If you want to secure media coverage for your business, you need to learn how to write a press release. Press release writing isn’t easy because you need to master the rules, format and write a great angle in order to pique the media’s interest.
Knowing how you can improve the chances of getting publicity can improve the results. Master these 5 writing tips that you can apply for your next content marketing campaign:
- Deliver newsworthy topics.
It’s the number one rule if you want media coverage. A great technique to apply is to think of topics that interest you to read, listen or watch in the media.
Most people are looking for topics that offer solutions to their common problems or learn a new information. Before writing your release, answer some questions to come up with a newsworthy release:
- What is new in my story?
- Will it attract anyone outside my business?
- Is there something surprising or unexpected about it?
- Will they pay attention to it?
The last question is very important and can determine right away if your story is newsworthy or not. Are you excited to share your story? If it will not excite people, they will not care to even read it.
If this is the case, stop for a while and think of how you can make your story interesting. Think of a unique angle to deliver it.
- Offer the most information at the beginning.
The introduction or first paragraph should contain the most important information that you need to share with the readers. It should answer the questions, what, who, where, when, why and how.
It is your chance to grab their attention and keep them reading your story. If your story doesn’t interest them right from the beginning, they will not continue reading it.
You need to catch their attention by offering the most important details of your story. If they get impressed, you can land a possible media coverage.
Keep the details between 15 and 20 words. If you find it hard to do this, you can look up examples in the newspapers.
- Craft an attention-grabbing headline.
You can label your press release distribution with “story idea” or “press release” to notify journalists that you’re sending a pitch. However, don’t think that you can outsmart them. They know what emails are worthy of their time.
By merely looking at the subject line and headline, they should get what your news is all about. If they find it incomplete or hard to understand, they will not spend time bothering.
A great headline should be short and sweet, no buzzwords or jargons, interesting and has a hook. It should contain a keyword too.
The subject line should catch the attention of the media. It should convey what they can expect from your announcement.
- Keep it concise.
The ideal length of a release is 400 words, but it can go up to 500 words not more than that. It follows the standard length of short news in the newspapers.
It is about three to four paragraphs, including the quotes. If your release is longer, you have to trim it while maintaining its quality.
You can use a subhead if you want additional thoughts in the headline. It should also contain a keyword like the headline.
Don’t hesitate to use bullet points to present your information. Journalists don’t mind seeing bullet points, especially if you have facts and figures to emphasize.
- Use quotes properly.
“Quotes should be used to offer insights and not information.”
Provide quotes from your top executives, such as the CEO, founder or the president of your company. You can also quote anyone who is affected by your announcement like your customers. Quotes outside your business are stronger and offers more validity because it came from a third-party.
It is a powerful way to provide opinions or perception and not facts. Quotes shouldn’t be stuffed with industry jargons and buzzwords.
Companies can use it to clarify the importance of their announcement because it provides a context. It supports the story because it makes it interesting.
Another great advice that you can apply is to write a few lines to talk about your announcement. It can be a short outline about what your story is all about. You can also explain how it can fit in their media outlet or how it can improve their beat.
After that, you can copy paste your release below. Do not include any attachment if you don’t want to lose your chance of getting publicity. It’s a rule in pitching not to have attachment in emails due to security reasons.
You can include links to images, video or infographics. Never attach multimedia.
If your first try didn’t land you publicity despite following these tips, don’t give up. You also need to get acquainted with your target journalist and develop rapport. Have patience and you’ll soon get results.