Sending out an outstanding press release can mean the difference between gaining coverage for your client or simply being deleted from the journalist’s inbox. Press releases are the ultimate tool of PR! Many companies take it for granted and write them in a half-hearted way. This should not be the case as press releases continue to be the traditional form of PR and crucial in ensuring your company and/or client gets the right coverage!
Most importantly – press releases can drive campaigns, results and real ones for that matter! As your company or your clients’ company grows, people begin to associate the quality of your services and products with the content you share with them. You may not release it, but writing a press release is a craft which can take your coverage either way.
So how do you grab and making a lasting impression with journalists?
A crucial part for a successful press release is ensuring it is relevance to your clients’ audience and various publications you are targeting. However, above all, your press release must be newsworthy! This essentially means relevance to a current news coverage or topics which would be considered important within news.
The length of a normal press release is just under an A4 page. There is a good reason for keeping it short and sweet – it all comes down to the time investment of a hard-pressed journalist. They would appreciate you providing them with all the necessary information and details they need – which means saving their time and effort.
The headline makes all the difference
Journalists receive an overwhelming amount of emails on a daily basis, so it is important to make sure your headline is interesting and summarises the key points. Don’t complicate it by writing long sentences. A catchy, short, sharp and perhaps even witty headline is all you need. The headline should entice the journalists to read on!
Lead in the best way possible
The lead paragraph is a key part of your press release – it is important to make sure your lead is catchy and has the story hook that journalists would want to include in publications. Make sure it covers the 5 W’s: who, what, when, where, why and how.
Don’t underestimate the body
Following on from the lead paragraph, the body would be where you start telling the story. It is important to prioritise key messages and points from the most important to the least important. Always ensure you are using short sentences which flow on well from one another and that you are always using active language and write in the third person.
Quotes are a great way to make your writing more interesting and provide more credibility to your press releases, but remember to acknowledge all opinions to a particular person or organisation. The media cannot use made up sources and journalists will sometimes call to check up on quotes.
End it with a bang
Although the last paragraph is the least important, make sure you tie the press release off nicely with background information about you and/or your clients’ services and summarise the main points of the press release. Make sure you end the press release with “-ends-” so the journalist knows it is complete. Remember to include contact information: contact name, email and phone number.
Found this information too much to take in at once? Check out Skadeedle’s summarised infographic of press release do’s and don’t’s:
We hope these tips and tricks will get you well on your way to crafting that winning press release!