The 10 things to keep in mind when composing a Press Release

There may be a tendency among PR professionals to toot their client’s horn in a Press Release, but that’s not what journalists want. Ritika Saxena tells you what you need to include if you want your information published.

Howard Bragman advises PR professionals

It must be newsworthy

As much pressure as your client puts on you, if it is not newsworthy, it does not need to go to the media. Instead suggest ideas to your client to do something that will make the news (in a positive way, so robbing a bank is out of the question). Nothing is worse than listening to journos moaning about how there is ‘no news in the news’.

Time the release

There’s no point of you are going to issue the release to the media once the information is already out there. Make sure you give it to the media in time to maximize its impact because there is a lot of news out there fighting for attention.

The headline must have impact

If you have a headline that pops, half your job is done. With a journalist receiving press releases in volumes, every day, it is important for your release to stand out. Make sure the headline of your release is crisp, clear and informs the journalist what it’s all about.

What is PR?

Sell? No! Inform? Yes!

When you write a release and issue it to the media it is with an expectation of coverage. But remember, the release is not an advertisement and the journalist may not particularly be amongst your target audience. Ensure you give the journalist all the critical information about the news and not sell him the news.

Quote, quote, and quote again

Not the ones that tell you about life. The quotes in the Press Release must come from a recognized spokesperson. Ideally, try giving the journalists more than one quote, spoil them with choice. Quotes from senior management in a company validate the information in the release.

Avoid jargon

Especially when sharing releases that are technical in nature. Do not assume that just because they are journalists, they will know everything. Try making it as simple as possible. You wouldn’t want a journalist being put off by your jargon and completely ignoring your piece, would you?

Breaking into the PR industry

Validate the information

Validate the facts and figures being shared in the release. For instance, if your release claims that your client’s new product can turn water into ice in a second, validate it with science. Also make sure you get the necessary approvals from your client before issuing the release to the media.

Provide contact information

Always share contact information in the Press Release; yours or the client’s, but make sure it’s out there. If the journalist needs clarification or any additional information, they must have the details of someone who can help them with it. Also ensure you include a boilerplate at the end of the release basically describing the company’s mission and strategy.

Jay Adelson on the importance of PR

Format the release

Maintain the same font all through. Maintain the same spacing between lines. Maintain the same font size for uniformity in the release. Have the dateline highlighted. Do it right. Journalists hate unformatted releases.

Define your target media

There’s nothing worse than your Press Release reaching the wrong media. If it is a story for the business media and you send it to a city journalist then you’re not getting a thing. The whole exercise of drafting a release goes to waste.

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Comments

  1. Defining Target Media to reach your target audience is really needed and impactful headline will really attract audience to your press release.
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