, fax or email. Each one will be different and you want to give them what they want. Please share your ideas and successes here.
Creating an online presence is particularly important for coaches. If you are interested in becoming a coach or developing your coaching skills, we are starting a new coaching school based on Choice Theory, affiliated with Prairie State College. It is starting in August. If you are interested in learning more, check out the Choice Coaching Institute. You will learn more details about creating an online presence in that program.