Many authors of online press releases miss out on the opportunity offered by the internet to be disseminated by various errors in the creation of their texts – to reach a wide range of texts. Online pr can be placed almost anywhere. In social communities, on social news portals and press portals. Companies and agencies can thus take advantage of a first-class opportunity to publish information about your company and its products and to reach interested parties as well as customers or media contacts alike. So the theory, the practice usually looks different.
Top or flop – whether an online press release is read is decided within the first seconds. But how do you get a message actually to be watched with interest, read and included in the content, instead of being clicked right away?
The following kit helps to create an optimal, user-friendly and well-structured online press release.
Understanding the reader
The Internet thrives on its speed and the rapid, ever-changing flood of information, reflecting the behaviour of users. Internet users don’t have time. They only fly over the texts of a page. They do not read every word, but search specifically for information relevant to them in the form of subsets or terms. A clear structure of the text, without nested and overlaid long sentences, increase the reading friendliness and help the reader to quickly grasp the content available to him. Basically, a sentence should not be longer than three lines.
In order to write a user friendly text, it is helpful to become aware of the so-called “Four Understandable Makers” after “Langer, Schulz von Thun und Tausch””. Actually developed for presentations, the “Four Understanders” are now also known as basic patterns for writing texts that appeal to readers.
1. Simplicity – short sentences, preferably without foreign words. If necessary, explain them.
2. Structure/order – structured and logical structure.
3. Brevity and conciseness – no digressions, just call essentials.
4. Additional incentives – writing concretely and vividly, using pictorial language.
(ff. blocks 2, 3 and 4)
Form and structure
The online press release must be clearly structured and well structured to ensure that content is quickly collected for the reader.
At the top of the press release is the so-called header, a meaningful headline designed to make the reader curious about the text.
Among them is the lead, the introductory text, which consists of two to three sentences and outlines the main content. It was intended to answer the most important “W- questions”. Who?, what?, when?, where?. The questions about the “why” or “how” can also be answered briefly in the lead, if they are important.
Then comes the main text, the so-called body. All information is housed here and facts are explained in detail. Texts consisting of several sections are read, each of which is provided with a suitable heading. (reading friendliness).
The last paragraph of the press release is called Footer or Boilerplate. This part includes information about the company. Contact information also has its place here.
Short but meaningful
An online press release should be kept short, as reading on the screen is much more strenuous and time-consuming than reading the print media. Attention and absorption capacity of Internet users decreases rapidly from a maximum of 500 words. This number of words corresponds to a described A4 page.
In order to ensure read-friendliness, it is therefore imperative to present the information to be transmitted in a concise and concise manner. The most important content for the user must always be placed at the beginning of the message, because already in the first sentence – usually already when reading the headline – the user decides whether the text is relevant to him and he continues to read or not.
Make the most of vocabulary and grammar
Press releases must be written vividly and in person in order to be read with interest by the user. It is important to dispense with superfluous phrases and words such as “no hesitation,” “As you can easily imagine,” “pretty,” “certainly” or “actually” and instead choose meaningful and direct words and sentences with meaning. Absolutely avoid contiguous nouns that have been combined from more than two individual words.
The “transport infrastructure financing company” not only hinders the flow of reading, but is also not suitable in its composition to be found by search engines on the Internet. Disassembled into “Society for the Financing of Transport Infrastructure”, the term is not only much more comprehensible, but also makes it easier for the reader to search for the relevant content when flying over the text.
An online press release should also take care to write a text with active rather than passive formulations. “The automotive group XY is also represented here with its own sales company,” reads much more meaningfully than the formulation: “With its own sales company, the automotive group XY will also be represented here.”
Internet users and therefore readers of press releases do not want to search for long, they just want to find. And that’s the information they’re interested in. As already shown in the first and second blocks, texts on the Internet must be structured and written in such a way that the user finds what is relevant to him when flying over, also called “scanning”, of the text.
If the press release actually corresponds to the desired user-friendliness, half of it is already done – the reader lingers on the page. But even now, he still decides whether he really reads the text to the end and thus considers it informative and important.
The author of a press release can only achieve this if he presents his content transparently, writes directly and honestly and provides answers to the questions of Internet users. The topics presented must address the reader personally and represent an added value for information for him. When introducing new products, the reader must be shown advantages that affect him personally.
It is important to never write in advertising, because then there is a risk that the user will quickly feel surprised or deceived.
Found – thanks to keywords
What are the use of an excellently structured text and explosive and interesting information if the reader does not find the press release on the Internet? In order for a text to be read at all, it is necessary to understand how the search engines work.
Search engines regularly scour the Internet for the latest information. The contents of texts are evaluated and users are filtered out relevant keywords – called keywords. If the user enters a keyword in the search engine, results are displayed that match the content of the word he wants.
The authors of online press releases should already include the keywords in both the headline and the first paragraph of their texts. This increases the hit rate and ensures a better place in the search engine ranking.
The writer of the message should think carefully about the keywords. If he wants to write an informative text for a company that offers, for example, last-minute trips to Mallorca, it would not be well considered if he would call his headline : “Holiday in Mallorca”. The title is correct in terms of content, because a last-minute trip is of course a holiday, but the headline is not optimized for search engines at all. The reader, who is supposed to be addressed and for whom the press release could be important, enters the keywords “Mallorca” and “Last-Minute” in the search engine. The seeker will never come across the text, because the message “Holiday in Mallorca” was literally hidden by the author by the wrong selection of keywords in the infinite depths of the Internet.
A suitable headline for the press release is therefore: “Discover Mallorca with XY Last-Minute”.
Attached Leader: “The Company XY (who?) is known for its last minute trips (what?) to Mallorca (where?). Also this autumn, XY (when?) offers holidays on the sunny island for the short-sighted.”
This example shows headers and leads with relevant keywords and answering the “W questions” mentioned in “Building Block 2”.
Keywords, also their synonyms, should be mentioned again and again in the text, whereby a message with too high keyword density runs the risk of being classified as spam by the search engines.
Search engines love links in addition to the correct use of keywords. An online press release provides an excellent opportunity to insert links. It is important for the author to seize this opportunity. Not only to improve the ranking for his company by linking, but above all to guide his readers to other important pages that are ideally the company’s landing pages.
Less is sometimes no longer
Anyone who believes that the saying “less is more” is always true is completely wrong. In order for the online press release to be found on the Internet, it is advisable to publish the communication on several portals at the same time. Many of the PR portals are free of charge and therefore offer the optimal opportunity for companies with a small budget to go public and thus present their company, products and innovations. In order to reach a large readership, you should also use the social communities, blogs or social news portals for publications.
Search engines love latest news in addition to keywords and links. Because press releases describe informative and current content, they are particularly attractive to search engines. Therefore, press releases should be kept short, constantly include current topics and be published frequently.
First write, then think
If you think too much when writing and cling too strictly to predetermined structures, you will have difficulty writing fluid, appealing sentences. Therefore, it is recommended to write out freely first and then go through the text paragraph by paragraph and revise it according to the specifications of the modular principle.
Finally, a successful online press release (company name
changed) which meets the following criteria: – Meaningful headline, arouses curiosity.
– Lead answers the “W-questions” what, who, when, where, why.
– Body (main text) contains all essential information, formulated clearly and without frills.
– Footer/Boilerplate lists the company’s name and contact addresses.
– The ease of reading is ensured by paragraphs and short, precise sentences.
– The content of the press release is up-to-date and of added value for the reader.
– Optimal keyword naming and links to the company’s landing page.
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