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Feb 26

How to write an effective press release

how-to-write-a-press-releaseHow to Write an Effective Press Release

 

Structuring a press release

When you send a press release to a Journalist you got to account for the fact that you are competing with hundreds other press releases which they receive everyday. Therefore it is vital that you grab their attention straight away.

Heading

In an effort to grab the attention of the journalist it is vitally important to use a strong heading which is someway relevant to the media outlet the journalist represents.

For example if new bakery opened in Tuam in Co Galway that was only going to make and sell 100% natural products and source all ingredients locally they might go for the following type of headings

To local press – “New Tuam bakery promoting local business”

To health magazine – ” New Galway bakery promotes healthy eating”

Sub-Heading

A sub-heading is not always important but can sometimes be very useful especially if you got 3 or 4 important points to relate and you can’t relate this message through the heading alone

For example if the new bakery was opening on Friday and a County GAA player was doing the opening you might go with

Heading “New Tuam bakery promoting local business”

Sub-Heading “GAA Star to officially open shop on Friday”

Body

A great formula to use in decending order of importance is

What is the press release is about

Why is the press release important or relevant

Who are you – (what is the nature of your business, background of owners etc). If relating to an event who will attend it.

Where are you based? (or where did the event happen? or when will it happen?)

When is this press release relevant (is it about something that has already happened or something that is about to happen?)

How did this event happen or if it hasn’t already happened how will it happen?

Be sure to get the press release concise (not more that one page including contact details)

Also be sure to include a quotation in the press release on behalf of the company. This can often save the journalist time in so far as they already have a quote from a relevant party and thus don’t need to track the person down in order to get a quote. Remeber the easier you make it to publish a story the more likely they will use it.

For example in the bakery example you could have something like according to Joe O’ Neill owner of the new bakery ” Irish people are getting more and more conscious of eating healthy and buying locally so we are confident that the business will be a success”

Contact Details

You can structure a press release beautifully and have something wonderfully important to say but if you don’t provide detailed contact¬† information at the bottom of the press release then it might go straight from the inbox to recycling bin.

If a journalist cannot easily contact you to clarify details on the press release then you might have just wasted a load of time and effort putting it together.

Providing full contact details can also be a creditability issue. If the press release provides no more that a mobile phone number or an email address the Journalist might question the creditability of the business.

Be sure to include relevant contact names on the press release, full business address details, landline numbers, email addresses and web addresses.

 Follow Up

After sending a press release don’t be afraid to follow-up on the release by picking up the phone and calling the journalist.

Thread carefully though! Don’t call two minutes after sending it and asking the Journalist if he or she received it as this will not go down well. If you got their current contact details (which you should have) assume they received it. At the same time give them some time to sit down and read it.

Also don’t call them when they are on a deadline. If its a weekly newspaper that comes out on a Wednesday calling at 4pm on a Tuesday is a big NO.

If its a radio show don’t call the researcher while the show is live on air as they will be under pressure dealing with hundreds of other things and you might risk getting told very bluntly where to go.

Remember though if the press release comes from you rather that a PR company that rings them everyday you might be received more favourably because they probably have not dealt with you before and thus you ain’t got a history of wrecking their heads!

Useful Links

Why Press Releases are Important?

 

 

 

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  1. Why Press Releases are Important

    [...] « How to write an effective press release [...]

  2. Who to send press releases to

    [...] How to write an effective press release [...]

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