Free Press Release Websites for Small Business | Part II

in Blog, Connect, LocalNa8ion.com, News, Reviews & Rants This article was originally published by Julian Seery Gude on The Remarkable Blog from exceler8.com

Recently I published an article about websites that allow you to publish your press release for free.

I promised in my post to update you on resources you can use to write your press release. Those details will follow my commentary below but first I’ve got some useful updates and news to add.

I want to make you aware of a service that LOCALNa8ion reader @trdeeter of problogservice.com called to my attention in the comments section of my last PR post.

The service is called PitchEngine.com and I’m excited to share with you that

  1. It works
  2. It’s free

That’s a pretty good combo.

The heart of pitchengine is their focus on social media. The paid service I mentioned in my earlier post PRWEB has similar social media leanings. This is a good thing. I got to experience pitchengine first hand in using their service for a client of mine just yesterday.  Here’s what pitchengine has to say about how they use social media to change press releases:

“PitchEngine is more than new tools for PR, it’s an entirely new approach to the craft. It’s taking what we’ve learned from decades of traditional methods and stepping up our game to participate and succeed in a new media ’sphere – where the conversation is as important as the message.”

The blog comment about pitchengine that @trdeeter left here on our recent post about illustrates that the conversation IS INDEED AS IMPORTANT AS THE MESSAGE. Without that comment from @trdeeter I might not have heard about pitchengine or used it.

I noticed something else important. In posting my traditional press release last week using the free websites my first article mentions I found that their results were greatly diminished from earlier experiences I’ve had. Out of five sites that I used only one managed to get my client’s press release published (i-Newswire) and even then their free product doesn’t allow you to link to your website, negating any search engine optimization value.

Further, the i-Newswire post didn’t show up in any search engine results for almost 5 days after I posted my client’s press release. Not much good I can say about that other than it makes a clear case for paying a small fee to firms like PRWEB who get your release out on the wire (with seo links) on the same day. I’ll note that in all likelihood the free services I used like i-Newswire would provide similar prompt service if I was using their paid service. I’m simply calling PRWEB to your attention because they have a good reputation and I’ve been happy with my results with them in the past.

The last thing I’ll mention about pitchengine is how quickly their results were indexed by Google. I posted my client’s free press release earlier today and it’s already live on search results. In a word, that’s awesome. My free pitchengine press release also ranked higher than the press release from i-Newsire that was released much earlier. Pitchengine also let me put all the links I wanted in my press release – for free. ‘Nuff said – you need to try pitchengine’s free service.

Here’s the completed press release I made for my client.

Now, let’s take a look at how to format your press release for use in a traditional press release format. Note, this is a free template from PRWEB’s website – I’ve used it to good effect before. Just copy and paste the text below into your favorite word processor and replace each section with your own press release details.

Headline Announces News in Title Case, Ideally Under 80 Characters

The summary paragraph is a little longer synopsis of the news, elaborating on the news in the headline in one to four sentences. The summary uses title case, with standard capitalization and punctuation.

City, State (PRWEB) Day, Month, 2008 — The lead sentence contains the most important information in 25 words or less. Grab your reader’s attention here by simply stating the news you have to announce. Do not assume that your reader has read your headline or summary paragraph; the lead should stand on its own. Be sure to include your important keywords in the headline, summary and lead paragraph. Add your Web address here for a quick link and to reinforce your site name and location.

A news release, like a news story, keeps sentences and paragraphs short, about three or four lines per paragraph. The first couple of paragraphs should answer the who, what, when, where, why and how questions. The news media may take information from a news release to craft a news or feature article or may use information in the release word-for-word.

The standard press release is 300 to 800 words and written in a word processing program that checks spelling and grammar before submission to PRWeb.

The ideal headline is 80 characters long. PRWeb will accept headlines with a maximum of 170 characters. PRWeb recommends writing your headline and summary last to be sure you include the most important news elements in the body of the release. Use title case in the headline only, capitalizing every word except for prepositions and articles of three characters or less.

The rest of the news release expounds on the information provided in the lead paragraph. It includes quotes from key staff, customers or subject matter experts. It contains more details about the news you have to tell, which can be about something unique or controversial or about a prominent person, place or thing.  It also includes links to your website in this form: http://www.prweb.com.

Typical topics for a news release include announcements of new products or of a strategic partnership, the receipt of an award, the publishing of a book, the release of new software or the launch of a new website. The tone is neutral and objective, not full of hype or text that is typically found in an advertisement. Avoid directly addressing the consumer or your target audience. The use of “I,” “we” and “you” outside of a direct quotation is a flag that your copy is an advertisement rather than a news release.

Do not include an e-mail address in the body of the release. If you do, it will be protected from spam bots with a notice to that effect, which will overwrite your e-mail address.

“The final paragraph of a traditional news release contains the least newsworthy material,” said Mario Bonilla, member services director for PRWeb. “But for an online release, it’s typical to restate and summarize the key points with a paragraph like the next one.”

For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release (or for a sample, copy or demo), contact Mary Smith or visit www.prweb.com. You can also include details on product availability, trademark acknowledgment, etc. here.

About XYZ Company:
Include a short corporate backgrounder, or “boilerplate,” about the company or the person who is newsworthy before you list the contact person’s name and phone number.

Contact:
Mary Smith, director of public relations
XYZ Company
555-555-5555
http://www.prweb.com

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4 Responses to "Free Press Release Websites for Small Business | Part II"
  1. Jim Bowman - ThePRDoc® says:

    Thanks for the update, and especially for the sharing your experience with pitchengine. I’ll try it out soon. Have you noticed any fall off in numbers from PRWeb? I’ve heard that concern from several people.

    • Julian says:

      @JimBowman | Hey Jim, thanks for the heads-up about a potential fall off on PRWeb results. I have not experienced that directly but it’s been a while since I used them. I’ll be sure to compare results on my next post with them. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Definately taking a look at Pitch ENgine now, thanks for the article.

    My site deals with free press release publication jkhanok.com

    thanks for a truly worth while read

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