Written by: Lauren Mancini, Communications Specialist
Media members get hundreds of press releases each day, so how do you make yours the one with the golden ticket that gets you the publicity and coverage that your company or event deserves?
You likely can't offer a trip inside a wondrous chocolate factory, but you can offer something that's much more valued by media members (and in the world of press releases as unique as a golden ticket): a true opportunity to generate interesting news.
Following are a few tips and considerations to keep in mind the next time you are writing a release.
Ask yourself, "Is what I'm about to write truly worthy of media coverage?"
If you were a reporter, would you write or broadcast a news article based on the topic of your release? If the answer is a resounding no, then don't waste your media contacts' time. You don't want a reputation for generating garbage releases or your information won't get read even when you do have real news.
The hardest part of this is managing your own clients' or internal customers' expectations, particularly when they are insisting that you issue a release. Explain your rationale for spiking a release idea and provide alternatives, if available.
Be sure to grab attention with a catchy subject and headline
Journalists and reporters are flooded with emails every day, and unless you have an enticing subject, they may not even open your press release – yikes! Use interesting adjectives and take advantage of the who, what, where and why of the piece. Be sure to announce your exciting news and clearly state the benefit for the journalist or reporter from reading what you sent them.
Don't fall short with technicalities
Flawless grammar can go a long way. Making small grammatical errors could give your company a bad rep. Be mindful of the length of your press release as well. One page is the recommended length, and two pages is the maximum. Also be sure to include your contact information – a simple measure that is sometimes overlooked!
Craft the content with the media in mind
That being said, keep your press release short and simple. A press release does not have to have flowery introductions, rather, get to the point right in the first paragraph. Answer the who, what, where, why, when and how, and include quotes whenever possible; however, when it comes to including quotes, don't go overboard. Use quotes to provide insight, not information. When deciding whether or not to include a quote, a good rule of thumb is to see if you could say the same thing about the event without plagiarizing their words. If you can, it is not an important enough quote to include.
Keep in mind that even traditional print media is looking for multimedia opportunities. Is there a photo opportunity or a photograph that can be sent with the release? What are the video possibilities?
Need even more help when it comes to media outreach? Tipton Communications is equipped with expert communication specialists that are ready to help you. Visit www.tiptoncommunications.com for more information.