Who Will Do a Better Job of Capturing the Right Tone and Feel of Your Blog Business?

May 15, 2012   //   by Bill   //   blogging, Copywriting, link building, SEO, SEO Blog, Social Media  //  21 Comments

While press release writing is specialized work, there are many cases of businesses wanting to write their own press releases instead of outsourcing the work.

It might be that you are a new startup with a limited marketing budget (and thus want to avoid the costs), or maybe you feel that yourself or an in-house employee will do a better job of capturing the right tone and feel of your company.

Whatever the motivation, there are pros and cons to both approaches. This content will discuss the advantages of both options, and then (hopefully) help you make the right decision for your company.

Writing Press Releases Yourself

After reading through this blog post, you should have a clear idea of what is required to write a press release. In short, you need:

  • A good story.
  • Good writing skills (specific to press releases).

There are distinct advantages of writing your own press releases, and I would fully encourage you to do so if you can consistently write well (or have an employee to write for you). If you are unwilling to invest in an employee, or unsure of how eschewing a professional PR service can help you, read through the following reasons:

Cost

A professionally written press release can cost you anywhere from $200 to $500. Considering that this is just a 1-page document, which will eventually contain information that you will provide, this seems an exorbitant price.

Personalized

While press release writing services make every effort to personalize every press release, there is a distinct style for each writer and for each company as well. Personalized ‘style’ of press or media releases. A powerful example of this is Google – check Google Press for a sample of effective personalized press releases can be.

Be warned though. This is not something easy to accomplish. As press releases are terse, 1-page news items with a very big emphasis on content, it is difficult to establish a style.

Practice will help you improve, and if you feel that the identity and image of your company will be better served by writing the press release yourself rather than outsourcing it, then make sure you read many different press releases from other companies to get a feel of how to build your unique style.

Other Benefits

Being directly involved with your industry, you are in the best position to highlight the advantages of your ‘news’ to your potential consumers and competitors.

You will be able to provide relevant, current information and your insight into your industry will also help you to pinpoint which news hook will be most successful.

Verdict

Matching the expertise of a professional press release writer is a difficult task. On the other hand, in-house press release writing, especially if done by an employee, can be ‘good enough’ if due attention is paid to getting the details right.

Professional Press Release Writing

Despite the obvious advantages of writing your own press release, a professional press release service gives you specific, money-valuable benefits:

Experience

Professional press release services have the advantage of having working in this field for a lot longer than you – they have written (hopefully) dozens of press releases, and know the industry inside out.

As such, they are well placed to avoid mistakes that beginning press release writers might make and are likely to produce good, reliable press releases.

Of course, there is also a chance that the press release might not be what you are looking for – maybe the writer gets the tone wrong, or underplays certain features that you wanted to give prominence to.

The added experience will also ensure that the writer will be able to judge better whether the information you’ve given him is enough, not enough or too much. In addition, there is the value of having an ‘outside’ perspective. Outsourcing your press release to an independent PR service will:

  • Allow them to present the news in a more realistic light.
  • Discourage you from making a press release without having effective content.

Be careful about putting too much faith in the press release service to tell you what is right or wrong, however. The responsibility of ensuring that there is enough ‘newsworthy’ information in your press release is yours, not of the service.

Time

A press release can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a day to write, revise and get just right. If you are part of a fast-paced company where you measure your time in hundreds of dollars, then spending that much time on a press release might seem expensive especially since you can get better results by outsourcing the press release.

Do not underestimate the time required to write a press release – for your news to be a full-blown success, every little detail has to be just right.

Verdict

It’s just a 1-page document. Why does it cost so much?

I’m faced with that question every day. Considering that you will still have to provide a lot of the information to the press release service, it seems ridiculous to pay over $200 (and up to $500) for a press release. But in the end, it’s the results that justify the costs.

A professionally written press release will always have a better chance of being accepted for distribution, and the experience of a professional PR service will serve you will in making your press release successful.

Another factor working in the favor of professional press release services is their ‘package deals’ – a promise to distribute your press release at a discounted rate if you have your press release written by them.

