You’ve launched a product, won an award, hit an exciting milestone in your business and now you want to let the world know about it. A press release can be an amazing marketing tool – if you know how to write one that packs a punch.
Journalists, whether they’re working on a national daily newspaper, monthly local magazine or an online publication, will be bombarded with press releases to their inbox on an hourly basis. It’s up to you to make sure they read and publish yours.
Here are my top seven tips to help you. Don’t hit that send button on your email until you’ve ticked them all off!
- Ask yourself if your news is really newsworthy. Don’t start writing before doing this one – what’s exciting and big news to you and your business might not be as incredible to the world at large. What’s your news and is there a spin you can put on it to make it relevant to the publication you want to be seen in?
- You’ve got your angle sorted and you’re ready to put pen to paper, but how do you begin? This is THE most important part of the process, as a busy journalist will only have time to read the first few words of your press release, if they read it at all. That means ALL your news needs to go into the first paragraph.
- Make sure your press release covers the six basic questions that are crucial to the telling of any story; who, what, when, where, why and how? And yes, these should all be covered in that first paragraph if at all possible.
- Include a good quality supporting image. Words are important, of course, but newspapers and magazines would be a bit dull without pictures, so make sure your press release doesn’t get released without one. It should be relevant to the news story you are promoting, include the names of any people in it and be of a good quality for print.
- Make sure your press release is free of typos and grammatical errors. Ultimately, you want to make the journalist’s job as easy as possible. A good press release is one that could be cut and paste straight onto the page of the newspaper or magazine, so spelling mistakes need to be eradicated before you hit send. Proofread what you’ve written, make sure it covers off all the points made above and pop it through the spellcheck.
- Include contact information and a call to action. A website and telephone number for your business should be placed in the final paragraph of the press release and make sure you pop your own contact details in the notes to editors at the end, so if they do have any questions they know how to get in touch.
- Be aware of deadlines. Print publications will have timelines that they work to that can’t be adjusted to accommodate your news. Monthly consumer magazines, for example, will be working on their Christmas editions in July, so if you’re launching something festive and want to be featured you’ll need to plan ahead.
This list isn’t exhaustive, or a guarantee that your press release will be published, but following these steps will improve your chances. For support with writing press releases from someone who’s been there, done that and knows exactly what journalists are looking for, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07977 195946.