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How to Increase Your Press Release Readership by 80% [Free Video Tutorial]

Posted by Wendy Marx

Sep 7, 2016

Increase your press release readership by 80% with these 9 tips.

Did you know that 80% of Americans never read past a headline? What if they're not even noticing your headline? Where does that leave the rest of your story? 

5 Ultimate Press Release Components That Will Boost Your B2B Marketing

Posted by Wendy Marx

Sep 2, 2016

Ultimate Press Release Components

 

With the press release nearly as ancient as Methusalah,  it's easy -- far too easy -- to bash this relic.  

Yet, it's been estimated that some 2,000 releases are sent a day by the major wire services alone. In fact, as a B2B PR and marketing agency, we frequently send releases on behalf of our clients

What gives? 

In fact, press releases with their inverted pyramid format of the big news on top are ideal for our 140 character world.  And indeed press release headlines make excellent Twitter bait. Not to mention that the media still find them useful and that they get indexed by the search engines.

Yet so many press releases are pro forma with all the excitement of an IRS manual. 

Why The Best B2B PR Campaigns Use Influencer Marketing

Posted by Wendy Marx

Jul 22, 2016

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You're releasing a new product and you need the launch to be a screaming success. So you do all of the things you would normally do when running a PR campaign. Among other assets, you have a well-crafted press release, a pithy tagline, a kick ass explainer video, media outlets lined up, and a killer social media strategy. What's missing?

How to Write Press Release Headlines That People Actually Read

Posted by Pamela Keniston

Jul 7, 2016


Dull headlines get you nowhere in the media! Check out these 9 steps to writing press release headlines that people actually read!

In thinking about how to prepare this post, I couldn't help but remember the  2006 Samuel Jackson movie, Snakes on a Plane. The name of the movie always makes me squirm because it gives away just how awful the plot line is by providing a correspondingly awful title. The title did receive a lot of press, albeit for how controversial it was.

However, when it comes to your press release, you want your headline to work across the board. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of equally distressing or controversial headlines found in press releases. 

2 Simple Ways to Generate More B2B Leads with Your Press Release

Posted by Wendy Marx

Mar 10, 2016

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If you're still using press releases as part of your B2B PR strategy, I applaud you! Some will have you think that releases are outdated and that social media and owned content should be the driving force behind your PR.

B2B PR Myth #3: Press Releases are Dead

Posted by Wendy Marx

Dec 6, 2015

 

B2B PR Myth : Press Releases are Dead

The Pew Research Center recently conducted a study that showed 63% of Twitter users and 63% of Facebook users rely on those platforms for their news. 

5 Shrewd Ways to Promote Your B2B Press Release in Social Media

Posted by Pamela Keniston

Jul 17, 2015

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Everyone loves a bargain. And when it comes to promoting your B2B company, leveraging social media is perhaps the best and most economical way to build relationships with customers and brand recognition. Want to learn how to do just that?

Why Calls to Action are Vital to Your Press Release Strategy

Posted by Wendy Marx

Jun 26, 2014

 Calls to action are not just for blog posts! Learn how using them in your press release gets the results you need!

How a B2B Public Relations Person Can Write a Press Release that Doesn't Completely Suck

Posted by Wendy Marx

Feb 6, 2014

How B2B Public Relations Can Increase the Impact of Your Press Release

This post previously ran in a modified form on  Fast_Company-1.

Nearly 100 years old, it has been flogged, beaten and pronounced dead so many times, you would think it would finally succumb.

We're talking about the press release, also known as everyone's favorite punching bag.

Yet, despite how hated it seems to be, B2B public relations people distribute an endless stream of them on every possible subject from the launch of the latest gizmo to a new hire to a new survey.  What gives?

It's easy to scoff at, especially if it’s weighted down with formulaic writing and marketing hype that makes it bloated and dull-sounding.

Yet, consider this. The number of press releases PR Newswire, a major press release service, has distributed over the last four years has risen.

Why? Because a (well-written) press release is an effective way to tell a story, and can generate a lot of leads.

B2B Public Relations in Action

Like its cousin, the news story, a press release done right tells you everything you need to know upfront. The headline, first and perhaps second paragraph include the guts of your story: Who, What, When, Where, Why. Here’s an example of what I mean from one of my clients, lettrs:

Lettrs Launches First-Of-Its Kind Mobile App, Turning the iPhone into a Personal Writing Desk and Post Office Wherever You Are.

New York, April 23, 2013 -- Technology startup lettrs today announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind mobile app that will allow users to create, manage and deliver paper or digital letters right from their iPhone.

With the headline and first paragraph you have the gist of the story. The rest of the copy fleshes out the story if someone wants to know more. In our experience, releases like our example get read--not only by the media but also by potential leads via the search engines and social media.

Handpicked Related Content:

5 Things You Should Know About B2B PR

Of course a story can come in many flavors. A key to turning a press release from self-promotional and boring to something that pops, is to give your story a little panache. One way to do that is to hitch your headline to a star.

The sales technology company InsideSales.com is a master at that. Last year, when it wanted to announce a virtual summit, it brandished the most exciting thing it had going: its stellar speakers:

Guy Kawaski, Mike Bosworth and Jeffrey Gitomer Headline Inaugural Inside Sales Virtual Summit, shouted its headline.