Costs vs. Expertise

I’ve been saying this throughout the content, and I say it again:

Your press release is (almost) worthless without newsworthy information. Keep this point in your mind as you make the choice between writing the press release yourself (using the advice in thisblog post) and outsourcing it to a professional press release service. Where will that newsworthy information come from? From you.

In fact, even if you outsource the press release, the bulk of the information put in the press release will come from you, either as part of the original specifications presented, or from the questions that the writer will ask you to help him write the press release.

So what are you really paying them for?

Their experience – press release writers have considerable, battle-field knowledge of writing press releases – the kind that only comes through time. You are also paying for their language and marketing skills, as writing a press release requires a specific writing style that does not fit into traditional sales copy.

Don’t hire a sales letter writer to write your press release until you are sure they have experience in writing successful press releases.

However, if you are willing to learn and apply the knowledge from this content (or have an employee as a suitable candidate), in-house press releases can be just as successful as those from a PR service. The key is to do two things repeatedly:

  • Ensure that you are fully prepared.
  • Differentiate between traditional sales copy and press release writing and make the effort to write ‘in a reporting, unbiased style’.

Choosing the Right Service

While this content goes a long way towards helping you write your own press releases, the primary aim is to guide you into preparing the best press release for your company, each and every time.

And sometimes, a company does not have the time, or the technical skills, to dedicate resources towards in-house press release writing.

In such cases, outsourcing your press release requirements becomes necessary. This section, although concise, will help you in picking the right service for your company.

Hiring a PR service

If you are looking to hire a professional press release service, make sure that you complete the following checklist.

  • Does the service have a portfolio or a client’s list? Make sure that you can see visible results, and don’t be afraid to ask for proof.
  • Compare costs and services between different PR companies to make sure you get the best deal.
  • Understand the fine print. Some PR firms may not allow for more than 1 revision, and some also don’t allow for free consultations – which essentially means that if the PR firm decides that your ‘story’ is not newsworthy, you would have ended up paying for nothing.
  • Don’t automatically jump for combined packages (press release writing and distribution). Make sure the investment is worth it, and that you see a list of the media contacts (at least their names, if not their contact information) that your press release will be distributed to.
  • Themed distributions are very different in impact to generic distributions, so don’t fall into the trap of paying less and actually getting something that is worth nothing to your company.
  • If you like the company’s portfolio, try to negotiate a discounted package in return for bringing all your press release business to them. PR firms would normally not refuse long-term business relationships, and the promise of continued business can possibly lower your long-term costs as well.

Hiring a freelance writer

Of course, if the cost is a really serious issue, and you cannot have the press release written in-house (for various reasons) then you may be better served by outsourcing to a freelance writer.

There are several online freelance websites from where you can hire good writers – Elance and RentACoder are the most popular, and most effective.

With freelance writers, there is the advantage of saving on money – a good press release can be written for $100 or less. On the other hand, there is a risk of not getting what you really want.

I’ll not go into the details of how to ensure that you don’t get your money’s worth as there are many ”freelance hiring”guides on the Internet (some good, some bad, and some bad copies of good guides).

Just make sure that you follow the same pattern as you would when hiring a PR service – check their portfolio, and do your best to provide them with complete information.

RentACoder has many safeguards that prevent buyers (like you) from projects that go bad, so trust the system and follow their advice.

However, one bad apple does not make everyone else incompetent. Freelance websites are full of hard-working individuals wanting to earn good money – make sure that you find someone who is capable of doing the job, and then enjoy the benefits of a well-written press release for a fraction of the price.

What is your opinion on DIY vs Professional writers?

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Comment Policy

  • Chris HELP
    Twitter:
    says:

    $200 + for a press release? Good God! I charge $40 each. If you’re paying that much, you’re crazy!

    • There are few freelancers who could write it for $20 and it’s really professional.

      • Bill says:

        That’s true Damodar, as long as the writer is highly skilled, then you can get a real professional press release. At this point i will consider a writer who is skilled and has passion on press release, then i can pay the $20.

