Three tips to writing catchy press release headlines

Face it; if your headline isn’t written well, media contacts are more than likely not going to continue reading your release.

Your headline needs to grab the readers’ attention and intrigue them enough to keep reading. They should provide just the right amount of information so that the reader goes, “Tell me more!”

Here are three tips to writing a great headline for your press release:

  1. Keep it short. The longer the headline, the more likely you are going to lose the readers’ attention. So keep it short, sweet and simple. Bonus: If you keep the headline under 140 characters, it’s easy to share on Twitter!
  2. Focus on the main idea. In order to keep the headline short and intrigue your intended audience, make sure to concentrate on the main point of the release, whether it’s an event, new product launch, etc. Details, like dates and times, can follow in the press release.
  3. Use a keyword phrase. Including a commonly searched keyword like ‘best NY pizza’ in the headline helps your release’s placement in search engine results.

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These three apps will help manage PR on-the-go

smartphoneMultitasking is the practice of managing several tasks simultaneously and the ability to execute many tasks at the same time.

With multiple accounts, projects, meetings, virtual meetings, conversations and tasks occurring each day, multitasking is a skill nearly all modern working people should possess. Fortunately, technology has evolved to help us with this endeavor.

Here are three apps that will aid you on this undertaking:

  1. Stay in the know with Feedly
    With the demise of Google Readerless than a month away (July 1, 2013) the time has come to find a new RSS feed reader and Feedly is my new favorite. With this RSS reader you can organize your favorite blogs in to different categories. Viewing your blogs have different options too. You can set up your reader similar to Google Reader or view it like a magazine. Feedly has apps for your Internet browser, smartphone and tablet.
  2. Keep the conversation going with Hootsuite
    Have multiple social media accounts you are managing? Use Hootsuite to keep tabs on what is going on all your accounts, in each of your lists and your #favoritetopics- all from one fabulous platform. Send tweets or schedule them. Then keep track of your mentions and retweets. Hootsuite makes it easy to keep a conversation going and build relationships. Hootsuite has apps for your Internet browser, smartphone and tablet.
  3. Access and share files, manage projects from anywhere using Dropbox
    Dropbox is a great way to share your own files between computers and devices. No matter where you are, you will have access to your important documents like press releases. Dropbox also has options for businesses. Manage who has access to your Dropbox by adding team members and using password protection.  Share files or presentations with your team from your computer, smartphone or tablet wherever your convenience.

What are some of your favorite apps that help you manage your PR?

Let me know in the comments below or drop me a line:

Contact Liv at(813) 708-1220 x7783,
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The importance of press releases during times of disaster

When a natural disaster strikes, swift actions and effective communication are the backbone of any relief effort.

The recent tornadoes that touched down in Moore, Okla. have left businesses, individuals and organizations nationwide reeling and wondering how they can help, even from thousands of miles away.

The internet can help more than you may realize and a press release detailing how your organization intends on offering assistance is the perfect place to start.

A press release gets you, or your businesses’, information out to an online audience without the limitations of traditional media. But typing something on your Facebook account isn’t going to provide results.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Write it right – Getting a professional writer to properly format your release and include search engine optimization (SEO) techniques will ensure that the release will be seen by those who can do the most with it.
  2.  Use a distribution wire – Using a distribution wire, can provide you a direct avenue to media outlets and provide those outlets with access to information they might not have otherwise had.
  3. Share it everywhere – Use social media and personal contacts to help spread the release. The more who see it, the better chance of getting your release to where it’s needed.

Everybody wants to help in their own way. While PR NewsChannel isn’t in Oklahoma, we can help organizations like the Red Cross or other relief efforts providing aid in spreading their information to a vast audience.

And doing something is what counts.

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Press release faux pas: Keep these mistakes out of your PR materials

Everyone wants their press release to capture national headlines. At the very least, some social media traction would be nice.
What would keep your release from doing that?

1.       Spelling and grammatical errors.  Nothing is worse than whne you forget to use your spell chck. Right? :)
You will instantly lose credibility when you misspell words, use the wrong ‘they’re’ or ‘their’ or forget to add a period in between sentences.

2.       Being too wordy. Keep it simple. No one wants to read multiple pages about something that could be said in less than one. Most press release distribution services recommend keeping your release to no longer than a page.

