7 Top Tips For Writing a Press Release

Public Relations (PR)

Press releases are essential to any public relations campaign. They keep the media and industry up to date with developments and creating interest from journalists who may take the story further. It may lead to a magazine feature or television interview, therefore increasing visibility and potential new customers. This may be hard due to journalists being given many stories and pitches daily, therefore standing out is essential. The content needs to be exciting and engaging. The following are some tips that can make a press release more professional and attractive:

Eye-catching headline:

Along with the email subject you need a strong headline to pull journalists in, just like any article, book or news headline. Be sure to make it accurate as well as writers will not appreciated being tricked into reading a release unrelated to the title that drew them in.

Strong opening:

As mentioned, journalists encounter many stories everyday and are pretty busy generally, so they will probably read the first paragraph and skim the rest. If even. Therefore you need to get the point across very quickly in a few sentences, using the rest of the story as supporting information.

Writing style:

Try to write like a journalist with the same style and language that they adopt. This will make it easier for them to read as they are comfortable with the style. It also increases the chances of them reproducing your content, sometimes word for word. 

Include statistics:

Although a creative piece of writing is entertaining, by including numbers in trends and other statistics, it supports your story and makes it much more compelling. 

Proofread:

It sounds like a simple method but note that readers can be put off by spelling or grammar errors easily. Double check your work before you send it out!

Include extra information:

Don't forget to include an email address and phone number that they can contact you on. It is a common mistake for contact details to be left out of a release, leaving the journalist with no way to get back to you. Also include a website link so that they can read up on additional information and learn more about you and your product/service. That way they won't have to search for their own information, making the process easier for them.

Personalise to journalists:

Instead of copying and pasting the same piece of writing without making any changes and spamming a load of writers, research to find a journalist that specialises in the area you are writing to. This will make sure your news best fits their writing and audience, increasing chances of getting picked up. 


Eric Phuah

Director at Hystericalz Pty Ltd

Previously in audit and accounting, I branched off into designing a new and innovative social network smartphone application called 'Kinetic! '. Available in Iphone and Android platforms, it connects friends to each other more efficiently compared to other social networks and makes it easier to plan to hang out.

Hystericalz Pty Ltd

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John Belchamber

John Belchamber, Owner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results

Thank you Eric, some good tips here. A question: are press releases still as effective as they were in the internet/social media age when it seems that journalists are using social media more and more to source their stories?

Eric Phuah

Eric Phuah, Director at Hystericalz Pty Ltd

Hi John, thanks! I would say, there a few factors to keep in mind. Journalists may have an abundance of sources to choose from, but quality is still quality and will still prevail over the average story. There can also be the slows news day as well. So even if effectiveness has decreased, it's still an avenue that marketers should pursue. Also remember the social media age can benefit marketers in turn and make it easier to find writers and forward on their press releases.

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