1) What is a press release?
A press release is different to advertising which is a paid form of communication. A news story is prepared by a journalist who is independent to your organisation; this gives more credibility to the reader than adverts as paid for content is often biased. A news story is far more likely to be read and believed by your customers.
2) What types of news story will get coverage?
The more newsworthy your press release is the more likely you are to receive media coverage. Newsworthy stories often have a ‘human interest’ angle; for example, you could write about a new service or the launch of your business, remember to focus on the people involved in launching the business or service. The more interesting and unique your story the better!
3) Preparing your press release
Press releases can be prepared for you and distributed to the media by Pulse Creative Marketing or you could follow these guidelines and tackle the process on your own.
Your press release should:
- Immediately grab attention with an eye-catching headline, which summarises the key points of your story in a short, snappy first paragraph. Use the ‘5 W’s:
- What is the story about?
- Who is involved?
- Where has it happened?
- When did it happen?
- Why did it happen?
- Be under two pages long, concise and to the point.
- Include quotes from people who are involved in the story, explain who each quotation is from and why they are relevant to the story.
- Make sense even when certain paragraphs are removed. Journalists frequently edit releases in this way when they have limited space available for their story.
- Be customised to the style and interests of the particular media outlet to which they are being sent. Read your target publications to develop an understanding of their house style and the theme of the stories they cover.
- Include the words ‘Press Release’ in bold type at the top of the page, followed on the next line by the date on which the release has been issued.
- Use double line spacing and wide margins. If the release goes onto two pages, type ‘More follows’ at the bottom of the first page and number all pages, include the word ‘Ends’ at the end of every release.
- Include a name and contact details, telephone and mobile numbers, e-mail and the address of your office at the end of the release, so the journalist can get in touch with you to check details or find any further information they may need.
- Include a good-quality photograph (whenever possible) to support your story.
4) Submitting your release
Know who you are sending the release to. Find out a contact name by telephoning your target publications or checking on their website. Different journalists are often responsible for different interest areas, programmes, geographical areas etc.
Find out how we can help to write and distribute a press release for your company or any aspect of your marketing by arranging a FREE Marketing Review.