3.       Check yourself before you wreck yourself. This cannot be stressed enough: double check the facts! You don’t want people showing up to your news conference on May 8th, if it’s really on the 18th.

At the end of the day, you can have the most newsworthy topic in your release, and you can use a global newswire to distribute your news, but if it’s riddled with any of the previously stated press release faux pas, there’s a good chance it won’t make an impression on your audience. Or at least not the one you were aiming for.

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Did Reese’s arrest totally tarnish her reputation?

reese witherspoon sweet home alabama

I don’t think so. Here’s why:

In the past 20plus years that actress Reese Witherspoon has been in the spotlight, she has been able to retain a fairly squeaky clean image as one of America’s favorite girls next door.

On April 19th, in the wee hours of the morning, the loveable, Oscar-winning actress shocked her fans after getting arrested for disorderly conduct in downtown Atlanta with her husband, Jim Toth, who was arrested for a DUI.

According to the police report, Witherspoon played the “celebrity card” by asking if he knew who she was and also questioned the officer’s legitimacy. Hollywood’s sweetheart had had one too many drinks and showed a far more sour part of her personality than the public is used to.

While the media can be quick to judge and label the 37-year-old, mother of three as a brat or predict that she may be headed for a downward spiral, I would make the argument that the arrest can actually benefit her image.

Witherspoon has lived a relatively quiet life for a celebrity. She has had little drama, no trips to rehab or prior arrests. She gives off an unblemished perception of herself that is unfamiliar to most.

Nobody is perfect and that includes celebrities like Witherspoon. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has said things they do not mean. Mistakes do not suddenly stop at 22 (I’m talking to you, USA Today).

Michael Bublé, a friend of the actress even commended her for showing “graciousness, class and great dignity” in dealing with the arrest. Witherspoon’s good friend, Chelsea Handler agrees that it was “not a big deal.”

Witherspoon made a mistake, which she acknowledged and apologized for. No one can control what has happened in the past; they can only control their actions in the aftermath.  I don’t imagine she or her husband will be involved in any drinking and driving or disorderly conduct anytime soon, or ever again.

In the end, I believe that her arrest will make her appear more human and vulnerable to the public, ultimately creating a more relatable image.

So let’s hold off on calling her a “train wreck” or “brat” until it happens a second time, shall we?

Witherspoon Little Nicky


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What PR pros could learn from troubled, former child stars

It is rare to go a day or two without Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes making headlines for their crazy antics. From obscene tweets to hiding under tables in Brazilian nightclubs, these now grown-up movie stars are having their fair share of questionable moments, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

Behavior and constant negative media attention that Lohan and Bynes receive daily are a publicist’s worst nightmare. So what can PR professionals learn from these troubled actresses?

  1. Actions speak louder than words. Since 2007, Lindsay Lohan has had multiple run-ins with the law, including DUIs. (For more information, check out Lohan’s arrest records.) While she has tried to apologize for her actions, she has yet to take any serious steps to cleaning up her act.
    As PR pros know, it is important to practice what we preach. If your latest press release or pitch to the media touts a major donation to charity, make sure that all of the money goes exactly where it should.
  2. Not everything needs to be shared. Amanda Bynes recently used Twitter to let her feelings for popular rap artist Drake be known. However, her obscene tweet was something all of us could have done without.
    Often, our goal in public relations is to land media attention for a client or company as it pertains to products, events, news, etc. It is important to know when to seek out media coverage and when to let certain pieces simply be featured in an online-only press release or on social media. Have an updated version of a top-selling product is coming out? Great! Get in touch with your connection at The New York Times. But chances are, he or she is not going to care about minor internal promotions.
  3. Have a plan that moves you forward. Lohan and Bynes both started as child actors with bright futures in film as well as on TV. Unfortunately, neither has been making recent headlines for amazing films or projects.

PR professionals are closely involved with helping clients or their companies reach a certain goal. Whether it is to improve overall company image or to increase product sales by 500%, public relations plays a great role in that. In order to do so, PR professionals need to do substantial research, planning and execution to get their company or client moving forward.

With talks of rehab and interventions being tossed around as frequently as their nightclub visits and strange moments on New York streets, there is always a chance for a turnaround for Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes. Maybe there will be a PR professional brave enough to step up to the task of turning their images around….

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