  • Bill says:

    Hello Chris, from my own school of thought, the amount you charge will depend with your client and waht you gain from them. Personally i have i charge as much as $100 for writing a press release, in-fact, i would never charge less than $100 and this is because of the extra value that i deliver.

    Believe me its all about what you have to offer. There are people like Gerald who i think he charge more than i do an dits because he has achieved the level of success of offering good service.

    In essence the main thing is to provide a valuable offer that will satisfy your clients as this will increase your subscriber prospects.

  • jennifer says:

    This post is truly indeed, every information and ideas is interesting that surely bring a kind of attraction to all the blogger like me…

    • Bill says:

      Hello, Jeniffer thanks for the positive feedback, i hope it will be an ”Ice-Braker for the new and the mighty bloggers to take action.

  • A press release should be well written and one should not scimp on paying for this. A well written press release can bring much value to a business.

  • Pershy says:

    There are people like Gerald who i think he charge more than i do an dits because he has achieved the level of success of offering good service. Thanks for sharing.

  • Samuel
    Twitter:
    says:

    Whether to write it yourself or have someone else do it often comes down to your budget and your goal. Writing a press release (or anything, for that matter) costs you time. Time is money. Outsourcing your press release is probably the best option if you’ve got the cash, and the company or freelancer you hire is willing to do a rewrite or two when you need more emphasis or a style tweak.

    • Bill says:

      Its true Samuel, budget really matters alot, but it should not scare you. If you really want to succeed online, you must be determine to break the success code. It just like you must assume that your life depends on it. I hope am not scaring you!!!

  • biobank says:

    Whether to write it yourself or have someone else do it often comes down to your budget and your goal. In essence, the main thing is to provide a valuable offer that will satisfy your clients as this will increase your subscriber prospects…

  • Nick Lawless says:

    Hi,

    I believe a press release is one of those basic elements that makes a business successful. It is important that we put some time, effort and budget for it. When it comes to the question: “how much should I press release be?” I think it will solely depend on the credibility and expertise of the person writing it.

    Just my thoughts.

    • Bill says:

      Its true Nick, experience really matters when selecting the best PR Writer. Just because someone is a content writer doesn’t mean he/she can write press release. Thanks Nick

  • Kristine More says:

    You must get a good writer in writing PR. Not all writer can be able to write quality PR so you must select the right one… I have tried writing PR and my boss are contented on my PR.

  • Bill says:

    Writing skills matter but from my own experience i would consider a SOLO WRITER this is because they will dedicate there time on your project, i think that works better.

  • Eman says:

    You can expect good results from a well written PR, but honestly, my eyes widened when I saw $200(up to $500) for a 1-Page PR. There are some who offers $30 – $70 well written PR’s. But maybe $200 is worth to try.

    • Bill says:

      Hi, Eman i know its a bit scary when you think of chucking out $200-$500 for a press release, but all in all it will depend on your level success and determination. For instance would belive that i pay PRWEB $329 to write a press release for me? Please dont widen your eye’s (kidding).

      The reason why i pay that much it’s because i can afford and secondly i get massive results out of it. For NEWBIES, i would suggest that you start by low level high quality PR’S before high budget services. Thanks EMAN!

  • Justin says:

    I agree, It’s not about the price of the Press Release, it’s about the content. Well written PR’s can go viral not just on the web but IRL. You think so? Because I do, and that will bring even more readers.

  • biobank says:

    I think the main thing is to provide a valuable offer that will satisfy your clients because it will increase your subscriber prospects.

  • Press releases aren’t for customers or consumers they are for reporters, journalists who will use them as a starting point for a larger story or feature. Write your story as you would like to have it told. Press releases written as sales pieces will be completely ignored. The points you make in your press release and the order in which you make them may direct the journalist in how to develop the story.

  • Jamy Hoster
    Twitter:
    says:

    I am completely agreed with your blog as any person who like to start blogging must get some experience from reading and then they make a content which must be unique and worth reading and also attract people towards it.