How to keep your press release out of the recycle bin

press_release-200pxThere is no guarantee a reporter will pick up your press release, but taking the initiative to share your news can pay off in positive exposure. A well-timed, informative press release can lead to increased visibility and sales, and it can generate buzz about your business. Here’s five tips to improve your press release and capture a reporter’s attention.

  1. Make it relevant. What is news to you may not be news to the media or its readers. A press release is most effective when used to announce something that people care about. Strive for content that is timely, interesting and useful.
  2. Tell a story, but don’t beat around the bush. Use a catchy headline to grab the reader’s attention. Then use your first one or two paragraphs to cover the basics of your story: the who, what, when, where, why and how. Pique their curiosity to learn more.
  3. Keep it brief. You know the guy at the party who talks too much? That could be you in press release form, quickly losing the interest of the reporter whose attention you want to grab. Stick to the facts and avoid the urge to overshare.
  4. Stay away from canned quotes. There are plenty of executives who can tell a great story in person, but the second you ask for a quote to include a press release, they provide you with a jargon, acronym-laden statement. Don’t do this. If you’re including quotes from an expert source – and you should – make sure it sounds human and shares an interesting fact or anecdote that contributes to the story.
  5. Add visuals. Press releases that include a high-resolution, downloadable image, chart, graph or photo have an 81 percent chance of getting picked up over those that do not, according to PWR New Media’s 2013 survey of journalists.

Additional resources:

About Julie A. Novak

Julie A. Novak is a professional communicator known for her entrepreneurial spirit, energy and creativity. She creates campaigns that build relationships and loyalty. Julie earned a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University and is a member of Leadership Rhode Island’s 2013 class.
This entry was posted in Audience, Business, Communications, Integrated Marketing Communications, Marketing, Media, Public relations, Small business, Storytelling, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

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