Press releases are the key to providing media outlets with news for your company, whether it’s an event, promotion, award, new product or service or even to generate a story lead. But in order for the news to generate attention, there are certain elements to keep in mind—and to avoid—when creating a press release.
To make it as easy as possible for the media to acquire the pertinent information from your press release, you must follow a general guide. Here are some of the recommended parameters for writing a compelling press release:
Keep it short. If possible, limit yourself to one page when writing a press release, as most recipients won’t have the time or patience to read past that. Make it more than a page, and you risk eyes glazing over.
Include contact info. It’s common for press release writers to forget to add a person of contact and information for that person. Be sure to incorporate their name, phone number and email address in the press release. A recognizable place for it is in the upper right hand corner.
Include quotes. This is a great way to highlight who the press release concerns and also promote the company to get exposure. It also lets your readers in on more information—things like why your company is holding this promotion, or how your new partnership will be beneficial, etc. In addition, it helps convey the release’s accuracy and legitimacy.
Spell check. A press release free of grammar mistakes makes your company more reputable. Having errors, even a minor one, can turn a reporter off and make him or her rethink the credibility of your company. Always double and even triple check press releases, and have a colleague look it over as well.
Complicate the writing. Keep your writing succinct and simple, without adding too many complicated words and phrases or other jargon. The more convoluted the writing, the more likely it is the receiver will discard it, as it will take too much time and energy to decipher.
Get lazy with your headline. The headline is the first thing readers will notice, and if it doesn’t immediately grab their attention, you risk the press release being deleted or thrown in the trash. If sending the press release via email, the same rules apply to the email subject line.
Drag it out. The first sentence should tell what the entire press release will be about. It’s likely that the people receiving press releases read hundreds of them a day and don’t necessarily have the time to read them through and through. Getting to the point in the first paragraph ensures that they recognize what the subject entails can decide relatively quickly if they want to publish it or use it in some variety.
Send it to just anyone. Do your homework before sending out the press release. That means tailoring your contact list to the content in the release. For example, you wouldn’t send a piece about a local student to a newspaper that doesn’t cover that area. Taking the time to make a focused mailing list will help acquire greater results.
At Davis, our expert public relations team is well versed in the fine art of garnering media exposure for organizations of all kinds, from small businesses to large corporations to nonprofit institutions, in a wide range of industries. In addition to crafting press releases, our public relations department provides services including campaign strategizing, photography services, press conference planning and much more. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information.