Continuing on with our tips on press release writing, today we discuss engaging with your audience.
Using this blog post by Pat Wootton from Prompt Proofing as a source, we provide some hints on how to help ensure your release performs well by being sure that it is fully engaging with your audience.
One of the main issues with press releases and their audience is that people have a very short attention span when reading online. Engaging with your audience is going to mean combatting this attention span – i.e. getting your message across as quickly and effectively as possible.
Here are some ways to combat this:
- Keep the release brief. This is the easiest tool to put into action – people are bored by reading a lot onscreen (and reading on a computer is harder on your eyes too, so people tire quicker). Even if you don’t want people to read the whole release, if they open up your release and see a huge chunk of text, they are likely to just click away. Keep it short (we recommend 350 words or less)!
- Use paragraph spacing wisely. For the same reason as listed in the above bullet point, a huge chunk of text will turn a reader off instantly. Break it up as often as makes sense, and keep your sentences brief (no run-on sentences allowed!). This will make your release much more readable.
- Place all the essential information that you want people to know about in the first paragraph. That way if they don’t make it past the first few sentences, they have the general gist of what you’re trying to say anyway. One exception? Fine print details like dates, times, prices, phone numbers etc. This information should be neatly displayed at the end of the release. If you have explained simply enough what the sale, product or event is in the opening paragraph, people will quickly skim-read to find the essential details, so having them nicely and easily displayed at the bottom of the release will help them find it and help them have more impact without littering your opening paragraph with numbers.
- Include a call to action in your release – some way in which people can take the next step. If your release has its desired effect, people are going to want to know MORE about you and your company after reading the release, so you need to provide them with a way to do that while you have their attention! This can be as simple as including a ‘click here’ link to your website, or a phone number.
Put these simple tools in place and watch as your readers engage with your release more and more.Google+