Through press releases are a relatively simple and straightforward form of communication, writing an effective press release is much harder that you might expect. The goal of a press release is fairly simple, to provide information or publicity about your business or your services. Ideally you want your press releases to get lots of attention from various forms of media so you can get them to run a story on your business. This is easier said than done.
Have Something Newsworthy to Write About
The trick to a good press release is all in the details, such as making sure that you are providing information about a story worth sharing. Though you might think that it makes sense to write press releases everyday because most of your press releases go unnoticed by media outlets, this practice might actually be hurting you in the long run. If you are releasing press releases without any newsworthy or interesting information, you will be hurting your chances of getting publicity.
Make sure the information contained in the press releases is actually something worth writing about to ensure a greater chance of having your press release red by major news media contacts. You might think that writing 100 press releases day in and out would increase your chances of getting recognized, but most companies would actually be better off with a handful of well written, informative, and highly interesting pitches. A few press releases that are truly outstanding will be much better than a large number of uninteresting or poorly written releases. So if you want to have your press releases get noticed, focus on quality over quantity. If the information you present is relevant and newsworthy it will definitely be noticed.
Write With the Reporter or Media Perspective in Mind
Your goal in writing a press release is presenting the best possible view of your business for the outside world. Of course we know how important it is to present your business in the best light, but how does that translate into writing a better press release? Well the short answer is to make sure that you consider the target audience of your press release and cater the design and writing style toward their needs. Traditionally press releases were always designed to be short, informative, and to the point, devoid of filler and journalistic flair. The goal was simply to present all of the pertinent information about the headline, to get the reporter’s attention and give them all the basic information they need to publish the story.
In the modern digital world however, press releases have taken on another important role. The internet and digital media has removed many barriers for small and independent outlets to publish their own content. Online blogs and newsletters may not have the time or resources to hire reporters to read press releases and write their own independent stories. If your goal is to get the attention of a small or independent news organization, a traditional bare-bones press release might not do the trick. Smaller outlets may actually appreciate having a press release that is styled like a news article and written in journalistic fashion, complete with quotes, a compelling narrative and so on. Knowing the audience you are trying to reach should definitely affect your approach and writing style.
Effectively Distributing Your Releases
Even the most well written and interesting press releases will fail without a proper distribution plan. Most people who write their own press releases are also responsible for self publishing them and distributing to the appropriate media channels. Have a clear plan of who you will be sending your releases to and how to get their attention. Fortunately with email and the internet, distributing a press release is fairly easy. Make sure to get releases out in a timely manner to ensure that they have a greater chance of being read. And most importantly, do not be afraid to do some marketing legwork on your own to ensure that your press releases get into the hands of the right people.