So, your company has some great news and you’re ready to announce it to the world? There are a few things you should consider first. While writing a press release may seem like a simple process, a lot of time and strategic thinking goes into the average announcement.
The desk of your average PR professional – covered in papers and the disregarded fluff of your wordy press releases.
To that end, before you set out to write your next press release, consider the following five things first:
Ask Yourself: Is My News Actually Newsworthy?
I completely get it. When you’re heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of an organization, every company update, promotion or cocktail party feels like it should be on the front page of your local newspaper – which is why it’s all the more important to take pause before drafting a press release and really ask yourself, “is this news actually newsworthy?”
Your company’s rebranding or forming a partnership that will change the way it operates forever? Newsworthy. The guy in the cubicle next to you got promoted from a mid-level position to a higher mid-level position? Not quite as newsworthy.
There are plenty of things your company should be announcing to the media; just make sure you’re sending the right message at the right time.
Use AP Format
Any publicist will tell you that following AP format is arguably the most difficult part of writing a press release. From determining whether or not a number should be spelled out or if its numerical equivalent should be used, to knowing whether or not to capitalize a professional title, even the most experienced writers have to check (and triple-check) AP formatting when drafting a release.
Luckily, the AP Stylebook is available for all of your formatting questions. And, between you and me, a quick Google search usually does the trick.
Be Sure to List Information by Level of Importance. Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/23024164@N06/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
If your release is about the growth your company has experienced over the last year, don’t wait until the third paragraph to mention it. Be clear and upfront about the purpose of your release, from the get-go.
While general company information, a quote from a senior executive or a link to your company’s website are all vital components of your press release, the most important news should always be shared first.
There is a correct forum for talking about all the great things your company is doing; a press release is not that forum.
Journalists sift through dozens of press releases every day. The last thing anyone who is working on multiple deadlines wants to read is a document that doesn’t actually tell them anything. In the world of PR, we affectionately refer to this unnecessary information as “fluff.”
I know it’s tempting to sprinkle in flowery language like “innovative” and “groundbreaking” when writing, but the most effective press releases are the ones that stick to the hard news and avoid the fluffy words that aren’t adding anything significant to the story.
Want your release to make an impact? Keep it simple (and cut the fluff!)
Consider The Distribution Method
Once your press release is written (sans fluff), what next?
Using an online distribution service, such as Market Wired or PR Newswire, allows you to target online journalists based on their respective niches and location. These services also help to boost your SEO standing online – a win/win.
While online press release distribution certainly helps to push your news to the right audience, organic pitching to targeted journalists is also a necessity to garner news coverage about your release.
When it comes to getting your release in front of the journalists who are the most interested in what it says, enlisting the help of a professional is the surest way to ensure that your news is seen – and written about.
Writing a press release takes time, effort and quite a bit of perspective. Keeping these tips in mind just might make the process a little easier.