How to imPRESS with your PRESS release
If you want to provoke the media’s interest you should walk in journalists’ shoes. Even be a few steps ahead and demonstrate awareness of the topics of the day. If you are not blessed with the art of impressive writing, you could follow these guidelines to awake journalistic curiosity.
What is a press release?
A press release is a brief message that shares something newsworthy with the media. You should not just recall about yourself, but share with the audience an innovative product, significant business expansion, or opening a new store. Its added-value and structure make it similar to the news.
How to create a successful press release?
- Answer the five “Ws” questions – who, what, when, where, why. You could add clarification of “how”, too.
- Provide exclusive information. Tell the media something hot. Journalists receive too many emails. Why do they have to pay attention to yours? Think about the news added-value – does your message relate to someone of interest, is your information important, and is it urgent to be reported.
- Reveal relevant data. If another company already offers your “new” product, the media won’t notice you. Journalists have experience with the most read and listened to topics. If you spread old and misleading information, you may be blacklisted.
- Write clearly, understandable, distinct. Speak with the proper tone of voice. Avoid twisting the words all day long. Choose a style that will engage the journalist. Fire up their questioning and get them to come after you, not just copy-paste your press release or air the information.
- Write like a journalist. The media prefer well-shaped sentences with correct grammar and no need for editing.
- Do not incorporate extensive corporate information. If you do, your email will be directly dropped into the recycle bin. Reporters ignore this kind of emails as intruding. If you want to enhance the reputation of the organization, do it delicately, by telling a story with relevant news content.
- If you quote someone, for example, the chief executive director, let the words sound memorable.
- Think about the structure of the information. It is a huge mistake to start with “Today, 3rd March, we got together in Sofia to…”.
How to structure the press release?
- Start with a headline that grabs the attention. It is the first stop where the journalist decides whether to continue reading.
- Tell where the occurrence takes place.
- Disclose the news in just one sentence.
- Expand with details.
- Write a few words about your company.
- State a name and contact details.
Think about the journalist list you will send out your press information to. Does it make sense to include all the media you are familiar with, or is it better to focus on those who write about the business sector, and to aim for a tight connection with them? Focus your energy on creating and maintaining strong professional relations. Find out who is in charge of your business news, who is the chief editor, who decides what to be published or aired. You could send them a personal letter or give them a call. Demonstrate excellent language culture, rich vocabulary, and a variety of phrasings.
The press release is a way to get to the media. It depends on your imagination and knowledge to build this way similar to a German highway, not a third-class country road in an urgent need of maintenance. What you write in your media information is what the journalists perceive as your organization’s voice. Essential is to talk with them convincingly, calmly, and fascinatingly.