It’s tough to stand out in today’s hectic world. When it comes to catching the eye of prospective media interest, it has never been harder. Journalists are constantly bombarded by new stories and the latest buzz.
In this landscape, it’s vitally important that you’re able to cut through the noise, and a well-written press release can do just that.
At FATJOE we’ve spent years perfecting our Press Release Writing and Press Release Distribution services. In the post below, we summarise everything we’ve learnt about making the most effective press release possible.
Already know what you want to include? Skip ahead to the end and our free downloadable press release template.
Know Your Audience
The tips in this article all emphasise the importance of remembering that you are pitching your releases to busy journalists, but that’s not the only thing to bear in mind.
Are you targeting national newspapers? Local interest magazines? Industry-specific publications?
Each one will require a slightly different approach and an appropriate angle to ensure the release is as effective as possible.
If you pitch to a local newspaper, you might want to focus on the new jobs your recent expansion will create.
For a national newspaper, the focus might instead be on the amazing new applications of your revolutionary product.
A niche-specific magazine, however, might be more interested in how you got to researching and launching that new product.
Make Sure Your Story Is Actually Newsworthy
Above all else, this is the most important step. Make sure your angle is newsworthy.
Genuine press outlets will see right through you if you only use a press release as a quick SEO hit.
Instead, you must ensure there is something really “new” in the story you are pitching.
This could be a new service or product you are launching, new research you’ve conducted, or anything else equally new and fresh.
It isn’t enough just to say business is continuing as usual.
You have to ask yourself honestly; would anyone other than you care about this release?
Draft A Killer Headline
You’ve got to catch the eye.
You’ve ticked off the newsworthy angle, great, but it’s not enough if you’re not enticing people into actually reading the release itself.
Make sure your title is short sharp, and to the point.
Don’t bury the lede, if you have a startling new statistic get it in the title.
You can then use the release to tell the story of that statistic.
Hundreds if not thousands of press releases will travel through the various media channels you target every day, and you need to be sure you do everything you can to stand out.
Structure It Properly
Now that you’ve drawn in the reader with a catchy headline, you need to keep their attention.
Again, don’t bury the lede. Get the heart of your release summarised right away. Imagine a busy newsdesk from a film, you’ve got to work to keep the journalist’s eyes on the page.
Remember the Five Ws
Journalists are taught the Five Ws;
Bear in mind you’re writing for them, and use these when you structure your own press release.
If you tick off these five Ws, you can be sure you’ve delivered all you need to give the release proper clarity and context just within the summary.
The rest is just there for additional context and detail.
Establish Your Credibility
Okay, you’ve drawn them in with your snappy title, you’ve wowed them with your original research. Now, why should they trust you?
This is where you establish yourself or your business as a credible and reliable source.
If you’re drafting the release as an individual, this is where you’ll bring in your own credentials, perhaps as an industry veteran, or referencing your education? Whatever it is that means people should listen to you.
For a business, you’ll want to focus on how long they’ve operated, what scale they work on, and any industry-leading knowledge they can boast of.
Include Catchy Quotes
Quotes are an excellent way to add interest and variety when writing your press release.
Don’t use overlong quotes, instead include exactly as much as you need to enhance your point and nothing more.
A top tip is not to use quotes just to convey information about your brand. The release is intended to do that.
Instead, add a human angle with the quote providing insight or opinion on the newsworthy angle.
Don’t just repeat yourself with it.
You can tailor the quote to the publication(s) you are targeting to really seal the deal on why they should pick up your news.
Include Your Contact Details
This might seem an obvious one, but it’s worth reiterating.
Including your contact details will allow the journalist to reach out to you if they want to take the story further.
This is exactly the additional interest you want to generate with your release.
For traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, you can include your full business address. Online businesses can still include standard details like a suitable email address and phone number to encourage contact from anyone interested in the release.
Invite Follow Up
Much like why you’ve included the contact details, you want to ensure it’s clear you’re open to follow-up from the news outlets and potential readers.
Remember, you’re not just pitching this for this one newsworthy development.
You will generate residual interest and buzz that you can then turn into future leads and coverage.
From an SEO perspective, the job may be done with any links you secure, but for PR, this is just the beginning.
Stick To The Point
The final piece of advice is to stick to your story.
It can be tempting to bundle together several bits of good news in one release.
Perhaps you’re launching a new service, and this is exciting because it’s a continuation of the growth you’ve had all year and that came from the launch of your previous product, which was a runaway hit…
It’s all getting a bit much.
The story here is a new service; you should ensure the release reflects that. As we’ve mentioned throughout, journalists are pressed for time, and you must ensure that everything is as quick and simple as possible to secure maximum uptake.
If you really do have another newsworthy story bubbling away, then go ahead and create another press release. Just be sure not to overdo things, you don’t want to look like you’re spamming distribution channels.
Follow these tips and this structure, and you’ll be well on your way to drafting a winning press release, ready to generate plenty of interest and enquiries!
Free Press Release Template
Click below to download our easy-to-use Press Release Template. Just remember to follow our advice when filling it out!
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