You’ve got a kick-ass story about your company that you just know should be out there. Joe Public just deserves to know about it.
But what do you do about it? You’ve already thought “I should send this out as a press release” but there’s a stumbling block. How does an effective press release work and how do you go about it? What do I say? How long will it take?
Well, don’t fear, help is at hand. Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing an effective press release that will help your story get published. It won’t guarantee it, because that depends on the story itself, but it’s as good a place to start as any.
Think before you write
Hold on a minute. Is it really a kick-ass story? Is anyone really going to care what you’ve got to say? Because, if it isn’t, it’s highly unlikely that news desks will be interested.
If it’s interesting and exciting to you, and to your company, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to whet the appetite of news editors, however much you tart it up. It’s got to be of appeal to anyone outside of your business.
It’s also got to be newsworthy and be more than a fact sheet. It’s got to tell a story. Many press releases fall into the “sales pitch” category which, quite frankly, are dull and boring as far as journalists are concerned, and they won’t care a hoot.
If it looks or smells like free advertising, it won’t see the light of day.
So don’t waste precious time and energy on something that will immediately be sent to the trash bin as soon as it lands in a news editor’s inbox.
Write a punchy, attention-grabbing headline
A good headline is usually an abridged version of your first paragraph – it’s short, simple and to the point. But you have to be a tad more creative to catch a news editor’s eye. Just don’t overdo it. Remember, you’re not writing this for a tabloid.
You’ve only got a quick shot at grabbing a journalist’s attention, as they will receive a ton of press releases every week, so it’s got to make them want to read your press release and not just skip past it, consigned to the bin forever.