Whenever you write a press release, your foremost challenge is to grab the attention of your reader-whether it’s a reporter, buyer, investor, or someone else. Of course, there are thousands of other companies competing with you for this attention, meaning you need to do something really special and interesting if you want to stand out from the crowd.
Attracting attention with your press release begins with finding an interesting angle for telling your story. If your story angle is a bore, guess what…the rest of your press release will be a bore and end up getting no attention at all.
When trying to figure out the best angle for delivering your news, here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- How can I tie my company into current events and other popular news stories?
- Is there a different spin I can put on an old story?
- Do I have any well-known, respected clients who I can get a quote or recommendation from?
- Does my story have ties to seasonal changes or activities?
- Has someone at our company received a special award or certification?
- Are we using any innovative technology or processes that make us stand out from our competition?
- What problems (pain points) do we solve?
- Are there any industry trends we can comment on?
- Do we have any interesting statistics or case studies we can release?
I could go on and on, but you get the point. Finding the right angle for your story lays the foundation for your success. If you swing and miss, you’ve wasted an opportunity for media coverage.
A while back, we published a post with a huge list of topic ideas for press releases. These were meant to serve as starting points for helping you create more stories so you can send out more press releases and increase your chances of getting media coverage and building awareness.
Here’s the full list of press release topic ideas from that post:
1. New product or service
2. New website or significant upgrade to existing website
3. Involvement with charity work
4. Making a charitable contribution
5. Free shipping offer or change to shipping rates
6. Releasing findings of new study or research
7. Helpful tips related to your business
8. News of the weird (e.g. Coffee shop offers excusive $200 gourmet drink)
9. Commentary on or tie-ins to current events
10. Interesting trends
11. Starting a new sister company
12. Receiving an award
13. Being singled out for an accomplishment
14. Offering free information: ebook, newsletter or white paper
15. Celebrating an important company anniversary (e.g. 50 years in business)
16. Opening a new office or relocating your office
17. Changing the company name
18. Changing a product name
19. Signing a large, well-recognized client (make sure you have their permission to publish this)
20. Announcing a media appearance
21. Inspirational stories of overcoming major challenges
22. Hosting a seminar or teleseminar
23. Sponsoring an event or team
24. Partnering with another business or organization
25. Hiring a new executive or changing ownership of the company
26. Announcing personnel change: retirement, resignation or death
27. Changing the way your products are made
28. Changing the prices of your products or services (particularly if you’re reducing prices)
29. Developing a new technology or unique procedure for your industry
30. Rebranding your business
31. Reorganizing your company
32. Hosting a major contest, sweepstakes or promotion
33. Making an outrageous claim (be careful not too sound to gimmicky or salesy)
34. Revealing industry scams
35. Announcing holiday-related sales and events
36. Making predictions for your industry
37. Provide expert opinion on important subject within your industry (think sound bites when creating quotes in your announcement)
38. Publishing findings of a recent report, survey or poll
39. Filing of a lawsuit
40. Responding to being name in a lawsuit
41. New uses for your products
42. Receiving endorsements from a major celebrity or public figure (make sure you have their permission to publish this)
43. Offering internship program with local schools
44. Establishing a scholarship
45. Hosting a tour of your facilities
46. New certifications and credentials achieved by your staff
47. Providing pro bono work
48. Responding to accusations against your company or industry
49. Setting a major goal
50. Launching a referral rewards / affiliate program
51. Speaking at a conference or event
52. Providing free consultations or a free sample
53. Taking major steps to go “green”
54. Debunking common myths
55. Taking your company public
56. Discontinuing a product or service
57. Filing or Being Awarded a Patent
58. Merger or acquisition
59. Celebrating an important milestone (e.g. one millionth customer)
60. Exhibiting at a trade show
61. Stock offering
62. Financial or earnings update
63. Securing business funding or credit (e.g. VC or angel investment)
64. Tips sheet or feature story (e.g. Top 10 Valentine Gifts, Effective Tips to Land a Job in 30 Days, Turn That Brown Lawn into a Suburban Oasis)
Keep It Focused
Once you find the perfect angle for your story, you need to keep your press release tight and focused. Remember, your reader has only a limited amount of time to view your story. This means you need to get your message across as quickly and clearly as possible. Any details that are unnecessary or that don’t add value to the story … get rid of them.
Focus on answering the who, what, when, where, why and how questions, use good quotes to enhance your story, and let the reader know why your story is relevant and why they should care.
If you have any details that don’t seem to fit within your story, you can always publish a separate release later on. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of a steady press release distribution plan, and it will allow you to target different audiences more effectively with each specific release.
As far as the actual press release length goes, it varies depending on the story you’re telling. However, keep it at a single page or less (about 500 words or less) so you don’t lose your reader’s attention.
What are some of the most interesting story angles you’ve come up with for press releases? Share your best by leaving a comment.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html