According to Ken Krogue, president of InsideSales.com, the names in the headline resulted in the release being picked up by five times more sites than normal. “It had an expansive effect,” says Krogue, "carrying our brand to much higher levels."

Beyond creating awareness, a press release can generate leads. The secret to that is including a compelling call-to-action in a release. That can be anything from registering for an event to downloading an ebook, or getting something for free. In return for the freebie, be sure to require a person to fill out a brief form. You will be surprised at how many people will do just that.

Here are five tips to help you write the ultimate B2B press release:

  1. Develop and tell a coherent, compelling story. What makes your company tick? How do you delight your customers? What sets you apart from the pack?

  2. Don't just tout your product or service. Develop key messages that answer the question: Why should anyone care?

  3. Use plain English. Avoid obscuring your message by using industry jargon and talking “inside baseball.”

  4. Get your reader to engage. Use compelling elements such as data, visuals, and infographics to illustrate your points. And include a call-to-action that drives people to a landing page.

  5. Hook yourself to a star. Tie what you’re doing to something happening in the news--especially if it’s in your sector or a targeted vertical market. Shine brighter in the reflected light of someone in the news.

So next time you're ready to dismiss issuing a press release, think twice. Done right, it can help take your B2B public relations for your company from a nobody to a somebody.

Free Download Alert! The Ultimate B2B PR Checklist

[Image from Flickr user carterse]

5 Tactics to Maximize ROI of your B2B Public Relations

Posted by wendyama

Aug 13, 2012

Here’s a pop quiz --

Which B2B marketing technique allows you to become better known, enhances credibility, thought leadership and finally boosts sales?

If your answer was “public relations,"  give yourself a pat on the back!

For a long time now, PR has been sometimes viewed as a revenue-earning step-child since it’s tough to categorize. Of course one can always total press clippings, but how does that ultimately drive sales? It’s tough because there doesn’t seem to be a direct correspondence. How about the person who saw an article praising your product/service, and several months later decided to use it? Or what about all the folks with no recollection how they heard about you but somehow know about your product or service?

Okay then, should we just give up trying to tie public relations to sales?


Well, not if you’d like to get extra work from your PR campaign by also using it as a lead generation device.

Consider your press release to be an invitation for a potential client to take an action that brings this person closer to buying. For instance, you can include a call to action in your release that brings the prospect to your landing page. From there, the prospect is able to download “free” content after giving you some contact information. Congratulations, you’ve now started a dialog! Now without further ado, here are....

5 approaches to PR you can use in your B2B marketing efforts to bring in sales:


 


1. Refuse to Use Generic Press Releases

Although Press releases are a fundamental part of public relations, you still need more than just any old press release – you need a specific strategy.

Your release should complement your marketing efforts. It would be completely ineffective to write a generic press release intended only for distribution. You need to think: What am I trying to achieve with this release? What action do I want the reader to take after he/she sees the release?

2. Take Advantage of Multimedia

Get the most B2B marketing value possible in regards to click-throughs and lead generation. Colorful, engaging (and maybe even interactive) multimedia content like slide shows and videos enhance the effectiveness of your call to action. You can experiment to find out which type of dynamic content would best reach your target market.

3. Provide Readers With Extra Content

Don’t view the release as a one-time shot. Utilize it along with additional content for your target market. Ensure your release leads to other pages, blog posts, articles, videos, or anything else you can think of. All of the above can similarly link to your press release. As an added benefit, this will also help your company get ranked higher in the search engines.

The purpose for this sophisticated “web of content” is to connect with your potential clients and bring them into your sales funnel. The sales process has become a quite complicated and multi-layered process, and as Reevoo Insight has discovered, customers can come in at a variety of touch points and change from one channel to the a different one before the final conversion.

4. Get Social

If you have yet to incorporate social media into your B2B marketing strategy – time to get started! Social media is becoming increasingly omnipresent. It can be used together with pretty much all of your initial marketing strategies, press releases included.

Make it a piece of cake for anyone to share your release by including some social sharing buttons. Finally, remember to include a short synopsis of your release so it can be easily spread by fans without much effort.

5. Shoot for Specifics

Don’t sit back and relax after one press release.  Continue to test your releases and change them depending on your target market and the response you receive. Certain calls to action might produce different effects on a given segment of your audience. This also applies to content. For instance, you might decide to emphasize one point in a release geared to executives and a different one when targeting agencies.

Throw everything together and you have a public relations program that will significantly boost the ROI of your B2B marketing campaign.

Now how are you increasing the value of your press releases? Have you been using any of the above techniques already? Are there other ones you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
 

From repurposing your PR to stretching your budget, I'm sharing all my PR tips in one easy cheat sheet.

Grab the cheat sheet and start getting the most out of your press without stretching your budget.

 

TEACH ME HOW TO GET THE  MOST FROM MY PR

 

About this blog

Featured in Alltop Featured Author on Business 2 Community

 B2B PR Sense focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing companies and executives as they navigate the B2B PR/marketing world of content marketing, social media and inbound marketing...along with traditional media. Welcome aboard!