Have you tried to generate some press coverage for your business but found it hard to get your story picked up by the media?

It doesn’t mean your story wasn’t worthwhile, but your strategy was most likely lacking a few key ingredients.

While the media are always on the lookout for good stories, they won’t publish every release that pops into their inbox.

There are a number of things you should include in your PR strategy to improve your reach with a media release, however today I’m just going to focus on the actual release itself.

 

What makes a good press release?

If you’ve been reading my blogs you’ll know that I always talk about looking at your marketing communications through the eyes of your customer/ audience.

A press release is no different. Except you have two audiences you need to engage!

 

1. Appeal to both audiences

Firstly your story needs to be relevant and interesting to your usual target market – the audience you are hoping to reach with your media coverage.

Secondly, your release needs to be appealing to the journalist themselves.

The journalist is the gatekeeper. They decide what gets published and what doesn’t.

You need to convince them that their audience will like it – and hopefully, if you’re targeting the right publications, your target audience is a match for theirs.

2. Quality of your writing

Is your press release written well, so the journalist needs to do little (if any) editing? The closer the release is to a news article, the better your chances are of them picking it up.

Journalists are busy people, so if you help them, they will be more than appreciative.

Is it free of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors?

These sort of errors are like waving little red flags at a bull!

Journalists are writers and it grates them to see poorly written words. So take your time and do your proofreading.

When I proofread I start from the bottom and read upwards so my brain doesn’t take over! Read it backwards, get help from a friend, whatever you do, don’t rely on spellcheck!

 

3. Be concise and clear

Are the key points of your story obvious? Remember, the journalist will scan your release in about 2 seconds, and decide whether to read it properly or not.

Be brief! Do not write war and peace.

If they want to find out more about the background to the story they will contact you! Keep the release content only about the current story.

 


How do you think you rate against these 3 main success factors for a press release?

Read more about developing your PR strategy here: 4 reasons why PR should be in your marketing plan