Every day, thousands of press releases are distributed via the newswires and publications. However, a lot of them is set up to fail.
Today, releases remain as one of the most misunderstood marketing tools in public relations. Varied controversies are linked to it, claiming that it is no longer useful for gaining media coverage. Many believe that it is already dead.
It can no longer be used for search engine optimization (SEO) tool, and it doesn’t serve any use in gaining backlinks. Are you thinking why it remains as an effective tool for marketers, despite these issues, check this out to find out.
The secret lies behind the art of storytelling. Surely, it is a great accompaniment for your content marketing tactics because it helps you tell a better story.
Storytelling in a Release
What do you think is the relevance of a story in your content? Through a release, a brand can tell what is happening in their own company. People, including customers, potential investors and clients, influencers and the media are able to know how a brand develops or evolves through time.
For instance, a potential investor finds that they want to collaborate with you after they found out that in 2012, your company began as a startup. In 2013, your company was awarded as one of the top performers in the industry. In 2014, you introduced a new process and machine that improved the production in the industry.
In 2015, your company collaborated with another multi-awarded brand. After a potential investor saw the stories through your releases, they will be more encouraged to express their partnership with you.
As you see, storytelling makes it easy for brands to announce their offer. With a release, it is also easy for them to attract potential partners in the business, and earn the trust of customers. If you issue a release only for one time, it would be impossible for you to show these improvements in your business. A release helps tell a story of how your company changes through time.
Storytelling is a powerful way to inspire, serve and connect with the audience. It enhances relationships, and improves trust.
A Release Should Be Part of Your Content Plan
Releases should be part of your overall content marketing plan. Blogs, articles and releases should be part of your content toolbox. If you want to maximize the effect of your content marketing, use them in conjunction with the other. For example, when you issue a release that is designed to make you a thought leader in your industry, make sure that you issue a blog before and after you sent out your release.
Simply issuing a content isn’t going to be effective. However, when used in combination with other content tools, you can easily achieve your goal to become a credible brand and widen your online presence.
So, how do you use a release to tell a better story?
Focus on your target
When writing a release, it’s a number one rule to focus on your target media and customers, rather than your own brand. What is the value that you want to share with your audience?
If you focused too much on your brand, you’ll forget how a newsworthy release should be written. You’ll be writing information about your achievements like your collaboration with another big company, or the new product you are introducing. You forget that while highlighting these stories, you need to make your audience feel how they can benefit from it.
In storytelling, make sure that you tell them the benefits that they should be receiving. In writing your story, emphasize the things that they are more likely to get from you.
Keep it concise
When writing your release, present the key facts on point and fast. Offer the key information right in the beginning, including the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why” and “how” of your story. Avoid including needless words. Cut the jargons and adjectives. Use a bullet list to present the information in an easy consumable format.
Since journalists only spend less than a minute in a release, make sure to grab their attention at once. When you are able to create a story that appeals to the audience, you can tell a better story.
You need to become a better storyteller
Think outside the box. Rather than including quotes from a company CEO or president, interview a product manager. Ask the manager to share their insights on how effective your product is, what makes it different from the products in the market, the issues it address, or why consumers should try it.
You can include a video that shows how your product is manufactured. Or perhaps, you can show in a video how a consumer uses the product.
You don’t need to stick to the basics. With a modern approach, you can improve how you present the story.
Include interesting visuals
Do you know that visuals or multimedia assets can enhance the readability of your content? Having them in your content boost brand awareness, engagement and message of your content. Some of the visuals that you can include are illustrations, charts, infographics, images and videos. All of these can have a huge impact on how people consume information.
Several studies have shown that having visuals can have a huge effect on the content. With modern technology, audiences are changing how they digest the information.
One research has shown that having visual can improve readership by 650%. Despite the statistics, a lot of PR professionals and writers are just concentrating on text releases.
Craft an attention-grabbing headline
With a good headline, you can improve how your audience will perceive your story. Keep it short and concise. It should have the keyword within the first three words of the headline.
Do not include hype, adjectives, buzzwords and industry jargons. Present the key information. Make sure that the message is clear.
Although the main message is in the headline, you need to encourage your audience to keep on reading. Entice them to learn more
Include a story arc
For your release to be really effective, apply the story arc. Include the classic crisis, climax and resolution.
In your story, think of the issue that your product or service is solving. Prove how it can help solve the problem. Mention the features or its unique selling points. You can also include proofs that can back up your claims like studies.
Stand from your audience’s point of view
In order for you to tell a good story, don’t just focus on your brand. Place yourself in the shoes of the audience.
Think of this way, when a reporter or an audience read your content, they will ask themselves, “What is in for me?” If you are confused on how to answer this question, your story will automatically get ignored.
Think of your audience. What is interesting for them? What excites them? Your audience should be able to relate to your story.
Have you ever thought what makes a story memorable? Actually, it is the story itself.
It also applies in your release. When you write a good story, your audience will not easily forget the message you want to share. It will remain in their mind longer.
For you to do this, make sure that you choose an interesting angle to offer. Make sure that it is relevant and newsworthy. Don’t repeat what has already been published.
Reporters should be able to relate to your story. Your story should be appropriate to their niche or interest. Since they know what their audience is looking for, presenting a story that isn’t relatable is just a complete waste of time.
To come up with related topics for the reporters, research. Find out the story they are working on, the type of stories they write, their voice, and language.
Knowing all these elements can help you craft a story that resonates to the audience. Personalize your story according to the taste of the media. The more personalize your content for them, the more likely they will pick up your story.
Make sure that it is flawless
A good story has no grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes. Before sending it to newswire and reporters, run an app to check these elements. You can also ask someone to edit it for you. Avoid the hype. Do not include exclamation points and bold letters. You don’t need them to highlight something. Exclamation points look like you are shouting to your readers. It is useless and inappropriate. Moreover, using caps lock doesn’t look good too.
Frame the message
Before you start crafting your story, think about your target audience. What they are going to get from your product, service or event? If they tried it, what experience they are more likely to get? Make sure that you include the experience in your content. Make it easy for the readers to visualize and experience your brand, even before they make a buying decision.
Each time you write a release, focus on how you’re going to tell a story than sell your product or service. Present a story arc. Create a catchy and punchy headline that will entice people to read. Make it easy for your audience to understand it. Use a simple, conversational tone, voice and language.
If you remember all these tips, you will be able to craft a great story that your target can relate to. Apply these guidelines in your next story.