A press release is a viable tool to get publicity from journalists and news sites. Sadly, a huge percentage of marketers and PR professionals pitching their story don’t get media coverage.
In reality, journalists get a lot of cold pitches from marketers. If you’re one of the marketers not getting your desired publicity or response from a journalist, have you ever asked yourself why?
There are five PR professionals to every one journalist, which isn’t a good chance for landing a placement. How would you make the cut out of the hundreds who are trying to get coverage everyday? Most pitches are rejected because PR reps don’t apply the right way to write a press release.
If you’re going to ask the media, most rejected pitches have one thing in common. There’s a ton of errors in their pitches. Here is a press release writing guide for marketers and PR reps that can improve your chances of getting publicity:
- Write a newsworthy story.
Marketers who pitch newsworthy story have a good chance of landing a placement. Not every story that you want to share with the public is newsworthy. It should create an impression of urgency that would compel a journalist to write it now.
One element of a newsworthy story is relevance. Why do you think a journalist would care about it? It can be a result of a case study, opening of your restaurant, or a stance on a hot issue in politics. If you think they should write it now because it is very important at this moment, it’s newsworthy.
- Write it like a professional journalist.
One trick to do this is doing a research about the journalist you want to pitch to. Observe how they write their stories. Notice the style of their writing and what type of story appeals to them.
Of course, it’s a plus when you know the rules in writing a release. Use a formal but simple language, no jargon and buzzwords. It should be short that you can even present it in bullet points.
If you write your story like a professional journalist would do, the higher the chance to get coverage. They may edit it, but only a few tweaks to your original copy. Its an another bonus for them because they don’t have to devote a lot of time to edit your work.
- Write an attention-grabbing headline.
Journalists are easily hooked to a pitch with an interesting headline. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention, so make sure that you write it well.
The headline should be short and simple, understandable, clear and uses an action verb. A short and succinct headline is also good for your SEO. Don’t forget to write a captivating headline that would resonate with the reader.
- Get straight-to-the-point.
Journalists only have a limited time to read all the pitches they receive. Don’t make it hard for them to figure out what you want to tell.
Get straight to the point. Write the answers to who, what, where, why and how in the first paragraph. Journalists should see this on the first part, so they can pick up the details straight away.
- Provide good quotes.
Provide good quotes from your executive team, stakeholders in your company or loyal customers who are directly affected by your news. Quotes are powerful lines that support your claims. It helps the readers to understand how your announcement impacted your niche or customers.
- Sending unsolicited attachments.
Including attachments in your release is a big mistake. Journalists don’t like to receive attachments, especially from the people they don’t know personally.
Instead of attaching a file of your release or multimedia assets, provide a link where they can read it. Attachments can contain infected files. It can be flagged as spam, so be aware of this if you don’t want to get banned for life.
- Include multimedia.
Today, releases should not be just plain text. Include images, a video or stats that journalists can use in the story.
Include a “note to editors” that images and other multimedia assets are available upon their request. As mentioned earlier, don’t include attachments.
- There should be a contact information.
Don’t make it hard for reporters connect with you or to follow up. Always provide a media contact with their name, contact number and email address. They should find it at the top most portion of the page.
Follow this press release writing service guide that can increase the chance of getting publicity. If you find writing a release too difficult for you, you can work with reputable distribution services that also offer writing services.