21 Apr Top tips for writing an effective press release
Press releases are one element to a public relations strategy and are widely used to promote a new product, company news or a new service. Journalists are flooded with them daily so it’s important to hit the right note in order for it to be noticed. This one page document should be pitch perfect, concise and targeted to the audience you are sending to. Here are our top tips for writing an effective press release to help you drum up interest:
A killer headline
A catchy headline is what is going to grab a journalist’s attention from the get go, just like a headline in a newspaper or magazine. It should be very short and powerful and has to be accurate without misleading the reader.
Get to the point from the start
The start of your press release should summarise the story you have to tell with all the hard-hitting points captured. Get the message across in the first few sentences and support this in the following couple of paragraphs where you can include the facts and quotes. Cue my next point.
Add quotes or statistics
Include quotes or statistics to add a source of further information. This could be from the client, a researcher or even a celebrity. Make sure the quote doesn’t repeat what you have already stated in the press release, it’s a chance to include important information direct from the horses mouth.
No waffle or fluff
Try not to make your sentences long, keep them succinct without the waffle. Don’t add words for the sake of it or to fill the space – you don’t want to send the journalist to sleep. Be creative without adding fluff and over exaggerating to the point it sounds unrealistic.
Write it right
Eroors, erors and more errrorrrs. A journalist won’t look twice if they get a press release in their inbox that has errors across it – consider it binned! After you’ve written your masterpiece print it off and check for any incorrections on paper. If you’ve looked at the screen for too long you might not notice even the simplest mistakes. Check for grammar and spelling and pass round to your team to double check so nothing slips through the net.
Give them access to more information
Journalists are busy people, so be helpful and include links to a company website where they can learn more. When sending a press release via email you should also attach imagery if you have it. Keep the images at a low resolution (under 1MB) so you don’t clog up their inbox and offer high res images if they want them.
And last but not least, don’t forget your details
It’s no good sending a press release and forgetting your contact details. This should be at the bottom of the release along with a boilerplate with notes about the company. If a journalist files away the release then they have your details ready to hand.