Let me tell you that Koogar “don’t do” PR HOWEVER we are asked regularly about Press Releases, how to write them, where to put them and how to get in the papers.
I thought it would be useful for me to write what I have told others.
“We believe PR should be practiced to serve the public interest, to develop mutual understanding between organizations and their publics.” – James E. Grunig
You may have some great news, new products or services that are happening in your business write now and you want to tell the world, but you haven’t got any press experience.
Social media has helped everyone write their own stories to tell the world. There are some basics when it comes to writing a press release and some great tools out there that can push you out further than you have ever imagined.
So where do you start?
Is your story any good?
Having a new product or service is great for your business but is it worth being put into a paper? Ask yourself the following questions when it comes to your story:
- Is it new; like no one has ever done anything like this before?
- Is it unusual; no one has ever seen this before or it’s a VERY rare thing?
- Is it interesting; and if it is interesting who would be interested in it?
- So what?; this is where you look at your story to find out why someone would care about it. With this question you need to ask yourself the question “so what 3-4 times” as your answers will get more and more specific! Why should people care?
Who is this story for?
Who is going to be interested in reading it, sharing it, liking, commenting and maybe purchasing it. You know me, first things first… Who is the target audience for this piece of news? Once you have the ideal reader in your head, start writing and tell your story to them!
Subject line or Title
Depending on where you will be sending or uploading your press release depends on which one you need. If you are sending an email to your local paper or magazine, then you need a subject line that will make people want to open your email to them!
Title is for if you are adding your press release to your website as a blog article.
Obviously, we must stand out and be interesting at the same time!
Here is a great infographic on how to create a catching headline.
Body of the Content
The first sentence should cover the who, what, why and how about your story! This will grab the journalist and give them a good idea what your story is about and that they should keep reading!
Your press release should be compact and an easy read! One page is best but two is maximum.
Inside the body of content, you will need the following:
- Intro – start with a bang that will make the read what to find out more!
- Source – How do you know about this thing? Show knowledge and experience to give you credibility
- Details – facts and figures are important. Give the journalist as much information you think they will need without overwhelming them or stuffing your press release with useless information
- Quote – from a person who was there, has bought one or from the company owner
- Additional information – This is where you can add the extra stuff if you really need it n there
- Ends – Type in Ends so they know this is the end of your press release
- High Quality Photograph – showing you with the product/service, in the location of the item you are talking about
Avoid – long sentences, repeating the same thing and jargon
Before you distribute your content, you MUST…
- Spell Check – this is obvious HOWEVER some don’t do it. So, do get someone or a few people to check it over for you. The other good thing about this is that they may tell you that you have forgotten an important bit or remove something as its less important.
Now that you have written your press release ensure that it gets to the people who can do the most with it. The journalists. Have a look at your local and national editions and find the name of the person you should get in touch with and email them.
I would also send something in the post to show them you are very keen to get into their publication.
- If you don’t want to do it yourself, speak with a PR company who can get it out there for you.
- Check out “PR in a Box” which helps business owners and marketing managers manage their own PR! – https://prinabox.com/
- Add it to your website as a blog article
- Share on social media, in forums and on other local websites to you. Press Releases are no longer JUST for papers.
- Send out printed copies to local businesses, giving it a personal touch
- Check out the has tag #journorequest on twitter as journalists are always looking for new news stories – https://twitter.com/hashtag/journorequest?lang=en
For Ideas and Suggestions
Sometimes its hard to write this document by yourself and to show others why its such important news that they need to know about. So why not join a group that is there to help and inspire you specifically with PR? – https://www.facebook.com/groups/SoulfulPRcommunity
I’ve seen Janet Murray speak and she was great!
I was already a part of Janet’s Facebook Group before I heard her speak I joined her Facebook group that gives out ideas, suggestions and more every day. Get involved in the conversation and see what you can learn from others for free.
There is a lot more you can do with press releases and PR firms and consultants can go a lot more in depth than I can, but you can write your own.
Let me know how you get on…