Write Your Press Release…

Topic Progress:

We recommended submitting 1 press release per month. One of the major reasons is that press releases get indexed very well by Google and Yahoo since they are news.

Press releases are way under-utilized by many in the profession. Make sure you’re doing FREE online press releases and  not missing-out on some potentially very good exposure and website traffic. You’ll want to submit to as many free online submission services as you can.

We recommended a software for online press release submission that automatically hits around 20 websites pretty quickly. It’s purely optional but it will save you time.

Below, is free press release directory: http://mashable.com/2007/10/20/press-releases/

A few pointers:

Make sure the press releases are location or condition specific, too. Here is a hypothetical

Example:

(Your City) (State Abbreviation) [Massage therapist/Acupuncturist] Offers a New Twist on [Massage/Acupuncture] Care

This has geo-targeted keywords in the title which is what people are searching. Remember, submit at least 1 per month. Here’s another  example:

(Your City) (State Abbreviation) Back Specialist Offers Fresh Approach to [Massage/Acupuncture] Care

If you don’t know how to write a press release, have a professional do it for you. Outsourcing is a great way to go!

The key is leverage. Outsourcing allows you to multiply your time through the use of others and your practice and income will grow!

Many times you can hire writers for pennies on the dollar and a have a great press release for $15 or less!

Some websites I use to find people all over the world are:

http://Elance.com

http://Guru.com

http://Odesk.com


Writing a Successful Press Release

Press releases are how the media get a lot of their news. Either the media run the release with their own editing or they follow up on the release to develop their own story. Press releases are a way of garnering free advertising. They are typically the first step in getting your name in an article in the paper or a piece done about you on radio or TV. Because press releases are relatively easy to write and send, they should be a regular part of your overall marketing plan. Below are 10 keys to writing a good press release – one which will translate into free media coverage for you and your clinic.

  1. Use an active headline to grab the reporter’s attention. Your headline should be short, active, and descriptive. For instance, instead of “[Your Name] Receives Award,” “[Your Name] Named Seattles’s Best [Massage Therapist/Acupuncturist]”
  2. Put the most important information at the beginning. The reporter needs to know who, what, when, where, why, and/or how in the first two paragraphs. In a busy newsroom, that’s often all that gets read.
  3. Avoid hype and unsubstantiated claims. If you make a claim, be sure you have some evidence to back it up. In most, if not all, states, it is illegal for a licensed health professional to promise a cure. Whatever you say, be sure it’s true.
  4. Be active and to the point. Try not to use passive voice. Use active verbs as much as you can. Also get to the point quickly. Don’t meander. All you really need to do is answer the questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and/or How?
  5. Keep your release to a maximum of two pages. One is better. If you’re not stating your point in two pages or less, you’re not getting to the point. Reporters tend to be busy people. They’re not going to hunt through a poorly written, meandering four page release. The only file such an unfocused, poorly written release is going to go in is the circular kind.
  6. Include a contact. If your release strikes an interest, the reporter is going to want to know how to get more information, how to follow up. Therefore, every release should have the name and numbers of a contact person on the bottom. But be sure that A) the contact person is knowledgeable about the topic of the release and B) knows releases have been sent with their name on the bottom.
  7. Keep jargon to a minimum. Try to keep any technical terms to a minimum. You know what the muscles are, ligaments, qi, yin, and yang are, but the general public does not. Also try to use more simple Anglo Saxon words and less words that come from Latin. Remember, journalists write for the average 6th grade reader. So keep it simple. Communication is more important than showing off your education.
  8. Stress benefits. Everyone wants to know what’s in it for me. Don’t tell people that the work you do is ancient, great, wonderful, or the best and that it’s what everyone needs. Even if its true. People want to know what benefits they are likely to experience. A better approach is to tell them about freedom from side effects, low cost, proven healing effects, or anything else which expresses a benefit to the prospective patient. Maybe that’s something as prosaic as convenient parking and weekend office hours. Telling them how good your work is or how good you are is not a direct benefit to the reader.
  9. Be specific and detailed. Don’t assume that the reporter already knows anything about massage/or acupuncture. The reader should be able to visualize what you are talking about.
  10. Proofread. Be absolutely sure you and someone else proofreads your press release before sending it off. Proofread your release for spelling and also for grammar. Then proof it again to check to see if you’ve followed the previous nine pieces of advice. Nothing can sink a press release faster than a sloppy, unprofessional presentation. As a corollary of this, don’t use fancy typefaces or dingbats (cute little graphic symbols). They’re hard to read and look amateurish.

Sample Press Releases

From Massage Therapy – click here

From Natural Touch Marketing – click here

From Massage and Fitness Professionals – click here

>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<

Americas Holistic Health Clinic

3001 All American Ave.

Seattle, WA 98115

123-345-9999

Press Release

For immediate release:

[Your Name] Named Seattle’s Best [Massage Therapist/Acupuncturist]

Jul. 19, Seattle, WA: Local [massage therapist/acupuncturist], [Your Name], received the Best of Seattle Award as [massage therapist/acupuncturist] of the year for 2014. This award was given by the Daily News yesterday at a ceremony held at [Location]. Each year, the Daily News holds a contest for determining the Best of Seattle in 35 different categories. [Your Name], who is also a member [list out your professional associations]. [Your Name] has practiced massage/acupuncture] in Seattle since 1998. [She/he] attended trainings at the [Your School]. [Your Name] currently conducts a private practice at Americas Holistic Health Clinic which is a multi-practitioner alternative health care clinic located at 3001 All American Ave, in Seattle, WA. For the last several years, [Your Name] has specialized in the treatment of [List your specialties, is., chronic pain and sports injuries].

END _ END _ END _ END

For further information, [Your Name] can be contacted at: [Your Number] or by email at: [Your Email]


Tips & Warnings

  • Press releases are written in block style, so no paragraph indentation is necessary.
  • Have an objective person read your press release and tell you whether he or she would be interested enough to read a newspaper story about it. If not, consider going back to the drawing board for a rewrite.
  • Hire a professional photographer to cover your event so you can include relevant photos with your release. Many newspapers and local magazines appreciate not having to send out a photographer.
  • Send your press release to the reporter that covers the area you are targeting instead of a managing or senior editor. Often, this will turn into a story much faster.
  • Make sure the information is newsworthy.
  • Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it.
  • Start with a brief description of the news, then distinguish who announced it, and not the other way around.
  • Ask yourself, “How are people going to relate to this and will they be able to connect?”
  • Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective, as they are the most important.
  • Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language.
  • Deal with the facts.
  • Provide as much Contact information as possible: Individual to Contact, address, phone, fax, email, Web site address.
  • Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release.

Standard format for a press release is double spacing on one side only of white 8 ½ x 11″ paper. Put your name and address in the top of the page. If only sending to one publication, tell them it’s “first run” in addition to “for immediate release.”

Be sure to use a typewriter or computer to compose the release. No handwriting.

Keep the tone of your release all business. Don’t go into too much personal or non-business related detail or your press release will likely end up in the editor’s circular file.


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