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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 July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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