How to Write Perfect Press Releases by Steven Lewis
Some experts might argue that the press release is on it’s way to the graveyard named: old school marketing and pr tactics that don’t work anymore. (Too spammy, one on one pitch is better etc).
However, in New Zealand at least, I can attest to the fact that when used correctly – it still works and is a useful tool for delivering information.
Here’s six useful tips from the book on the art of writing releases
1. Remember journalists are about story ideas – not favours
“what journalists are looking for — all the time — is good story ideas. They’re not looking for ways they can do you a favour and promote you or your service/product. But they do understand the trade: a good story for them to write in return for a promotional opportunity.”
2. You need an angle
“…angle is the way you approach a story to decide what should be in it and what should be left out.”
3. Get a good lead
“Five years ago Steve Jobs had an idea…” is the start of a linear story. What Steve Jobs was doing five years ago is not the lead and it doesn’t help with our “now” factor. “Today Apple launched the iPod, the most advanced MP3 player on the market and the future of music sales” is the lead.
4. Think about their readership
“Once you know who a publication’s readers are you can start getting into their heads and asking what you can tell them — through the journalist — that will be interesting to them and useful to you.”
5. Ponder these three questions – before you start writing
“Why is this a great story for this publication? Why am I the right person to tell it? If the reader were to take just one thing from this story, what would I want it to be?”
6. Do not ring a journalist just to ask if your release arrived
“As a journalist I hate it when PR people phone me to ask if I received their media release. Email is almost 100 per cent reliable so it’s a fair assumption that I did get it; and, if I didn’t contact you, I’m not interested.”
Interested in more on writing releases? Get it here.