Writing an effective press release is important if you want to get your company’s voice heard and proactively reach a wider audience. People remember great stories, so when the time comes that they need your product or service, they’ll think of seeing your news and achievements in the media and consider your company for their needs.
That said, writing a press release is easier said than done and there are a few key elements that each release should contain before you pitch it to your target media publications.
1. A unique news hook
One of the most important elements of any press release. Having a unique news hook/angle is what differentiates your news from being published and not being published. It’s easy to think that everything your company does is immediately newsworthy, but that’s not the case. When evaluating how interesting your story is, put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and consider whether other people would find it interesting. Even better, run your idea past a PR specialist to sound it out, or look online and see if similar topics have been covered. This will give you a good indication of whether your news will be picked up by the press.
2. A newsworthy headline
When it comes to pitching a press release to the media, a catchy headline is the first thing that will entice a journalist to open your email and read more about what you have to say. Headlines also offer a chance to be fun and use a play on words to draw people in. Even better if your headline of choice makes people smile. Keep it short, snappy and don’t give too much of the game away in the press release header.
3. Supporting information
This is the who, what, where, when and how of your press release. Once journalists and readers are hooked in by the headline, they’ll want to know the essential background information about your company and the news story in question. Make sure you put yourself in the reader’s shoes for this section and fill in any gaps that your headline and introduction haven’t covered yet. For example, if you’ve won an award; where was the ceremony held? Who were you up against? Who was judging the awards ceremony?
4. Insightful quotes
A great press release should also include a couple of quotes that add value to your release and offer new insight to your readers. If you’re partnering up with another organisation, a quote from your companies CEO along with a high-profile contact from the other company will go hand-in-hand. If you’re writing about winning an award, a quote from the CEO and a member of the judging panel will both make great additions to your story.
5. A selection of great photographs
A great photograph is vital to securing media coverage (especially in print publications). If you can include several high-quality, relevant photographs in your press release then it has much more chance of success. Visuals will make your story more visual and allow readers to put faces to names – humanising your news story. Professional photography is also best but not always attainable for smaller businesses with a minimal marketing budget. In this case, use a high-quality phone camera and take several images, selecting only the best for inclusion in your press release.
For advice on getting your company news into the media and, email Sophie at LIT Communication - a Huddersfield PR agency, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophie Marsden, founder of LIT Communication