Commercial Media

Experienced Communications Strategist and Legal Research Expert.

How to write an awesome press release

In my profession, a question I’m often asked is: “How do I write an awesome press release?”

Turns out the answer is pretty simple. In fact, anyone can do it. 

It might seem like a daunting concept; pitching a story to the media. But it really shouldn’t be. iStock_000000409830XSmall

Journalists as a breed like their information accessible, clear, interesting and pretty much with the angle spelt out for them. Yes, journos are often  lazy.

So if you do their work for them, you’re halfway there! All you really need is a good angle, the right audience, the proper media channel and off you go!

Find your angle

Before you do anything, think about what you ultimately want people to know.

  • Do you have a new product?
  • Have you made a profit?
  • Did you get great customer feedback?
  • Have you updated your processes?
  • Did you win an award?
  • Have you contributed to the industry in any way (eg: thought leadership)?
  • Do you have any useful research or insights?
  • Is your business getting bigger?

Once you know WHAT it is you want to say, the next step is determining WHO you want to say it to.

Know your audience

It’s so important to think of the type of demographic to whom you are pitching your story.

If you are targeting a youthful market, use age-appropriate language. Professionals and businesses may require a more refined level of language sophistication.

Also make sure the story you are telling is suitable to the audience you are reaching out to. A school leaver may not be interested in home loan advice, for example, but might really be keen on knowing the ways he or she can save for a house deposit. Try and give the audience the useful information they need, in the way they need it.

Add commentary

This is an ideal time for you to position yourself as a thought leader within your industry. Cherish the role. Give an abundance of useful, poignant and savvy quotes that journalists can use in their stories. Don’t be afraid to draw on your knowledge and experience. And try to avoid talking pure PR fluff within your quote – journos will probably omit that part anyway.

You will make a stronger and more lasting impression by sharing your knowledge and experience rather than simply telling everyone how amazing your company is. Let them hear what you have to say and draw their own conclusion.

Images, videos and non-linear storytelling

In an age of social media and mobile technology, news stories aren’t always purely linear – ie, told from start to end on a page. They are integrated with technology like Twitter updates, heat maps, online chat assistance, Youtube videos and images. Lots of images.

When it comes to putting together your press release, don/t be afraid to attach an image of yourself, the company’s logo, a video or link to your website, Youtube, a QR code or other supporting social media. Not only will it help tell your story, but it will help drive more traffic to your business.

 Distribute wisely

Once you’ve got your press release together, have a think about how you’re going to distribute it. If you’re looking to target a local audience, you might wish to send it to a database list of local newspapers, magazines and businesses.

If however, you are looking for a wider industry impact, consider using a professional newswire source.

AAP offers Medianet, a leading newswire distribution business in Australia. Best of all, you can currently sign up for a trial and get two free distributions.

For more information on press releases, contact me today: enquiries@commercialmedia.com.au.

 

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This entry was posted on 19/09/2014 by and tagged , , .
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