Is the Message of Your Press Release Getting Through?
Learning how to write effective press releases is an essential skill for any marketer who wishes to get media coverage for their business. However, it can take some practice in order to write press releases that will gain media pickups.
There are a couple of main issues. The first is how newsworthy your press release is, and the second, how clear it is.
1-It MUST be news
You will only ever be able to get your message across to journalists and other media representatives if you are offering real news, not a sales letter in disguise.
Common newsworthy items in businesses include:
- Milestones in the company
- Financial reporting
- Upcoming live events
- New product launches
2-The facts speak for themselves
Factual writing is very clear and concise. Simply report what happened. The sentences should be short and scannable. Avoid flowery language, jargon, buzzwords, and hype. Steer clear of lots of acronyms. You want your writing to be as clear as possible.
The facts in relation to any news story are termed the 6Ws
Use these as a checklist to make sure you do not leave out anything important.
3-Assume a lay audience
Assume that most of your audience will be ordinary readers, not experts in your niche or industry.
4-Put your audience first
When writing a press release, think about your target audience and answer the question, “Why should they care?” In what way does your release benefit the journalists who read it? Only by helping them will you get media pickups. They are always on the lookout for real news to report to their own audiences, so writing clear, concise press releases makes their job easier, and your business more likely to get the free promotions.
5-Avoid the hype
Journalists are busy people. They are not interested in your sales letters, or in running free ads for your business.
6-Support with stats
Facts, figures, and statistics can all be helpful in positioning your information, and your business in relation to your niche or industry. What are the top trends? Where does your product fit into those trends? This gives a clearer picture as to why your story is significant and worth passing on. Remember, with more than 300 press releases being published every day in the US alone, you need to find ways to stand out in a professional manner.
7-Add an image
A picture can be worth a thousand words. In addition, it can also boost your chances of media pickups. Studies have shown that a press release with an image is three times more likely to get picked up than one that does not have an image.
8-Write a great headline
Brainstorm your headline AFTER you have written your release. This will help you capture the essence of what you have written and make sure it is both accurate and enticing for readers.
9-Include a great summary
Most press release distribution service interfaces have a field for inputting a summary of your release. Use this to support your headline and make journalists look forward to reading your story. Capture the gist of it in clear, concise language.