In my last article I shared 15 tips for effective media release writing. I understand that to the business owner writing a press release might seem like a daunting task at first to you. However, with a little knowledge and practice you will be able to write a news release that gets results. So in addition to the previous 15 tips I shared with you, we’ve developed 15 more guidelines for writing and distributing your press release.
1. Include Company Information – If your company is going to take the time to write a news article, you should probably take the time to write a paragraph about the company. This gives the reporters a little background information on the business and qualifies the source of information.
2. Interest Your Audience – Keep your audience and the publications readers in mind. Before writing your press release you should consider why the news matters to them. Ask yourself if you’d want to read the press release, if you were in their shoes.
3. Compelling Headlines – Just like the rest of your marketing, you need a headline that will catch the attention of your intended audience (in this case the news editor). It will likely be the first thing the editor reads. If it doesn’t catch his attention, it will also be the last.
4. Personalize The Angle – As soon as possible, you should provide your personal angle. The personal angle on the news is usually what is getting your organization plugged in the story. An effective way to do this is by utilizing quotes from well-known or qualified individuals.
5. Keep Up-To-Date – News by its very nature should be current. If the news in your release is outdated you shouldn’t be sending it. Yesterday’s news is today’s history.
6. Build Credibility – Quotes from your company’s senior executives should do. News releases are taken a much more seriously when the boss’s name is on the line.
7. Condense The News – You should try to tell the entire story in the first paragraph. The rest of the release can contain more details. But it’s nice to know that if everything else is cut, you still got your main points across. Being “top heavy” is a good thing.
8. Positive Perception – If the local community could perceive your news in a negative manner, you should take extra care to highlight the potential positives of the announcement.
9. Deal With Facts – News articles should include factual information. Leave the opinions for the editorial column. It is OK, however, to include quotes that feature opinions.
10. Appropriate Demographics – If you have an executive that better matches the demographics of your target audience, it is a good idea to use their quotes in the story. For example, a magazine on women’s business is much more likely to run a story, with a female spokesperson.
11. Get Permission – When including individual’s quotes in your press release it’s always a good idea to get permission. Verbal permission is always that is usually required, but this can prevent future problems as well as clarify any misunderstandings.
12. Make Yourself Reachable – Provide a specific contact person with a phone number where they can be reached. Don’t make contacting you a challenge. In fact it’s a good idea to include an email address, web address, and fax number as well.
13. Relate to Popular Topics – One method that can earn you coverage is link your news, organization, or business to popular news. Many news stories do nothing more than explain how a particular industry is affected by something else that happened.
14. Show Professionalism – Using a professional layout and avoid sloppiness to indicating seriousness. Understanding and abiding by industry standards for writing press releases is a great start. For example, always write your press releases in the 3rd person and end your press releases with “-30-” or “XXX”.
15. Verify Accuracy – When it comes to numbers, names, and locations it’s easy to make mistakes. You should always double-check everything to avoid embarrassing mistakes.
If you apply these rules for improving your media releases, you substantially increase the chance of your media release being published. To discover even more ways to improve your press release writing you should read these press release rules.