There’s no doubt that the communications landscape is inundated – more so today with messages about Covid-19 and maintaining business continuity with remote workforces. There’s also no doubt that the public relations profession is uniquely suited to rise to these challenges.
As a PR professional, you are likely tasked with continuing your focus on using news releases to support product launches and campaigns. Do your releases reflect the amazing work your organization is doing? Are you getting the reaction you want? Below are 10 ways to help your news releases get more visibility and engagement.
- Watch your timing when distributing news releases. Certain days and time have higher news release volume. We see the highest release volume Tuesdays at 10 a.m. ET, Tuesdays at 9 a.m. ET and Wednesdays at 9 a.m. ET. Unless you have reason to send your release at these times, push it to another time. Read more about the best time to distribute a release.
- Avoid the top, bottom and quarter hours. Most companies send releases at :00, :15, :30 or :45. Your news could easily get lost in the crowd. Instead, schedule your release at an off time, like 8:07, 8:38 or 8:52. You’d be surprised at the difference a few minutes make.
- Your headline matters. Most reporters only review the headline and release assets, so make sure your headline contains all the information you need to get their attention. Don’t be vague, include specifics like your organization name and the topic of your news to prep readers for what they’re about to consume. To maximize the relevance of your news with what your audience wants to hear, in real-time, use Google Trends to craft your headline.
- Place your calls to action (CTAs) near the top of your news release. Too often calls to action – what we want the reader to do after reading our news – appear near the bottom of the release, in essence, burying the lead. Instead, have your CTA after your first or second paragraph. It’s more likely to be seen and acted upon, and even shared on your behalf.
- Use bullet points. Sites like BuzzFeed make it easy to consume their content by using bullet points and listicles. Be sure to use these features where you can.
- Bold font and use subheads. Like bullet points, subheads and bold font help tell the reader what’s important and what to focus on.
- Don’t skimp on word count: If you have substantive content to share, include it in your news release. While brevity is important, so is data. Include the information reporters need to cover your news story, whether in full-text format or through easily accessible links.
- Drive visibility with multimedia. Releases with some sort of multimedia – whether it’s a photo, video or graphic – almost double their visibility. Reporters need your multimedia assets to cover your story. If you don’t include them, you may be missing out on coverage opportunities. For even higher results, send a Business Wire Interactive Media release.
- Add a UTM code in your URLs to track your clicks. Directly track what happens with links in your release from online postings outside of those from BusinessWire.com. Unsure what UTM codes are and how to use them? Here’s a blog post explaining how to use UTM codes in news releases.
- Track your results. Once you start testing these hacks, be sure to measure your results with our News Trak reports. Test your headlines, news release formats, and multimedia types to see which appeal the most to consumers and reporters. You can use the Compare to Recent feature to see what worked, what didn’t and what else can be modified to maximize results. Read more about setting measurable goals.
While the success of any news release depends on its content, implementing these 10 visibility tricks will help your news release stand out from the crowd and garner more visibility and user engagement.