Would you like millions of dollars worth of publicity to help build your business? Of course, you would.
And an awesome press release that’s picked up by the major media outlets can get your business millions of dollars worth of publicity.
How do you write such a press release?
This post will provide you seven tips to help you write a press release that may get picked up by the major media outlets.
1. Make Sure Your Press Release Covers Real News
Journalist Andy Ashby with the Memphis Business Journal says: “If you really want to get the attention of a serious journalist working at a serious publication, talk realistically about impact. My editor always asks, ‘So what, who cares?’ Tell people in that industry why they should care.”
So, the first tip to writing a great press release is to write your press release just like a journalist would write it if they were covering your story.
Now, the first question you need to ask yourself is, does your press release cover real news? What does the major media consider real news? They’ll see your story as real news:
- if it’s new
- if it’s unusual
- if it’s interesting
- if it’s significant
- if it’s about people
So, before you begin writing your press release, put it through this checklist to see if it has those elements that journalists consider real news. And if it doesn’t have them, you should find another story angle.
2. Use The Inverted Pyramid To Structure Your Press Release
In structuring your press release, you should use the inverted pyramid where the information in your press release is written in a descending order of importance.
The inverted pyramid style of writing is also called the New York Times style. You’ve seen it used many times in major U.S. newspapers.
Reporter Chris Chamberlain with the Nashville Scene says: “Write your release well in case there are sections that are appropriate for cutting and pasting. (Attributed, of course.) I always say there’s a reason they call it ‘copy.
One of the main reasons for the inverted pyramid is that editors can cut the story at almost any point to fit the available space.
3. Write A Powerful Press Release Headline To Draw Readers Into Your Story
A press release needs a great headline. The headline is used to pull the reader into the press release. The headline of your press release is the critical element to getting it noticed and used by media sources, even if they decide to change it.
To find out what great headlines looks like, just read the headlines in any major U.S. newspaper, where you’ll find page after page of examples of great headlines.
As you read through those headlines, note how major U.S. newspapers focus on the news element of the stories to pull their readers in. This focus will help you write a more newsworthy headline for your press release.
4. Keep Your Press Release Short To Help Increase Its Chances of Getting Read
If you try to include every detail about your product or service into your press release, you’ll decrease the chances of it ever getting read because journalists are pressed for time and get tons of releases.
“A good press release should be between 200 and 400 words,” says Todd Pree, owner of Mass Media Distribution LLC. “The shorter the better. The idea is to have just enough info to get the reporters excited and ask for an interview.”
So be sure to keep your press release on the short side, and you’ll have a much better chance of your press release getting read.
5. Write A Powerful Press Release Lead Paragraph To Hook Your Readers
In paragraph one of your press release, you should start it off with a strong lead called a hook to grab readers.
The lead of your press release should emphasize the most important and newsworthy aspects of your story, and it should touch on some, but not all, of the 5 W’s of a great news story, which are the:
Also, the lead should be kept to about 30 words at most and one or two sentences. Your lead should be clear and concise with a simple grammatical structure. Again, you can find examples of such leads in any major U.S. newspaper.
6. Write Informative Body Paragraphs In A Descending Order Of Importance For Best Results
After the lead, in the body paragraphs of your press release, you should provide your information in a descending order of importance using the inverted pyramid style of writing.
In addition to providing your information in a descending order of importance, the body paragraphs of your press release should be sprinkled with quotes from the key people associated with the story press your release is featuring.
Quotes should also be sprinkled throughout your press release in a descending order of importance, starting with quotes from the most important people related to your story, and working down to quotes from less important people.
Doing this insures the most important information in your press release won’t be lost if the editor decides to cut your press release because of space limitations.
7. Make It Easy For Journalists To Follow Up On Your Press Release
After the body of your press release is finished, you should include an “About” section where you provide full contact information so journalists can easily follow up if interested.
Too, in this section, you can include background information about your business and the product or service your press release covers.
While this information is not published, this information is helpful for journalists to know. And this information makes it easier for them to contact you as well.
An awesome press release can help you effectively market your company. And if you follow these seven tips, you’re sure to produce the kind of press release the major media can put to use.
Now get started writing the kind of press release that can get your business millions of dollars worth of publicity for free.
That is minus the time it took you to write and distribute, which still leaves you with a nice return on your time.
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