All too often, when writing press releases, businesses tell the story they want to tell – one that ticks all the boxes to sell the business to the world. It’s easy to forget that press releases aren’t product brochures or sales pitches, but sources of information for journalists – whose job is to report facts that hold news value for their readers, not commercial content.
Delivering a newsworthy, readable story is essential in getting your story reported. And, if your press release is targeted towards a publication’s readers specifically, it can have a much greater impact upon publication – whether through generating more engagement, boosting media coverage or increasing industry awareness for your business. Whatever your goals, define and meet them by following these five tips:
Think about who you’re talking to
Journalists will be thinking about what’s relevant to their readers when considering your press release – and you can too. A press release aimed at a national media publication will require a different strategy and produce different results to one for an industry magazine. Whatever the publication, create a narrative that’s relevant to its readers by applying an ‘outside-in’ perspective – focusing on the issues facing them, and framing your news as a solution.
Leave brand names out of your headline
We all know that headlines need to be attention-catching and communicate your key message – but you can do this without including your new product’s name. In fact, your headline can capture the story more effectively and strikingly if it communicates what your product does for customers – not what it’s called. This targets the press release towards the publication’s readers from the start and avoids assuming familiarity with your business.
Tell the story straightforwardly
Journalists need to know the key facts quickly – so keep the structure and tone of your press release straightforward, presenting the most important facts first, and following up with background information. Adding ‘spin’ or corporate buzzwords will only detract from your story’s news value. The best place to add a more ‘human’ element to your press release is quotes – use them to explore motivation, impact and potential future developments.
Consider incorporating SEO
If you’re sending your press release to digital publications, weaving in some SEO content can build more engagement with the final piece. This doesn’t have to be time-consuming – simply making your content readable, integrating select keywords and links, and choosing a concise headline will go a long way towards getting the final story found and read.
Don’t say more than you need to
While your press release should cover all the key information, think carefully about what exactly is relevant. In some cases – for example, when reporting the cancellation of a project – a press release might only need to be four lines long. By defining the goals of your press release, you’ll be better placed to decide what should be included, and what doesn’t need saying.
Get in touch today to find out how we can support you with your next press release.