Five Ways to Make Your Press Release Stand Out in a Crowd
As you proof-read your press release, you check to make sure all the essential elements are there: attention-grabbing headline, well-articulated news angles, dateline written in AP style, tightly-written introductory paragraph that includes all five “W’s,” a quote from a company executive, company boilerplate paragraph, contact information for media seeking more information.
Now, here are five elements to take your press release beyond basic and help it stand out from the crowd and resonate with your targeted media. All of these elements offer additional context and make it easier to tell and understand the story.
Third-party quotes – everyone expects to read a quote from someone in the company who is spinning the news in a positive light. But another quote, from a third-party, can make your news stand out in two ways: readers are interested in who is being quoted and in what they are saying. The quote can come from a celebrity, customer, analyst or someone whose opinion is respected in your business industry. If it’s a customer or partner endorsing you or product, their quote can explain the unique reason they like you or, better yet, quantify the success they’ve had with your help. If you’re using the additional quote to name-drop, be sure to give the “celebrity” something to say – when they endorse you or your news, explain what their connection or involvement is. Similarly, respected professionals in the industry can give weight to your story by offering a quote that explains what you bring to the industry that others don’t.
Links to social media – make your text-only document come alive with hyperlinks to more content or ways to share and manage your story. As a first step, make sure there are appropriate hyperlinks within your news announcement, then offer standard “side” links so readers can easily share your news, e.g. a universal share icon to Tweet or Email the news to friends, a “Digg this” link, etc. Take it a step further by linking to a del.ico.us page with more hyperlinks and notes to relevant content sources, providing context and on-going updates. Include a link to your online newsroom or blog so readers can view comments, participate in discussions on the topic and see other relevant links, and offer RSS and email options to your blog.
Connection to an event – if the news is being unveiled at a tradeshow, mention the booth where you’ll be exhibiting so people can find you and pay a visit. If the news coincides with a tour or photo op, mention that and invite the media to attend to get more mileage out of it. Giving your news additional hooks, such as in-person, local touchpoints, makes it tougher to resist and easier for media to determine which beat or writer is most interested to your news.
Artwork or downloadable extras – wherever appropriate, be sure to include links to podcasts, video, photos, screen shots, graphs, surveys, PowerPoint presentations, white papers or online polls.
Spin – I know, I know…we call these news releases and regularly advise PR writers to eliminate hype and hyperbole. But, done the right way, adding “spin” or context can help sell your story to the media. In this case, think like an editor. Why would a writer be interested in your news? If it’s not immediately obvious, you may need to broaden your story’s appeal by explaining how it impacts consumers, the industry, the local region, etc.