1) Understand the purpose of the press release.
A press release is a short, compelling newsworthy storyline that is sent to appropriate, targeted members of the media. The goal of a press release is to get the attention and the interest of the journalist, editor and/or publisher.
2) Send timely news.
A press release is about something current. Something that is happening now or in the near future.
3) Target the right audience.
The goal is to ask for the interest of a journalist or publication with news that is significant to their audience.
4) Make the journalist’s job easier.
Provide your contact information and be available. Give the writer the materials and contacts they ask for quickly. Take some of the work off their plate.
5) Provide a message that is of interest to the targeted publications and that media’s readers.
Don’t just blanket your release to all media outlets relevant or not.
6) Get creative with the headline.
Capture the attention of the journalist with a good headline and brief article summary. Don’t make the journalist dig.
7) Attach photos or links to videos that expand your message.
Sent electronically, links are the best option. Test links before distributing your release to make sure the links are not broken and work.
8) Add quotes to your release from key executives and/or customers.
Include contact information for more sources that the journalist can call upon to enhance the story and get quotes.
9) Humanize your press release.
Don’t use industry jargon or acronyms. Write clearly, simply and concisely. Touch on the emotional element.
10) Use press release formatting rules.
Larger media outlets sometimes use their own formatting rules. Check out their website or press information and send the format they prefer.
Competition is fierce. Be aware that just because you send a press release it may or may not get noticed or read. Therefore, don’t expect your news release to do all the work. Contacting the press contact, pitching your story and letting them know you are available to help is a good move.