The Changing Nature of Press Releases
Press releases are not going to disappear from the scene anytime soon. But like most things, press releases go through transitions, adapting to the current trends and becoming a more effective tool in the process. What are some of the current and expected trends for the future? Well some that are happening already and will continue to evolve with increasing effectiveness follow:
Grab the reader’s eye. Sending press releases is one of the most reliable and fastest ways to contact a variety of media outlets. So though they may not be as effective with social media, they are a much-used tool in the hands of any PR firm. One of the changes being used more and more is combining well-told stories in press releases with crisp and dynamic visuals and interactive media. Never undervalue the need for a powerful image that can take readers to happy memories or engender the need to rectify a situation.
Subheadings can be more dominating. Catchy titles for press releases have often been used as an effective tool for drawing a target audience’s attention. But the use of subheadings in a similar way is becoming increasingly important. Not only because they draw attention, but today’s consumer wants entertainment every second or two. Subheadings give you an opportunity to refocus their attention with every section. And if that doesn’t happen, you will lose them to the next item on their feed.
Additional pop. Never stop with just one great image. Consider using one of your great images as a background for the press release rather than a solid colored background. Images are not just about finding a good picture that relates to the press release, but using one that pulls on a reader’s heartstrings. Just like your text, the crisper and more alive the content AND the images, the more attention your press release draws.
Lead with your message. Sometimes you have to start by hitting that message so hard it feels like an assault. But, you cannot wait to deliver your message until deep into the release – that message needs to be stated at the beginning and then emphasized as your story progresses. Likewise, you need to make sure that any call-to-action is distinct, attention grabbing and compelling. Enough so that your reader is left in no doubt of what they can do to change a situation. Give them that opportunity and trust that when you send a great press release, the desired effect happens.
As time goes by, press releases will see further changes, but many of them will remain connected to the above items. Tell a good story, tell it well and back it up with amazing images and you’ll have a winning one-two punch with your press releases.