The main task of the media release writer is to come up with an angle that editors can immediately see is going to be of interest to their readers. This will justify their publishing it.
Your headline is an important tool in persuading an editor or reporter to read your release. It’s sad but true that the majority of releases are discarded before they are even read.
Your angle will determine your headline, which must have high interest value in order to entice the editor/reporter to read more.
Your release needs to include quotes from the most senior person in your organisation, or the person most relevant to the release. That spokesperson must be willing to be available for media interviews, should a reporter phone them to learn more.
If at all possible, include a photo. The more interesting the photo, the greater the chance your news release has of being used. Two people shaking hands while looking at the camera is not sufficiently interesting.
Make your release as short as possible, but ensure it contains all the relevant details. Wherever possible, confine it to two pages.
You can distribute your release in several ways, either yourself or through an organisation like MediaCom. Email is becoming increasingly popular. Faxing is also acceptable but you cannot transmit photos this way. If you hand-deliver your release to a news organisation, do not expect a reporter to come to the front desk to see you. Rather, the front desk person will deliver it to the newsroom.
Your release should end with the contact details of your spokesperson – phone, mobile and email address. In addition, write a short caption for your photo and include that at the end.
Media releases are an excellent adjunct to your other marketing activities.
Constantly be on the lookout for angles or ideas you can use to publicise your business via a media release. It will pay you big dividends.
If you need help preparing a publishable press release, the Word Wizard would be only too pleased to help.