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How to Write a Catchy News Release Summary

Posted on: Feb 19, 2014

Headline Big AnnouncementGet it said and get it read in the fewest number of words possible.

Read any good news releases lately? No doubt there are some releases you remember and even read to the end. Why was that? Surprisingly often, the answer is that the first sentence was well-written enough to make the release interesting. Opening sentences are not easy to develop, but the skill behind them needs to be cultivated.

A well-crafted news release ranks better in search engines and is then shared to rank well again and again.

There is no 1-2-3 quick-and-easy template for a good release. However, there are plenty (more…)

Posted in Legal Marketing

Use the Ampersand

Posted on: Jan 22, 2014

LFN_amperThis week, we take a look at a wild rollercoaster of a character: the ampersand. Many law firms use an ampersand in place of “and” in the firm’s business name. However, if your law firm is inconsistent in your usage, you may be missing out on some local SEO benefits.

When you submit a press release, it restates your business name, address and phone number on multiple websites. It’s one of the greatest benefits of press releases, and it may especially help your local search ranking. But if your law firm’s name is Burns & Smithers, your Google+ Local page says Burns (more…)

Posted in Legal Marketing, Press Release Writing

Topics of National Interest Improve Local Search Engine Results

Posted on: Jan 15, 2014

us_mapMany lawyers feel that news releases are only relevant to them if they pertain to their local area or just to their state. While it is true that local topics do help with optimization, national topics can also help improve local search engine results.

National news, particularly relating to topics generating substantial interest, captures more attention on a broader scale. Releases on such subjects are picked up widely and distributed on news wires that extend far beyond your community. Such a release offers exposure for your law firm’s name and website, which in turn boosts your local search results.

For example, (more…)

Posted in Legal Marketing, Press Release Writing

Counting on Word Count

Posted on: Dec 10, 2013

word countWhat goes into a perfect news release? Style? An eye-catching headline and perfect grammar? Every element is important, but the word count (or length of your news release) is the most crucial component of all.

Interestingly, writers often ignore the length of their news releases. But most editors and reporters only spare about five seconds to scan content in order to determine if it is newsworthy. The longer a release, the less chance it will be read. So, aim for between 300–500 words. Such a limit also makes content more concise; any single release over 500 words is usually redundant.

A (more…)

Posted in Legal Marketing, News Publishing

Images vs. Logos in Press Releases

Posted on: Oct 14, 2013

IMAG0341Recently, we reviewed the performance of press releases on Law Firm Newswire to see whether images or logos yielded more readers. As it turns out, generic pictures of your city or landmarks actually brings in more readers than your logo.

Perhaps skylines and stock imagery makes the reader feel like the piece is an authentic news item rather than a press release. The logo makes it clear that the news item is generated by the business.

When doing a side-by-side comparison of stock images, logos, and pictures of attorneys, we found that attorney pictures and stock imagery perform the same. But logos (more…)

Posted in Legal Marketing

Shorten Keyphrases in Press Release Titles

Posted on: Sep 16, 2013

LFN_impact_press_release_lawyersAs news aggregators get smarter, press release titles can revert back to a more traditional format. In the recent past, a family law attorney in Boston, MA, may have used “Boston divorce lawyer” in the title of a news release, but new changes in Google are making this practice obsolete.

As Google looks at the number of times your company name is mentioned on other sites (citations) and discourages hyper-linking keyphrases within news releases, your company name is now more important than keyword usage. Also, the contact information and dateline will position the release for your city and state without placing it (more…)

Posted in Legal Marketing

The Press is Watching

Posted on: Sep 10, 2013

Press watching lawyersOnline news releases need to be written with your target audience in mind — the end user, the person most likely to become a client. But, as editors and journalist see fewer traditional press releases land on their desk, they are looking to new aggregates to find stories.

That means not only are online press releases attracting clients, they are also attracting the press.

Therefore, you should include press contact information on every press release. A clear phone number and contact name will help journalist locate the exact person at your firm if they are working on a story that you can contribute (more…)

Posted in Legal Marketing, News Publishing, Press Release Writing

Citations not links should be the focus of news releases

Posted on: Aug 6, 2013

Social share press releasesGoogle has updated their link policy to indicate that press releases should no longer use optimized links. An optimized link, by their definition, is a keyphrase that is anything but the actual URL of your website.

While keyword-rich links are no longer advised, press releases still have a lot to offer by yielding citations. A citation is when Google sees your business name, as registered with Google+ Local, on other pages.

Mentioning your law firm’s name in a press release that gets heavily syndicated will now yield more of a result than hyperlinking your most prized keyword. Ultimately, this frees you from (more…)

Posted in Legal Marketing

Format Phone Numbers in Press Releases for Mobile Readers

Posted on: Jul 29, 2013

Mobile RSSWhen your law firm publishes a press release, linking to your website is usually a high priority. But many law firms forget to add an important item — their phone number.

The phone number is very important because many news release readers are going to be using their mobile devices to read your story. Most popular devices allow users to tap on a phone number to instigate a call. If the number isn’t in the release or if it isn’t formatted correctly, you could miss out on calls.

To format a phone number to make it mobile-friendly, make sure it looks like one (more…)

Posted in Legal Marketing

Attaching Attachments to Your News

Posted on: Jul 22, 2013

paper clip collage on whiteThe great benefit of online press releases is that they are more than a story, they can be interactive. When submitting a news release, submit attachments, images and associated media which allows your readers to learn more.

For example, a press release related to your law firm could be distributed with a brochure. To get even more attention, you could attach a free ebook to your press release.

Press releases with images, videos, and PDF attachments often enjoy more exposure and get syndicated by more websites than text-only press releases.

Plus, PDF attachments are now supported on Law Firm Newswire’s entry-level “Optimized” press (more…)

Posted in Legal Marketing, News Publishing, Press Release Writing