Are you considering media coverage for your business but not quite sure how to go about it? You need to make sure that the press release you write is effective but how do you do that? If you are unsure of how to put together a good press release, what it needs to include and how long it should be, we have put together a few hints and tips that we hope may be of some help to you
Capture the attention of your audience
It is essential that you grab the attention of the audience you want to target, so before you start to write your press release you need to think about press releases that have caught your attention and think about how and why they worked. A new development in your company may seem exciting to you but may not be all that appealing to the outside world.
If you have an idea of the type of publications you would like to get your press coverage into then do some research, have a watch or a read of them, work out the type of stories that they are covering and model yours on those.
What goes into a press release?
When considering content, it may first be helpful to think about who will benefit or be affected by the news and then to work out what is new or different about this story. Why is this particular story important that it is worthy of media interest and what is it telling people? Also think about where and when the story is happening and how it happened in the first place.
The headline is crucial
You will very likely be emailing your press release to a journalist who receives many similar emails each and every day so it is crucial that you capture their attention. First and foremost, you must make sure that they know it is a press release so the subject line must be eye catching - if not, there is a possibility that it will be scrolled past and ignored.
Make sure that the first sentence grabs the attention of the reader, keep the sentences short and to the point and make sure that the story you write is easy to understand and clearly explains what you are trying to say. If something appears too complicated or doesn’t make sense, it is very likely the journalist reading it will just move on to the next email and you’ve wasted a great opportunity.
Who is your target audience?
Is it a niche market or the general public? If you are targeting a range of different audiences, it will be worth writing different versions for each one to ensure you attract the attention of all your audiences in an understandable and compelling way.
You will also need to consider the knowledge that your target audience has about your company so consider using language they will understand. Complicated jargon will confuse the reader if they have little to no knowledge of your industry and you risk them switching off. Include quotes if you have some as insights and opinions from an actual person are more engaging for the reader.
Keep it brief
It is important that the press release is just the right length, ideally about 300-400 words - around one page of A4. If it is longer than this it will likely contain a lot of unnecessary information that doesn’t add to the content.
Add your profile
It is worth adding your profile and some background information on your company and it is best to put this information under a sub heading at the end of your press release with a note to the editor. The information could include when you started trading, how many employees you have, products or services you sell and who your customers generally are. Make sure you add a contact name, email address, mobile number and addresses.
Once all this is written the best way to contact journalists is through email. Paste the text into the body of your email rather than sending as an attachment as many journalists won’t bother opening attachments and you need to maximise all opportunities to be read. It may also be worth contacting the publications to find out who is best to send the email to. Make sure to include a release date so the publication has some idea how old or new the story is.
Finally, sit back and hope for action. It may take a few attempts before you achieve press coverage but if you are determined enough, learn the best way to compose a release, target the right publications and email the correct person you should eventually succeed.