One of the many tasks in PR is writing a killer press release. One which stands out from the crowd and shouts out to get noticed in a journalist’s over-flowing inbox. So how do I make sure my press release is picked up and actually printed in a newspaper, website or posted on a Twitter feed?
Well for starters it has to pass the ‘So what? Test’. It’s one that’s applied in newsrooms across the globe. Who’s actually going to care what the press release says or what message it’s trying to get across? That’s my job to make it sound so interesting journalists are excited by its contents and want to get it out to as many people as possible.
Here are my Top Five tips to make sure that press release sees the light of day:
1. Make sure it has got a great title
Your story will have a far better chance if it has a catchy headline – one which makes a journalist hungry to read more. Your email will be one of hundreds flooding their inbox every day. You need something that has real impact and makes them curious to know more.
2. Keep to the point
Cut out the waffle. There’s no point prattling on and using fluffy language – it won’t wash with most journalists. Keep it short and sweet. And most importantly, keep it to the point. Remember those simple rules you learnt back in journalism school – Who? What? Why? Where? When? Stick to them and you can’t go wrong.
3. Send stuff to the right people
There’s no point sending your story to the wrong person. Do your homework. Find out who is the Business Editor, the Health Reporter, the Education Reporter on your chosen newspaper/publication/radio TV station and target the right person. It will save a lot of time and you will know the right eyes are reading it.
4. Spelling and punctuation!
However great your words are, the story could be binned if it contains glaring spelling errors or bad punctuation. It’s just sloppy and unprofessional and you will instantly lose credibility if it’s full of mistakes.
5. Include a great image
Your story is going to have a lot more clout with a striking image or video. Make sure it’s not so large it clogs up their inbox. A good rule of thumb is to keep it under 1MB and at least 300dpi. For online media, make sure your image is web compatible and can be immediately uploaded without needing to be resized.
That’s all folks! If you stick to these tried and tested Top Five tips, your press release is bound to stand a better chance of hitting the target. Good luck!