Plus, when a publication chooses to run your press release, your business benefits from the impression that your news has been deemed ‘newsworthy’ by a third party, giving you a degree of perceived credibility and expertise.
If you want to create a press release for your business but you’re not sure where to start, these 5 tips will put you on track to ensuring your press release is a success.
Tip #1. Keep it short and simple
Most journalists will decide in a couple of seconds whether to read your press release. Keep it to one page and aim to tell the main ‘story’ in the headline and first paragraph. Include a quote from your company spokesperson or a customer if you can.
Try to think like a reporter when you’re writing a press release – if it looks like a news piece and can be used by a publication without extensive editing, it has a much better chance of getting picked up.
Journalists will scan your headline and make a decision on whether or not to read the rest of your press release. So make it easy for them to read on with a short, catchy headline that captures the essence of the story and piques the reader’s interest.
A good headline can make or break your press release, so spend some time on getting it right. Ask yourself if you’d read on if the article wasn’t about your business – if the answer is no, keep trying!
Tip #3. Inform, don't promote
A press release is not an advertisement. Your focus should be on informing an audience, rather than selling your product / service / brand.
The old adage ‘show, don't tell’ is a good one to keep in mind when you’re writing a press release – and this is where customer or supplier quotes can be really powerful.
Tip #4. Ask ‘so what?’. A lot.
You may think your news is exciting, but why would a journalist and their readers care about it? Ask yourself “So what? As a reader, why would I care?” at the end of your sentences and paragraphs, and keep asking until you’re satisfied with the answer.
Be very clear about the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor in your headline and first paragraph and demonstrate why your press release is meaningful for that publication’s readers.
Tip #5. Don’t forget to follow up
A simple step, but one that’s often overlooked. Call the journalist a couple of days after you have sent them your press release to see if you’ve captured their interest. Offer them a photo or interview opportunity if they seem undecided – this may help to get them over the line.
Importantly, don’t be disheartened if your press release isn’t picked up. Try a different angle or publication in a month or two, and perhaps do a bit more research on the story angles that your target publications are running.
Bonus tip: Hire a professional (that’s me!)
If you’re not confident about writing your own press release (or you just don’t have the time), consider hiring a professional press release copywriter. If you’d like some help with your next press release, please call me on 0401 202 085 or email email@example.com.