The Ins and Outs of Press Releases
Feel free to send press releases about anything related to the Portland Metro food and restaurant scene to firstname.lastname@example.org. Other items will be deleted.
Here are some hints on how to write good press releases:
- This site and many others you are likely to get attention from, get lots of traffic from search engines, so keep in mind that Google and friends are trying to figure out what your press release is about. Give a title for your press release – not all capital letters, and not too long, or the system will truncate them – search engines only look at the first 70 characters in the title – the rest will be cut off. Also, if you use the same title every month for recurring newsletters, i.e. “News from Joe’s”, your press release will place low search results. Don’t just say “News from Joe’s Restaurant”, try “June News from Joe’s Restaurant”, or “Joe’s Restaurant Now Offers Quick Lunch!”
- Though email addresses are automatically scrambled by my software, it is still a lousy idea to put one in a press release unless you want lots of spam. Use a phone number instead.
- Feel free to attach a logo to go with your press release. They can be any size, but should be square if possible.
- All items will be published as space allows, first come, first served. I post a maximum of ten per day; if PR is backed up, postings may be held for a few days before they are published. I don’t generally post weekends.
Things I don’t generally post:
- Sales fliers, such as wine sales that include prices, items with Amazon.com affiliate links, etc.
- Beer releases – there are just too many and they clutter up the feed.
- Funding sites – I get lots of these. Many never come to fruition they are not worth taking space away from other services/restaurants.
- Food carts – there are so many out there I can’t keep up.
Send press releases to email@example.com. Submissions can be in .doc or text files, but be warned that photos in Microsoft Word documents do not copy correctly. Because PDF files lose their formatting/images/etc., when they are copied to the website, I can’t accept them. Constant Contact type forms also contain a ton of tables and whatnot that look good at large sizes, but will break on mobile devices, so they generally won’t be posted either. Whew.
I reserve the right to edit to reduce file size, change file formats, etc. You are solely responsible for the content that you mail to me, link to or otherwise make available for posting on pdxfoodpress.com, and you agree that we are only acting as a passive conduit for your online distribution and publication of your user content. In other words, if you send me something to post, I am going to assume that you are giving permission to post it on the site, including any images/photographs/logos. If you don’t have permission, you’ll be the one getting sued – so please keep that in mind. NEVER USE AN IMAGE IN ANY PRESS RELEASE THAT YOU DON’T OWN RIGHTS TOO – THE LAWYERS WILL FIND YOU AND THE FINES ARE HUGE.
How to get the best results from a press release
(you don’t have to do this, but if you do your results will be better)
Some of you may have the ability to use formatting tags, such as <h1>,<h2> etc, especially if you use a service such as Constant Contact. Though these will cause your text size to change, that is not the purpose of them, and using tags incorrectly can cause penalties by search engines. Instead, they tell companies like Google what are the most important parts of your PR, and how to read them. The subject line in your email will automatically show as an <h1> – big bold type, so don’t worry about it. You should never want to use the <h1> again in your press release, but it is important to add a further description with an <h2> tag in the first line of the press release, repeating the same keywords that were used in the title. In the example below, the subject line is automatically <h1>, that is automatic. Then the description should be <h2>. The end result will look something like this:
Motivator Restaurant Now Offers Quick Lunch!
Portland’s Motivator restaurant now offers quick lunch Monday thru Friday
Body text goes here.
If you have more information you want to emphasize, tell search engines your priorities by using <h3> etc. For example, <h3> might be sub-headlines for different sections in a restaurant newsletter. It can be used multiple times.
Following those rules will get you much better search engine traffic on any website, not just this one. If you forget, I’ll try to add them myself, but if I’m in a rush, they may get forgotten.