Editors and reporters receive hundreds of press releases all day long. Every time they look up, another one is in their inbox or on their desk. This means you have a lot of competition. The more press releases that are sent out, the better your story has to be to stand out from the crowd.
So, what can you do to give your press release the best chance of getting noticed? What does it take to get your story picked up? Here are 5 helpful tips to guide you when writing and distributing your next press release.
1. A strong headline – Let’s start at the beginning. The headline is the most important piece of your press release. If your headline sucks, your chances of getting media coverage are flushed down the toilet. The best press release headlines are short, clear, and catchy. They grab the reader’s attention, letting him know what the story is about. Don’t try to be clever. Focus on clarity above all else, and ditch the gimmicks and sales hype.
2. Send it to media related to the topic – There are many media relations mistakes you can make. One of the biggest is to not know the types of stories reporters and editors are interested in. Don’t bombard every editor and journalist in the country with your press release. Most of them won’t be interested in it. Instead, focus your press release distribution on those who cover stories like yours. This gives your story the best chance of getting noticed, and it keeps you from annoying a lot of editors and reporters with irrelevant pitches.
3. Keep it short – Newspeople are constantly strapped for time. Between the hundreds of press releases they have to sift through to the pressing deadlines, their time is limited. That’s why it’s best to keep your press releases short and to the point. Cut out any extraneous information that doesn’t add to the story. Just stick to the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the story, and edit it down as much as you can.
4. Be objective – Never forget, this is a press release, not an advertisement for your company. There’s no bigger turnoff to a journalist than a press release that’s filled with sales hype and unsubstantiated claims. You have to be objective when writing your press release. Don’t deviate from the facts, and make sure you always back up your claims (statistics are your friend!). If you’re able to maintain an objective tone, this alone will set you apart from the majority of the other press releases.
5. Always follow up – Even if your press release is great, a busy reporter can lose track of it during a hectic day. That’s why following up is so important in public relations. This keeps you in the mind of the reporter, so they’re likelier to think of your story when they need something new to cover. But make sure you go about your follow up correctly. Keep it short, and never be a nuisance.
What do you do to make sure your press releases don’t wind up in the trash? Share your best tips 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