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Tips on Writing An Outstanding Press Release

Tips on Writing An Outstanding Press Release

This article aims to school you in the art of writing an outstanding press release through small chunks of easily digestible information or tips. Sound like a hoot? Good, because it is. And let that be the first lesson grasshopper: always present information to modern online readers in snappy tid-bits.

How your information is received in some respects is more important than the content. The formatting of your press release is going to make a huge difference in how effective it is. That and this other stuff, so let’s get to work.

1. Establish the story.

The reason every copywriter with salt will tell you to begin any written sales funnel with a story is because people need to move. They need action. That’s what entertains us. So regardless of what you’re advertising or marketing through the press release, it needs to have a “story.” Think about it like a brand story if you need to.

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2. Get crafty and catchy with your headlines.

The title itself is really important. Here’s something random: what’s the different between an online business and a lemon?

Do you want to know? I bet you do. That’s the point. Imagine that’s the title of your press release, seriously. How many people would want to know? That, ladies and gentlemen, is a marketing hook. Then you lead into the press release with catchy and crafty subtitles that make it easy to scan and moves the “story” along.

3. Speak frankly and use plain English.

Seriously, you should have the point of your press release right out front within the very FIRST “section.” Don’t try to smooth talk anyone or waste time. In fact, just remember this statement, “If you’re not getting to the point, you’re completely wasting your time.” Today it’s safe to say that the human mind completely shuts down and disengages with any pitches, or sales-speak.

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It makes many people want to go postal. Do you like television or radio commercials? How about those annoying pop-ups? Spam emails? Do I need to go on? Use plain English and get to the point, but be genuine, honest and sincere.

4. Engagement is a primary detective.

At that matter is establishing a relationship with the reader. You need to allow the spirit in the machine to do its work. For example, how much can you pick up while chatting with someone using only typing on Skype, or through email, or perhaps Facebook PMs? It’s amazing what we can feel through writing to one another, and when people read this press release, they need to feel something.

If the only feeling you want to create is the desire to spend, then your press release is going to fall flat on its face.

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5. Relate the topic to current events/news.

Along with the desire to move, we want to feel connected to the present. Isn’t that a big part of what makes the internet magical? Find something relevant that you can use to help construct an engaging story and integrate it into the press release.

For search engine marketing purposes, to increase its value, it would be ideal to find an article or news story that has titles with words that you can hyperlink. So if you’re writing a press release that involves lemons, find an article that includes the word lemon that was written and published within the last day, week or month. Get it?

6. Be more than a pitch.

This goes along with the prime directive, but the point here is that the press release needs to be more than just a marketing method. It needs to offer people more. Honestly, isn’t it the same for you? All you have to do is think about your own relationship, as a consumer, to internet marketing methods and you’ll know exactly what kind of things to offer other than just, “I’ve got this new product/service to sell you.”

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7. Sprinkle it with hard data.

Everyone appreciates hard data. With hard data you’re going to engage both parts of the human psyche—the imaginative and the critical. Your story and all the great copywriting is going to take them on a journey which releases the news in a good way and then the fact, figures, data, info-graphics, etc., is the information that really legitimizes everything.

We’re talking marketing 101 here. Sell the dream with a mixture of storytelling and facts. If you have tons of facts, break them down into just the top 3–5 and then sprinkle the press release with them. Cover equal ground. Some in the intro, some quotes from a study after the first section, another link to this news story or that news story in the second section, and so on.

8. Give them a CTA.

A CTA is a Call to Action. In other words, it’s the thing that the person does next. They’re going to go somewhere. They’re going to click something, or just type another search into the search engine, or visit a bookmark or they can do what you tell them to do if you’ve written a great press release with a clear CTA.

Go here. Check this out. Read this next. Give them something to do! Don’t be coy with it, or create button language that tries to play conservative; just tell them what to do next and make sure they can see the path to get there.

9. Edit & polish!

If you haven’t edited and polished your writing before you publish, then consider yourself still a grasshopper. You haven’t reached mastery yet. There’s still much to learn.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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