How to write a press release
As the world of public relations evolves alongside technology, it’s important to consider how traditional marketing strategies work in today’s environment. The press release is still considered a cornerstone of PR, but it’s changed significantly since the early days of PR.
The press release is a way of promoting something to members of the media in the hope that they will report on it. Generating media coverage for a product or service massively broadens its potential audience and gives it an extra credibility boost.
We’ve put together a couple of quick tips to make sure that your press releases are still sparking attention and creating the right kinds of conversations. There are a thousand different strategies, but these ones have been tried and tested by the Anouska & Co team.
1. Personalise your approach
Journalists are often facing an onslaught of press releases, so you want to make sure yours stands out from the pack. Sydney PR guru Roxy Jacenko is a huge advocate for a more personalised approach.
‘Take the time to know who you’re emailing,’ she recommends in her Roxy’s Little Black Book of Tips and Tricks. ‘Showing that you are genuinely interested in the person you’re emailing will personalise your pitch and make [the journalist] feel like they’re valued.’
Do your due diligence and research the journalist or media figure you’re talking to. Read their recent work and see if you can make it appealing to them specifically.
2. Match their tone
Be mindful of the kind of work the specific publication or media outlet you’re contacting produces. Is it hard news or more of a lifestyle oriented publication? Do they have any specific content pillars or focus areas they cover?
Remember, a press release needs to spark inspiration in the mind of the person reading it. Tailoring a press release to the needs and values of a specific publication gives you the best chance of having it picked up and generating earned media coverage.
3. Remember the inverted pyramid
As you’ll often be writing to journalists, it’s helpful to structure your press release in a similar way to a news piece. The inverted pyramid is a method of structuring a piece of writing so all the important information is condensed at the start with less important details going further towards the end.
The start of a press release should contain the 5 W’s: who, what, where, when and why. The idea should be that if someone were only to read the first paragraph of the press release, they would understand the message being conveyed.
Writing this way is especially important for a press release as this is the style of writing that journalists are used to reading. If you emulate a journalistic style it is more likely that a journalist will understand the news value of your press release.
4. Spelling and grammar!
This one should go without saying, but it’s too crucial not to mention. The spelling and grammar in a press release should be absolutely perfect.
A press release with correct spelling and grammar comes across as more professional and polished. Journalists are sent tonnes of press releases, so one that appears to be sloppily written will be immediately discarded. Take that little bit extra pride and care in a press release and it’s much more likely to get attention.
Want to sharpen up your press releases? Get in touch at email@example.com