A press release is one of the easiest ways companies can pass their messages to the media. It may seem as though all the marketing and advertising action happens on social media in this age of technology, but the power of a press release cannot be underestimated.
Journalists and editors receive tons of press releases on a daily basis and as a Public Relations/Communications practitioner, yours can easily get lost in the mail if it does not stand out. The onus is now on PR and Comms pros to craft striking and unforgettable press releases as they strive to get their word out.
Here are five crucial tips to write an attention-grabbing press release:
1. Keep it concise: The only way your press release will make the cut is if you keep it short. In your first paragraph, address your who, why, where, what, when and if possible, how. That way, the rest of the content will simply be all the other useful information, quotes, and statistics. Your press release will lose the journalist if he has to read abot 600-700 boring, long-winding words so ensure that you stick to the 300-400 word region.
2. Never leave out quotes: Including quotes from top executives in the organisation you represent will give your press release credibility. If the organisation has achieved a feat worth announcing, then its CEO should be able to comment on that achievement. This makes your story believable and convincing. Make sure your quote is properly attributed to and vetted by the individual who has been quoted.
3. Ask yourself tough questions: “Is this really newsworthy?”, “Is this release worth the time of any journalist?”, “Would I read this if I saw it in the paper?” are some of the questions you should ask yourself as you write your press release. If you honestly answer NO to two or all of these questions, then it’s probably not worth it. If it’s news to your organisation but irrelevant to the general public, then avoid sending it to journalists, else they will completely lose interest in reading from you.
4. Send it out promptly: A press release announcing an event or achievement that has long passed is no longer relevant to journalists and will end in the bin. To ensure your press release gets out and fast too, use tools like Nigeriapresslog.com.
5. Craft a compelling headline: If you get this wrong, then you will probaly lose out. Your headline is the journalist’s first contact with your story and the possibility that he will keep reading lies in its strength. Keep it clear and brief, yet strong enough to elicit interest in the body of the release. Spend extra time crafting it and never let it go past 10-13 words.