The power of PR: Tips for writing media releases and securing editorial

July 11, 2017

 

PR for your business is gold. Free exposure through securing editorial, product spotlight or business mentions are fantastic exposure opportunities for your business.

 

Public relations have the power to reach a large audience, giving the platform a business needs to further establish credibility and awareness. Studies show that PR has seven times more credibility among consumers than advertising.

 

If you're looking to get media coverage for your business, being able to write an effective media release is an essential skill. But how long should a press release be? And what kind of information should you include?

 

Here are a few top tips from Reality Marketing to help you get started:

 

1. Use a catchy headline.

Like anything these says a strong, punchy headline will make your release more likely to be read by a journalist seeking a good story. Your headline should be as engaging, accurate and topical.

 

2. The first paragraph should say it all

Because journos are busy people and receive often hundreds of emails a day, it’s important to get cut through. Assume that they will only read the first paragraph and then scan the rest — and even that is if you are lucky. Get the message of your media release out quickly and concisely. Address the ‘Who, what, why, where and when’ within that first critical paragraph.

 

3. Make it topical and relevant to the audience

Before you even consider writing a media release make sure it is newsworthy. Ensure that you are writing a release that involves a current topic or theme of interest for the target audience of the publication you are pitching at. Make it as unique as possible and most likely to gain the attention of the writer and the audience.

 

3. Include current stats and facts

Current statistics and accurate facts are an essential element of your release. Ensure you can quantify your messaging and provide journos and editors with easy to copy and paste solid information to substantiate your story.

 

4. Use quotes whenever possible

Inserting relevant quotes can add a lot of value to your release. Including meaningful quotes from someone in the company or close to the product or service can also provide a human element to the media release, as well as being a source of information in its own right.

 

5. Make sure its error free

Proof read your release and get someone else other than the original author to proof read wherever possible before submitting. Even a single mistake can dissuade a reporter from using your release.

 

6. One page is best — and two is the maximum.

As with most things, short and sweet is usually best. Limit yourself to one page, although two pages is acceptable. This will also force you to condense your most salient information into a more readable document — something journalists are always looking for.

 

7. Include contact details and access to more information.

Provide a point of contact, and don’t forget to include an email address and phone number on the release as well as website information. Providing relevant links to your company’s website, where prospective writers can learn more about your business and what you’ve already accomplished, is a crucial element to the release. Don’t make writers search on their own for more information — guide them as quickly as possible to your website.

 

8. Accompany with powerful imagery

Include with the media release a quality high resolution image that can be used in accompaniment of the article if desired. This not only provides a visual prompt for what the article involves but is also handy for journos under the pump who don’t have time to source an image or engage their photographer to cover the story.

 

9. Follow up is key

Journos and editors get swamped on a regular basis and are often dealing with deadlines and lack of resources. Being persistent without being pushy can help you to secure valuable editorial. Keep on top of your follow up process and make note of responses and feedback.

 

Best of luck, PR is definitely worth the effort, be persistent, don’t lose heart and give the writer what they need in order for your story to be published.

 

Reality Marketing is available to provide marketing support for business including PR strategy, creation of media releases and direct liaison and follow up with media.

Contact Reality Marketing now for more information leonie@realitymarketing.com.au

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