Media coverage matters. Research shows that a news article written about a great business is perceived as more credible than traditional advertising.
Distributing business news and information to the media via press releases is a common tactic of public relations professionals. The benefits of getting a story published in print or broadcast on television or radio include:
• Increased Sales
• Creating awareness
• Third-party credibility
Writing a great press release is easier said than done. Here are five tips compiled by PR and media professionals:
The headline is the first thing a reporter or editor sees when reading your release, so make sure you grab their attention with creativity and accuracy. When it comes to getting more people to read your press release, a well-written headline is the first way to accomplish that goal. So go ahead and knock their socks off by writing a headline that is worthy of being on the front page of a newspaper.
It’s not easy pitching journalists who are already too busy for pitches. Media folks are busy, so help them out by getting to the point quickly. Quickly means you have 2-3 sentences to communicate the most important information. Before you write your press release, ask yourself “what is the news story?” Think about what makes your release newsworthy today. Once you’ve identified those answers, make sure that information is included early in your release, not at the bottom. The reality is the journalist may not ever make it to the bottom of your release.
Typos are a common press release pitfall. Don’t let typos ruin your press release or pitch. Spelling and grammar errors mark your release as unprofessional and sloppy. They make it hard for you and your company to be taken seriously. Remember to always check for spelling and grammar before hitting the send button. BONUS TIP: Always make sure the website links in your release are spelled correctly and lead to the intended webpage. There’s nothing worse than dead links in a release.
The more information you can provide the reporter, the easier it will be for them to write an article. It’s not uncommon for writers to pull portions directly from a press release or press kit, so make sure you stick to the facts. Hard numbers, data and research related to your topic will always make your release stronger.
Poorly worded quotes will have reporters and editors hitting the delete button before they ever read your second paragraph. Quotes are an opportunity for you to be a voice, not an echo. Quotes are a chance to add personality to your press release, so remember to keep it conversational; that’s the best approach to make your messages feel authentic and engaged. Stay away from corporate jargon like “cutting-edge,” “synergize” and “utilize.” People don’t talk like that in real life.
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