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What to prepare before pitching to media

My name is Monica Rosenfeld and I’m the founder of WordStorm PR. Over four weeks I’ll be producing short videos to show you exactly which materials you need to prepare before pitching your idea to the media.

Now I’ve heard it said that the press release is dead and I’m here to tell you it’s actually not true. What is dead is writing a whole lot of advertising copy, pitching it to thousands of journos you buy on a database and hoping your phone will call. Yes that strategy is dead and can stay dead. But I’m here to tell you that we use press releases every day to get our ordinary clients in mainstream headlines. When it comes to writing a press release you should stick to one angle per release and that angle has to involve content that will add value to and engage the audience of the media you’re targeting. Maybe it’s statistics to do with your industry, top five tips or tying it in with something that’s going on in the world and being reported in the news but once you have a clearer idea what your angle is it’s time to write a one page press release about it.

Now the most important thing about your press release is getting the headline right and the first paragraph because if you don’t get these two things right the journalists will switch off. When it comes to coming up with the perfect headline, think about the media that you’re targeting and imagine what the heading of that story might be. This is what you should use as your headline. When it comes to the first paragraph, put all the factual information in there. It’s not time to waffle on. Just get to the point.

Now I’m going to give you two most important things to think about with your press release. 1 and it sounds obvious but it doesn’t always happen and I’ve seen it from being on the other side, put your contact details at the bottom of the release. If a journo reads the release and wants to interview for a story they want to find out straight away who they can contact to get more info or to line up an interview.

The second one is stick to one page. Journalists are time poor and if you can’t communicate your angle in one page then you need to keep working on it until you can.

If you want a checklist about the top ten things to make sure you put in a press release and how to frame it. Feel free to get in touch. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you next week.

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