A guest blog by Neil Anderson, PR expert from Sheffield…
It’s a sad fact that 99% of press releases end up in the recycle bin – I know, I’ve been on the receiving end of them. And the schoolboy errors that consign them to history are so easily avoided if you know what they’re doing.
My words have ended up everywhere from the Washington Post to the Financial Times over the years – and they all follow the same set of rules to get them there.
And these days press releases are far more important than ever – get your subject and timing right and you make more impact in a single hit than a social media campaign costing tens of thousands.
I recently worked out I’d just finished my 10,000th press release and, despite the fact the PR world has been turned on its head in recent years, the essence of writing a good one remains unchanged.
What makes a good press release?
I regularly get asked ‘what makes a good press release’ so I thought I pull together a few thoughts to get you on your way.
The nine top tips to press release success
1) That all important intro… Grab the readers’ attention right from the word go. If you’ve lost them in the first line, you won’t get them back.
2) Go for the jugular… Put the essence of your news at the very top. Ensure the reader knows what you’re on about immediately. Busy bloggers and news-desks don’t have the time or the inclination to plough through several paragraphs to find the essence of your news.
3) Get to the point and fast… Ensure you tell your readers why, within the field you’re writing about, your story is newsworthy.
4) Spread your bet… Elaborate on your news but keep it relevant – how is your new product or service going to work, what impact will it have in the market place for example?
5) Who are you..? Ensure you let the reader know who you are and why you’re in a position of authority to be in the news in your particular field. Provide background and facts and figures on the individual or organisation you’re writing about but keep it relevant!
6) Add quotes… Provide one or two quotes from the individual or organisation you’re talking about to add weight. It helps ‘personalise’ the story.
7) Get in the picture… Send an interesting picture (or film clip) to accompany the story. They can add serious weight! And remember photos need to be 300dpi minimum for print.
8) Name names… Always include contact details so anyone wanting further information can get in touch.
9) Watch your grammar…. None of the above will stand you in good stead if your news release isn’t well written, punchy and attention grabbing. 99% of news releases end up in the recycle bin – don’t let it happen to yours!
Neil Anderson will be joining the Power Hour Network in January, sharing his methods for getting your business in the press….for free! It’s one not to be missed. Tickets are available now!
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