How to write a powerful press release
How to catch the media's attention
... And TIPS FOR avoiding the trash
Even the term ‘press release’ may sound dated in the digital age, but it’s still a staple of public relations.
The lion’s share of ‘news’ stories in professional publications and local newspapers are prompted by press releases or media notices.
A simple news release can be a very cost-effective way of getting your message out there and into the media – new digital channels included.
However, editors bin most press releases. So how do you win your business a share of that publicity?
8 steps to a winning press release
A strong press release requires a bit of groundwork (and doing the hack's work for them) but it's usually worth it:
1. Research your target publication or online news channel, and their audience – and write your release with them firmly in mind. The better the match in terms of content and style, the more likely your release will be used.
2. Find the hook. What makes your story topical or newsworthy, interesting and relevant? Simply announcing something as ‘new’ is lazy and boring. Try to identify a benefit, application or some other angle to get you noticed.
3. Keep it simple and direct. Imagine telling your news to a friend or colleague (or a prospect face-to-face) as a way of homing in on the nub of your story.
4. Avoid jargon and too much detail. If technical information is important for some of your audience, put it in the Editor’s Notes at the end or customise a version just for that outlet.
5. Don’t over-egg it! Save the journalist the effort of deleting the superlatives, ‘uniqueness’ and hype, and it’s less likely to go in the bin.
7. Supply a good photo. If the image is strong, your item could be used just for that reason. And more prominently.
8. Don't forget to provide details for the journalist to contact you. They probably won't have the time, but be prepared to back up your message and help.
Please release me…
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