To get the best value from your press release, the headline and first paragraph must contain powerful and informative statements to hook the reader. The idea is to share your news in order to attract attention to your business, so the first few words are key to gaining the coverage you want.
Before you begin, a little preparation is necessary to ensure you have all of the elements needed to create your story. First, check to see if there is any national or internal news that relates to your topic. If so, find a way to include it. Next, designate a subject matter expert in your company who can testify to the subject you’re writing about. This is where you get a quote from an executive team member, client or an industry expert who can confirm the positive elements of your news story. I actually conduct interviews of these individuals so that the information is authentic, versus writing a statement for them to approve. Lastly, create a basic outline of your press release so you have a clear understanding of the flow of information.
Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release
1.Write the headline and opening paragraph last.
When brainstorming ideas, most people start with the headline first. Doing so limits the possibilities of the angle you can take on the story, so outline your story, draft the supporting material, then develop the opening paragraph and headline.
2. Include valuable information.
Feel free to ask your interview subject what value the project or issue on which you’re reporting is going to add value to your company, the community or your clients.
3. Include a brief about your company.
The media and others might not know what your company is about, so include a brief about your business as the last paragraph. This is information that will impress the reader.
4. Keep it to one page.
Hopefully, the opening will entice the reader to learn more, so don’t overwhelm them with pages of information. Keep it high level, to a single page press release.
5. Personalize the email submission
You have a better chance of media reception when you personalize your email to the reporter by giving a one sentence brief about why your news is important to their audience.
I’ve recently had meetings with television staff and executives who complain that the news releases they receive have too much information, are not relevant to their audience and they fail to summarize the essence of the topic in the opening paragraph. Based upon their feedback, you have the best possible chance by following the tips above. ■
Company Voice Box advocates for businesses that have difficulty voicing themselves. We create effective media releases to share your great news internally and externally. Allow us to write news and information that speaks volumes about your business.