Guest post by Matt LaClear.
Every day, journalists receive press releases by the dozens (possibly more—the three major services distribute roughly 1,800 news releases each day), many of which fall victim to the well-worn “delete” button. What is going to happen when an overworked journalist sees yours?
Will your electronic press release be opened or deleted? That answer depends on how interesting the subject line is. Is it enough to grab the journalist’s attention at first glance?
If you have a well-written, newsworthy subject that is of interest to the recipient, there is a chance it will grab attention. Provided you’ve met these requirements, here are seven additional steps you can take to further enhance your chances of getting your press release (or even a bylined story on your topic!) published.
Check Out Your Competitors Successful Campaigns
The first thing you should do is find trustworthy samples of how to write a press release. Reinventing the wheel with your press release will only slow you down.
Outline Your Main Points
You have a lot of information to convey, but you only have one page to do so. A proper press release communicates only the meat of the matter, without verbal fluff. Outline the reporter’s questions—who, what, when, where, and how—of the event in a concise and compelling manner.
Then, in 400 words or less, fill in the details. Use bullet points to highlight your main points.
Grab the Editor’s Attention in the First Paragraph
The first paragraph should immediately seize the editor’s attention. Use catchy, succinct phrases in the active voice: “Rare flowers of the world will be on display at the Spartan Arena for the first time.” Tell the reader why rare flowers are essential and what their existence means to the target audience.
Be a fantastic storyteller! Is your event related to a famous person or a specific period? For example: “The King of England planted red currant flowers in his garden every summer to honor fallen soldiers.” Where you can tie your event to something significant, do so.
Strengthen Your Main Point with a Quote from Management
Quote a top executive or another subject-matter expert in your company. Even better, quote a customer. The value of an authoritative voice contributes significantly to the legitimacy of your main points. You may use statistics or other official references that validate your information.
Include the Where and When
If you’re publicizing an event, conclude the press release with the event’s location, date, time, and instructions for questions. If it’s a new product release, include the date of general availability as well as how and where to buy.
Include a phone number and contact name for additional information. You may also wish to set up a dedicated email account for your event so people can contact you directly about that gathering.
After all your hard work, make sure your press release gets into the right hands. If you are having a show about rare flowers, don’t send your press release to the editor in the political research division. Send it to the Home & Garden Editor. If you don’t have a media database, you can seek out agencies that do.
Enhance your Press Release with Additional Marketing
Don’t limit your outreach to professional journalists. Use influencer marketing tools to identify bloggers, social media influencers, analysts, or professionals who have authority with your target audience. Don’t be shy about sending them a press release and asking for help get the word out (but let them know what’s in it for them—even if it’s just an appeal to their ego).
Your press release is a significant part of your event or product marketing campaign. Pay careful attention to detail, ensuring that it looks nice and neat, and reads well. Have it professionally proofread for any errors.
Hopefully, the sum of all your hard work is a well-attended event or successful new product launch, thanks in part to a press release that avoided a journalistic press delete.
Matt LaClear has helped clients gain millions of dollars by improving their website’s rankings on Google and Bing. But so what! What matters most is the money and you’re going to generate in the very near future from what you learned on this post and Matt wishes you the very best success.