Press releases are essential in any public relations strategy. They detail product launches, special events and other newsworthy activities that a company produces. Because media outlets are flooded with stories and pitches daily, it is imperative that you make yours stand out from the rest. Here are a few helpful tips to make your press release stand out, look professional, and attract reporters to your story.
- Grab their attention with a strong e-mail subject
A strong subject on an email will peek the reporters’ interest, and lead them to read your release. Keep a subject 5-7 words highlighting the most important takeaway from the release.
- Get right to the point
Assume that the reader won’t read more than the first paragraph. Get the message out quickly, every point should be addressed in the headline and first paragraph, with supportive information in the subsequent paragraphs.
- Always use quotes when possible
Including quotes from your client makes them an authority in their profession. It is important to have a source to attribute the information to so what you are saying is validated by a trusted source. Quotes can also clarify any information that you have in the press release while attributing it to your client.
- Check your grammar, then check it again!
Always proof your press releases; if there is any grammatical errors, this can turn a reporter off. It is unprofessional and looks sloppy for anyone who works in PR to have spelling or grammatical errors in their press releases. Remember, the only thing that we produce as a profession is words on paper: They should therefore inform and impress.
- One Page is best
As with most good writing, shorter is usually better; limit yourself to one page. This will force you to condense your most significant information into a more readable document, which is something that journalists always appreciate.
- Provide access to more information
Just because your press release is limited to one page doesn’t mean that you have to leave out information. Provide relevant links to your client’s website where prospective writers can learn more about their mission and what they’ve accomplished. Don’t make writers search on their own for more information; it is important to guide them as quickly as possible to your website, and keep their interest in your message.
- Always provide your contact information
A common oversight that can render a press release ineffectual is a lack of contact information for reporters. Whether you or someone else at the company is the point of contact, don’t forget to include an email address and phone number on the release. Media people aren’t shy; if they have a question they will contact you.