Publicity is a powerful way to get the word out about your company, products, and people. It’s news and carries third-party credibility that most advertising can’t deliver. So how do you generate it? While there are a lot of ways to spread information, press releases are part of most public relations efforts. But they’re only effective if they get published.
According to Jackie Pantaliano, owner of Impressions PR, your press release must have impact to get the coverage you want. Here are a few tips to get yours noticed and in print:
Make It Newsworthy
Public interest is a must. So focus on topics that are relevant to the readers of that specific publication. What’s going on in the news now – locally, regionally or nationally – that you can tap into. Here’s some news that you can spin to get coverage: new openings, management hires, community efforts, sponsorships, new products or services, events, and fundraisers.
Know Your Audience
While the press release is submitted to an editor, the content needs to be relevant and written for the publication’s audience. Use straight forward language. Research past editions to get a feel for the publication, topics they cover and style they prefer – before preparing and submitting the press release.
Write Good Quotes
Since a press release is news, you need to use short but intelligent quotes to reinforce the facts and state opinions. You can integrate a variety of them using different experts and influencers. Don’t be afraid to ask customers to provide quotes. Depending on the topic, these can be compelling.
Include a Photo
An image helps create a richer, fuller story – and publishers want them. If submitting to a print publication, the image must be high-quality for them to use it.
Use a Powerful Headline & Lead Paragraph
Write a short and concise headline to grab the readers’ attention. Make your lead paragraph count because some publications will only print that (and your audience may only read it too). Your lead paragraph should be 3-5 sentences capturing the 5W’s – who, what, where, when and why. Put the most relevant points upfront. You can always expand on them later in the release.
Nothing says unprofessional more than spelling and grammar mistakes. Ask others to check it. Multiple perspectives are great ways to find mistakes and ensure the message is clear.
Before submitting the press release, put it through the litmus test. As you read it, ask yourself “Who Cares?”. Is it relevant to the audience? If not, time to tweak. If so, let it go!
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