There seems to be the idea that the only way to get a decent press release is to pay a huge site to do them for you. Of course, a large firm may have a few more contacts than you, and can save you a bunch of time and effort, but if you have plenty of time and a shoestring budget you can do a press release or two yourself to try and boost your visibility on the web.
Pick out a few good free press release distribution sites that will get your release picked up by the search engines. You don’t need a whole lot of them, just one or two. This way your release will be visible through search almost immediately.
Write your press release. You should always make your press releases look professional. There are seven basic components to a well done press release, and leaving out any one of them can spell an untimely demise for your release!
Your header is just all your contact info (name, phone number, email address). Under that type the words FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE in caps.
Your headline is your title, which should be optimized, catchy and in bold print. Do NOT use all caps for the headline. Center it under the header.
This should just be a quick rundown of the news angle, and doesn’t have to be more than a few sentences long. Hit the main idea of the press release and hook the reader with just enough info to keep them going from the snippet to the main body of the release.
This should immediately precede the body of text in your press release, and should include the city, state/country, and date. For example : “New York, NY – May 18 2006 – In a stunning reversal of fortune…”
Body of Text
This is the press release itself. It should give all pertinent info in the first paragraph (who, what, when, where, why) and expand on that in the following paragraph(s). Quotes are good, as long as they are short and to the point, and not testimonial type promotions.
Boilerplate and Call to Action
Following your release, you should add a paragraph with a short description of your site, business or services. Beneath that add a “For more information contact: (your contact info)” which will basically mimic the information you provided in your header.
References and Closing
Do NOT forget to give credit where credit is due. List all references, including photo credits. Center an #### below this final component to indicate the end of your release.
If you submit your release wisely, you will be picked up promptly by the search engines. You can also request blogs and sites in your field to run the release, and get some traffic and additional backlinks. Online ‘zines are another good place to get your release published. In this particular arena, duplicate content is not a concern – you want to get as many copies of the release out there as you can!