Sarah Whelband | How to write a killer press release
Your first line should answer who, what, when, where, why and how. That’s a lot of information to get into one sentence...
journalists, media relations, Press releases, stand out from the crowd
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How to write a killer press release

30 Sep How to write a killer press release

A press release is one of the most popular ways for businesses to tell journalists about their news.

In the same way that journalists receive hundreds of emails a day, more likely than not, the majority will be press releases.

There’s a certain way to write a release, essentially, you start with your headline, then the first paragraph is the most important, it should contain all the information a journalist needs to read your story. Then include a quote from the spokesperson, add some notes to editors at the end with any background information about the company and the spokesperson, and you are away. For more information, you can search the internet for templates. This blog is taking it as a given that you’ll follow this format, I’ll be looking at other ways to make your press release stand out.

The first thing is your headline. Remember that this will also be your email subject line, so it’s got to be good enough for the journalist to want to open the email. It needs to be all encompassing, descriptive and enticing. Difficult, huh! Use language like top, best, exclusive, etc. but only where it can be backed up. It’s worth spending a bit of time getting this right.

Your first line should answer who, what, when, where, why and how. That’s a lot of information to get into one sentence. It’s always useful to read how journalists write their own articles, that’ll give you a steer on how you should craft yours.

Think about using stats or quotes from an expert. Journalists love figures or professionals that they can quote, it provides substance to your story, gives it weight, and the validation that a journalist needs to prove that it’s not just you that’s saying something’s great.

Package it up. Today’s media isn’t just about the written word, it’s visual and audible too. So, if you have accompanying videos or recordings, include links to them within the press release; if your story is going on the website, it may make it if there’s multimedia content in there too.

Don’t paste your press release as an attachment. Journalists just won’t open it. Paste it within the body of an email. Likewise, don’t send high res images as it will clog up the journalist’s inbox. Include a thumbnail image if it adds to the story, a journalist will get in contact if they need a better version.

Get hot on your grammar. I know journalists that have pressed delete on a press release just because of an errant apostrophe, or a daft spelling error. Not so much of a killer press release, but the death of a press release.

So there you have it. Follow those rules, and you’ll be well on the way to getting that all important call or email in return from a journalist saying…’I’m interested, tell me more’.

Remember, if you don’t succeed first time, don’t give up, practice makes perfect.

If you’d like some advice on press releases, where to send them, or what would make a newsworthy story, then please get in touch.

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