The New Year means a lot to many businesses. For most, it is the time to get things right, learn from lessons of the previous year, recover from shortcomings or consolidate the success.

As you plan to increase the visibility of your product and service or increase your online presence, Press releases are still a vital tool to use.

Is Press Release still relevant with all the advancements in technology and Social Media controlled world? Yes, it is still very important:

•             Press Releases makes your business stand out, building a solid relationship with journalists in the process

•             no public relations strategy can do away with the press release as it amplifies the messages you want to share with your customer or even investors

Some direct benefits that a press release brings to your business if the 7 best practices are utilized includes:

•             You reach an increasing number of potential customers, influencers, journalists, and even bloggers when you make use of professional distribution services

•             Your SEO will be greatly improved with the use of keywords unique to your business niche and other healthy SEO practices

•             Press release helps shape the public perception of your company positively and even counter any negative publicity as your brand image improves

Such results are the reasons even big companies still utilize press releases. So why not do so creatively by utilizing these 7 Best practices in the new year.

1.            Make your Headlines Irresistible: Research has shown that the attention span of readers is so short that it takes an irresistible headline to capture their attention. In choosing your headline you have to ensure it is engaging and sets the tone for what they are to expect. Your choice of words for the headline will determine whether it will be read or skipped.

Here are some ways to make your headlines irresistible:

•             Use easy to understand everyday language, not industry jargon.

•             Get the reader’s attention by using actions words that empower your message

•             Make sure it stands out as journalists have a bulk load of press releases to go through. So whichever stands out gets their attention.

•             Make your headline short and attractive. The maximum length should be 10 words, including the main point a, including the company name.

2.            Hit the nail on the head: You should quickly answer the question “what is in it for me? This is what readers ask, journalists ask, as everyone wants to know what makes it newsworthy. The first paragraph should contain all the relevant information promptly answering the who, what, when, why, where, and how questions. Hit them with the facts and figures making your press release easy to understand.

3.            Make use of Personal Quotes: this gives the reader the impression this affects real people and not just another commercial piece of advertisement. The quote should be from an authority figure in the company like a top executive or a person directly affected by the press release. The higher the person is in the company or business niche, the more important the reader and journalist will view the quote.

Quotes add the human touch to your press release.

4.            Tidy up loose ends: Your press release should be well-detailed. The reader or the journalist should not be wondering what your company does?  Once confused they just move to the next thing. Provide a link to the home page of your company’s website and explain what your company does or the benefits of the product or service to the consumer, including titles of all those quoted and link data or statistics used to appropriate source material.

5.            Make your press release concise: it is generally accepted that a press release should not be more than a page and that is around 400 words. The words can be less than that or more, but they should not be significantly less or more. This is to prevent information overload for the reader. Remember you are not writing an essay so your press release should be short, straight to the point, and engaging carrying all the relevant details. It is advised you utilize the whitespace well using short paragraphs and bullet points for easy digestion of points.

6.            Communicate using Visual Contents: Research has shown that 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual. Having this at the back of your mind should help utilize this to your advantage by ensuring your story is as visual as possible since visuals not only capture the attention of people but also help to easily digest information that requires volumes of text to explain. Use can utilize photos of products, video demonstrations, or even infographics as they can just be what makes your press release stand out from others.

This advantage can also be used to create CTA (Call To Action) as you should lead your readers to take the next step after going through your press release. Though you should not use too much CTA as just one is sufficient in a press release. Examples of CTAs could be:

•             Sign up for free consultation

•             Learn more

•             Check it Out

•             View

7.            Make use of Press Release Distribution Services: This can go a long way in ensuring that your target audience gets to see your press release. These are your potential customers and not just readers who are not likely to take action. When you use these services, you have a lot to benefit from:

•             Affordable cost when compared to other publicity or advertisement activity

•             Reaches your target audience who are more likely to take action

•             Helps Search Engine Optimization and recognition which increase traffic to your website

•             Brand recognition, improved company reputation, and image

•             Increased visibility for your company in the media

These are not the only practices but if you use this efficiently in writing your company’s press release you are guaranteed to see a positive impact on your company’s returns, visibility, brand image, and revenue.