Used effectively, press releases can help your business earn valuable media coverage, all at a surprisingly low cost. Unfortunately, many businesses take the wrong approach to their press release strategy. Rather than tailoring their press release to reach a specific audience, they aim wide, distributing content that ends up failing to make much of an impact. Luckily, this is a fairly easy problem to rectify. Below, we’ve outlined six tactics that you can use to attract the attention or journalists and get your press releases published, helping you to earn valuable media coverage for your business or organisation.
Make it interesting and newsworthy
Unless it’s a slow news day, it’s unlikely that your press release will be published as a story if it doesn’t contain anything interesting. Build your press release around at least one interesting piece of information, whether it’s a new product you’re preparing to release, a special offer your business is providing to the public or a statistic or survey finding that the public might find interesting.
Avoid writing anything repetitive
Journalists read press releases like news consumers read stories — with an eye for fun, exciting and important information. Because of this, it’s important that your press releases read well and lack the repetition that’s often common in business communications. Stick to one key announcement, then expand on it by providing extra details without going over the same ground multiple times. Remember, it’s better to be overly concise than repetitive.
Master the art of writing great headlines
As a press release writer, your job is to attract the attention of journalists and prove that your story is newsworthy. Nothing sells like a great headline. Before sending your press release, it’s best to write down several different potential headlines, then select the one that you think will have the strongest impact with readers.
Proofread, shorten and simplify
The most common mistake many first-time press release writers make is preparing a release that’s overly long, detailed and wordy. Just like an article, a press release works best when it includes all of the information you need to know and none of the information you don’t need to know. Before you start distributing your press release, carry out a thorough edit to make sure it’s concise, punchy and effective.
Send it to the right journalists
If your business produces software for financial services companies, you’ll likely gain nothing by sending your press release to journalists that write about sports, food or travel. Before you send your press release to anyone, identify the top five journalists within your niche or industry. As well as using a larger-scale press release distribution service, it’s usually best to reach out to targeted journalists individually to pitch your story.
Make life easy for journalists
Beyond reaching out to the right journalists, it helps to make life as easy as possible for people that might want to write about your press release. The easier you can make a journalist’s job, the more likely it is that they’ll write about you. Do this by including all of the key details in your press release, including a contact phone number and email address, providing specific quotes and offering newsworthy information.