8 top tips on how to write a press release

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

The PR Farm's 8 top tips on how to write the perfect press release

The PR Farm’s 8 top tips on how to write the perfect press release

 

 

Congratulations! You’ve found The PR Farm’s guide to writing a press release amongst the gazillions that already exist.

 

We’re not going to say that ours is any better than the rest (although it probably is), but we are going to keep it to what any finished press release should be: short and sweet.

 

  1. Is your story newsworthy?

 

No? Then don’t spend the time developing it – unless you’re happy with just preparing content for your website. If it’s not newsworthy, journalists are more likely to purge it than publish it.

 

Tips on determining whether it’s newsworthy or not are:

 

  • Is it new?
  • Is it the biggest, the best or a ‘world’s first’?
  • Is it different in anyway?
  • Would anyone outside of your business find it interesting?

 

If the answer’s yes, then read on.

 

  1. Know your media

 

Do you know what your target media write about? If not, find out. Writing something that mirrors content typically published by your target publications will increase the chances of your press release getting picked up.

 

  1. Make your headline count, and make it snappy

 

We all get a feeling for what an email is about just from the subject heading. Journalists are no different. If your headline doesn’t sing, it will find its way in the bin before they’ve read the opening paragraph. Spend time crafting that perfect headline – one that not only looks and sounds good, but also encapsulates the story the journalists are (hopefully) about to read.

 

  1. Make it top-heavy

 

Think of your opening paragraph as an ‘elevator pitch’. Get as many salient points in as quickly as possible so that you grab the journalist’s attention which, given how they receive hundreds of press releases each day, is limited.

 

  1. Be concise

 

Nobody wants to read unnecessary words. It takes time and makes the page look messy. Keep it short.

 

  1. Always add comment

 

Including comment from one of your senior representatives provides a human element to the story. Adding comment from your customer adds credibility. Just remember that when it comes to commenting in press releases, two’s company, three’s a crowd.

 

  1. Your opinion isn’t welcome

 

Don’t editorialise. Stick to the facts. Journalists don’t want to hear your opinion – they just want the details. Explaining how good you think something is in your press release is a surefire way of getting them to press ‘delete’.

 

  1. One size doesn’t always fit all

 

So, you’re confident that you’ve prepared a well-sculpted, killer press release. Before it goes out, ask yourself whether or not the same version will appeal to ALL those on your target media list? Don’t forget, even media titles covering the same sector have different priorities and areas they focus on. And that’s before you’ve considered media from other sectors that you’re also looking to target.

 

Be prepared to ‘top and tailor’ your press release, creating multiple slightly different versions, so that the story appeals to the widest net of journalists possible. It might mean subtle tweaks to the language; it could mean changing the headline to something more relevant/eye-catching for one particular title. It may even mean re-structuring the piece so that points further down in your original press release are moved further towards the top.

 

Be flexible and don’t think that one ‘standard size’ press release will work wonders for everyone. Do your homework, know what your media write about and be prepared to make multiple versions of the same press release.

 

If you’d still rather get someone else to do it – or if you need a PR agency to create or support your communications programme – then call The PR Farm on 01483 892301 or email growingbusiness@theprfarm.com.