Here are five of the basic rules to follow to ensure your company receives the PR it deserves!
1. Know your market
Who is using your product or service? This answer needs to be specific. For example, “women” is too broad. Instead, decide what age groups, culture, economic background etc. of women to get as specific as possible about your market.
The more specific you are, the easier it will be to identify what media to work with.
Next, tell your market why your product is relevant to them. What does your product/service do for them? Can you back up these benefits with numbers?
2. One of a kind
Your product must be unique!
Is it faster than the others? More eco-friendly? What is it that makes your product stand out from the crowd?
The more spefic data you can provide, the more likely the media will feature your product over someone else’s.
Invest in research or getting an expert opinion. Numbers, facts and quoting an expert will look great in your press release.
3. Prepare your press release to be printed as is
Journalists are very busy and are more likely to use a press release that needs little-to-no editing and flows with their media outlet’s style.
Here are some tips for writing a great press release:
- Start with a good headline. Even though they may change it later, an interesting headline will catch their attention
- FOLLOW AP STYLE
- Keep paragraphs short and informational
- Your first paragraph needs to both explain the headline and summarize the story. This is often called the “lede” and should only be a few sentences long.
Since journalists are reading hundreds of news releases each day, the first 25 words are critical. They need to say what the release is about and give at least a hint as to why this is newsworthy.
4. Sell your release
It is not enough to simply submit a news release. Following up is very important.
Try calling the person listed as the media contact person. This is why it is important to know your market and then know the media outlet, because this information will help you pitch why the story will interest them and their readers. Give the media contact person the headline and first paragraph.
They’ll make a decision then and there about whether they like it or not. A “yes” or “maybe” means “send me a fax or email with more information.” Forward it immediately marked clearly to their attention.
There is a fine line between following up and annoying someone. Ask them if you can call back the next day or at some other specific day and time. Remember to follow up and keep in contact.
5. Use a photograph
The more work you can do for the journalists, the easier it will be for them to print your press release as is (which should be your main goal because this ensures your message will get across unchanged).
Almost every important story includes a photograph. Make sure you choose one that educates or informs the reader.
Also remember to send along a caption and photo credit.
We hope these tips help you land your press release in the news!