Your company may be doing great things but how will anyone know if you don’t tell them? Press releases are a great tool to get information out about your company, educate your audience and help keep your business top-of-mind next time a reader needs a product or service you offer.
If you don’t have a dedicated public relations professional on board, the responsibility of writing an effective release more than likely falls on you. Although writing a press release may feel like a daunting task, these basic tips and tricks can help you create a successful press release and gain the positive coverage you deserve.
1. Be aware of your language
Not everyone reading your release may be an industry expert. Keeping your audience in mind when choosing the language of your press release is key to getting people to read it. Sure, if you’re releasing it to an industry publication, feel free to use all the jargon you’d like. But if a local, small-town paper is picking it up, keep the language simple and understandable to a broad audience.
2. Keep the ads out
Public relations is all about generating buzz around the great things your company is doing, not a free advertisement. Keep focused on the story at hand and avoid adding unnecessary details about the great services you offer or the benefits of choosing your company. There’s a time and place for that and, in the end, it’ll just get cut anyway or worse; deter the reporter from running your story.
3. Make it short and sweet
Thanks to social media feeding us information at lightning speed, today’s readers’ attention spans are getting smaller and smaller. Keep your press release down to one page to avoid boring your readers, cut out unnecessary words and only include information imperative to understanding the story.
4. Pick your targets wisely
Almost as important as the content of your press release, who you send it to can make or break your opportunity. Create relationships with reporters local to your area who focus on your industry; it doesn’t make sense to send a press release covering your manufacturing business to a lifestyle reporter. Thank them when they run your release and keep contact with them regularly.
5. Don’t reinvent the wheel
Press releases are not a new thing. They’ve been done over and over again and have a set format for you to follow. Include your contact information, a headline, your city and the date the announcement can be made public. Send the entire release in the body of an email, including any images, and make yourself available to any requests the reporter may have. Check out this resource for a classic, widely accepted format.
If your press release doesn’t get picked up right away, don’t get discouraged. Contact the reporter and see what you may be missing, try a different publication or a new approach. Eventually, your news will get the coverage you want and, once it does, share your story on social media for an even further reach. For more advice on press release writing and distribution, check out this blog article.