How To Write The Perfect Press Release
A press release is a great way to get media coverage for your business without hitting the costs of a quarter page spread in your chosen publication.
A good press release will help publicize your business for free, highlight your expertise, and give you the opportunity to reach a reader base that you might not usually have access to.
It sounds easy in theory, but sitting down to write a press release that will get you media coverage is not always an easy task – first you are writing about yourself, which for most is often harder than expected, and second, you have to write a press release that grabs the interest of the journalist.
So, how do you craft a press release that is more likely to get picked up and published by a journalist?
Here’s my quick guide to writing the perfect press release …
When writing a press release always bear in mind that you are not writing an advert – you are making an announcement – creating news, so you have to approach your press release content with this in mind.
A journalist is always looking for good content – content that is newsworthy, so avoid the number one pet hate of journalists and avoid turning your press release into a sales pitch – remember news … avoid any selling and self promoting, place your business and contact details at the end of the press release – the journalist will use the information – but as they choose to, usually to get in touch with you and find out more about you.
Give Your Press Release An Angle ….
Give the journalist something useful to use and work the press release from an angle. Think what the publication is about and set about to grab the reader’s interest. I crafted a recent press release for a start up from a ‘redundancy turns good’ angle – as it was the appropriate focus for the media.
Perhaps you could use a hot news story and angle your press release along a similar topic to the news – The car scrappage scheme a few years ago was a good angle for a local business to highlight it’s recycling efforts – and because of the connection to what was already hot in the news, it received great coverage.
Make Your Press Release Professional …
Whatever you write in your press release – Write it well! Help the journalist by preparing a press release that requires little editing to make sense of it. Provide a press release that is as well written, free of mistakes and grammatically correct.
The Structure of Your Press Release
Press releases follow a certain structure and is expected in the industry – so to keep your press release in the possible list, keep to the following structure …
At The Very Top Of Your Press Release
Write the words: Press Release
And Either: For Immediate Release or Embargoed Until:
The Headline Of Your Press Release
Make the headline for your press release interesting and as ‘to the point’ as possible – you could make it quirky, but don’t go over the top – just keeping it simple helps when all else fails.
The First Paragraph of Your Press Release
The first paragraph of your press release should answer the following:
What the big story is
Is there a secondary story as part of the news
Why is it of interest to the reader
To best structure this paragraph – follow the simple … who, why, what, where, when how pattern, and stick to the facts
The Second Paragraph Of Your Press Release
Here you can go into more detail on the main story remembering to stay focused on what people want to read – not just what you want to say.
Introduce any history, supporting evidence or factors behind the story in this paragraph.
The Third Paragraph Of Your Press Release
Make a quote – it breaks up the story and gives the reader the impression that that journalist has interviewed you. eg; “We are hoping this move will create new jobs for the town and etc etc” says Michael peters, MD of ABC company
The Fourth Paragraph Of Your Press Release
Here you can conclude your press release and draw it to a close – there might be so much more you want to say, but avoid waffling.
Just state your close by bringing the whole point of the release to the end and give a brief ‘invite to action’ or ‘next step’ for the reader.
Confirm the end of the press release with:
####### or END
And finally – Include:
Notes to Editors and Contact Details
Here you can add a brief company or personal profile – go for a little self promotion here – but keep it brief and don’t lay it on thick.
Provide all your contact details and include any pictures or further resources details. Don’t forget to include your web address and company address.
When you send your press release don’t fluff – just simply send a one line email with subject line of press release for … , and attach your document and any photos making sure that they are in a format that the journalist can open and read.