5 Ways to Engage With Your Audience Through Your Press Release

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April 01, 2014

Press releases perform well based on myriad factors, but one of the most important is engaging your reader. If you do not capture the reader's attention right from the start, they will click away from your press release and onto someone else's very quickly.

People have very short attention spans when reading online, especially, so engaging your audience often means finding ways to combat this attention span - mainly through getting your message across as quickly and effectively as possible.

Here are 5 ways you can try this today:

  1. Keep your press release brief. This is the easiest tool to put into action - people are bored by reading a lot on screen (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).

  2. Use paragraph spacing wisely. For the same reason as listed in the first 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.

  3. 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 angle, 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.

  4. Use appropriate language. Press releases cannot read as advertisements, so even though you might feel it would be more appropriate to write to the reader ("you"), this will come across as too promotional and will put people off - they will feel they are being sold to as if they watching an advert on TV. Instead stick with third-person narration ("if customers are interested in more information..." rather than "if you are interested in more information..."). The release will sound more genuine and professional, which will draw readers in more.

  5. 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.