Press Release Checklist

Press releases should be written for humans and for search engines.

There are two factors that must come together for your press release to succeed:  

1. The press release distribution.

2. The press release writing.

Regarding press release distribution, we’ve got your back!

If you’re writing the press release yourself (we do offer press release writing), here’s a Press Release Checklist to ensure your press release sings when distributed by PR NewsChannel.


___Write for humans and search engines

Press releases are not just for reporters anymore. If done right, press releases you distribute via PR NewsChannel will reach consumers and your potential customers directly–on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

___Optimize for keywords

You reach potential customers and clients–and reporters, too, by identifying three or four keyword phrases (buzzwords) to emphasize. That’s called “optimizing” the press release. Try to think about the words or phrases that people will type into a search box on Google when looking for what you’re promoting. The more specific the key word phrase, the better.

___Use buzzwords in the headline

Most experts in optimizing suggest headlines that are 65-70 characters long (That’s less than half the length of a Tweet!). But a study by Schwartz Communications found that only 18% of press release writers use key word phrases in the headline and keep the headline the right length. Do it right and you’ll be rewarded. On PR NewsChannel, that headline will be used as part of the web address for the press release–making the headline that much more valuable.

___Use a sub-headline and optimize it for a different keyword phrase than you have for the headline

There is room for a sub-headline. Besides helping to guide the reader, done right it helps with placement in search engines. Even professionals forget to include a subheadline. Use one of the key word phrases in the sub.

___Use one or two of the keyword phrases in the first sentence of the press release

___Repeat keyword phrases throughout the press release

To Google and other search engines, repetition means its relevant or associated with your content. It’s not lazy writing. It’s smart writing. But don’t be too smart about it. If you overdo it, it will seem “spammy” and you will get penalized. You may get sent to the dungeons of the search engines. Use some common sense. If it “reads” really odd, you probably overdid it.  Rewrite it. A review of your press release for grammar and style is included in your distribution.

___Make the press release long enough, but not too long

The optimal length for a press release is about 400 words.

___Link to relevant websites and pages

Try to hyperlink only one set of key words per paragraph. You could be penalized if you do more.

___Include quotes from real people

Makes it seem more real and relevant.

___Embed a relevant YouTube video

The cross pollination is good! And don’t just embed it, also link to it.

___Link to social media sites 

___Twitterize your headline

On PR NewsChannel exclusively, we’ve gotten some great press for our Web 2.0 innovation. (Read more: #hashtags in headlines? #winning.) We encourage you (included in the price) to make your headline Twitter friendly. That makes proliferation of your press release on Twitter nearly dummy proof. Meaning this: People who know nothing about Twitter hashtags and @ symbols can easily share your press release to help spread the word on Twitter. (Read more: Social Media Engagement.)