How to Write a Good Press Release: 5 Tips For A Newsworthy Promotions
21 Feb 2012
One big mistake you might make when trying to attract media coverage is to forget that reporters are busy people — stretched with deadlines constantly looming.
Luckily, this problem is avoidable.
Just make it as easy as possible for a reporter to see why covering your story is a good idea.
Here are five tips to set you on the right track.
1) Know why your story matters to other people
You think your business is newsworthy, and you might be right — but would someone on the street agree?
Clearly define why your story idea matters to the people you want to connect with. It doesn’t need to be relevant to everybody, but it does need to impact some of the same people your target media outlet connects with.
2) Focus on your key idea
Once you know why your story idea matters to a particular group of people, stay focused on that one idea. Your press release should:
- Introduce your business and new idea.
- Explain why it matters to people in your community.
- Outline what makes the story newsworthy. (Read: Seven news values.)
- Explain the next steps people can take if interested.
Ideally, limit the length to approximately five paragraphs on one page. For more about how you can structure your release, read this how-to post from Nimbyist Communications.
3) Make sure you’ve covered the basics
Once you’ve created the first draft of your press release, review it to ensure it explains these key questions: Who? Why? What? Where? When? How?
4) Edit, edit, edit
Have somebody proofread what you’ve written: They should ensure it makes sense, and keep an eye out for typos or grammar mistakes. If it’s too long, ask your proofreader whether they can identify any information that can be removed.
5) Distribute your press release
There are a few ways to distribute your press release, including:
- Wire services, like Canada Newswire (CNW Group) and PR Web from Vocus. These are fee-based services, can because they offer such broad distribution can be particularly helpful if your news is relevant to a wide audience — across a larger region or even the entire province or country.
- Targeted personal distribution. Targeted distribution takes time — but it’s also likely to yield better results. Best for local stories, research which reporter is most likely to be interested in your topic and send your release directly to them. You may even be able to connect through Twitter and, over time, build a relationship with them.
- Your website. Press releases make great blog posts! If you distribute them more frequently, consider creating a specific media centre on your site.
Writing your own press releases can seem daunting, and it may require some trial and error. Don’t get discouraged if your story doesn’t get picked up, though: Even professionals can fall victim to hotter news stories of the day!
If you found this helpful then you’ll love the articles linked below. Take a look and get educated.
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What tactics have worked for your small business? Share your ideas in the comments below.