There is way more to PR than writing press releases, it’s a lot about forming relationships, spotting opportunities, creating features, keep up to date with trends, research, monitoring competitors and much more.
But the humble press release is something that I get asked about a lot and they are a big part of what I do. Whilst I can’t tell you what to write a release about (well I can in a Dig Deeper Call or if you’re a client, in fact if you’re a client I’ll write it for you) I can tell you the basic premise of writing a release.
The purpose of a press release is to tell people about your product, service, or event. Whilst the content will vary the format is always pretty much the same.
1.Create a headline.
Think newspaper headline, something catchy that will grab the journalists attention.
2. Opening Paragraph
Get to the point of what your release is about. Cover the five W’s who, what, where, why, when?
3. Second paragraph
Let the reader know more details about your business, service, or event. What’s so good about it, why is it exciting, why should people attend the event, buy your product, or use your service.
A chance to get your personality across and share some more information. If it isn’t you that is going to be quoted, make sure you have permission off the person you are quoting.
5. Call to action
At the end let people know what you want them to do e.g., visit your website, book tickets, buy x product, request more information etc. This is where you are likely to put a website link and or your business phone number if relevant. After this paragraph write the word ENDS
6. Notes to editor
This section goes after ENDS and is a chance for you to give the journalist more detail or technical information that is too boring for the main release. It’s also the place to include some brief information about your business.
7. Contact details
Let the journalist know how to contact you.
Provide high quality images. A good picture can sometimes make the difference between a piece making it in or not.
· Consider would you be interested in reading this story? If not reconsider your angle
· Journalists often work to tight deadlines, so make sure you’re available to answer their questions. For example, don’t send out a release when you’re going on holiday the next day.
· Keep your email brief, a quick hello , here is something I thought you might be interested in as well as mentioning that if they have any questions, need more images etc to let you know is enough.
· Don’t send the press release as a PDF. You want to make the journalists job easy. I always paste mine into the body of the email so they can copy, and paste should they wish to. Alternatively, you could attach it as a Word document.
· You can send low-res images in the body of the release but don’t send attachments to hi-res photos as they can fill up the journalists inbox. If sending hi-res photos, I always use either a Google link to the images or use WeTransfer.
· Make sure you have the date on the release, so if they put it to one side and come back to it, they can check if it is still relevant.
Rebecca Slater is a PR Consultant with more than 20 years public relations experience. She is based in Staffordshire and provides support to businesses all over the country.
Find out more at www.beckandcallpr.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org