How-to: 6 tips on writing an actionable press release
The press release remains a trusted method for getting a product or service marketed meaningfully: as news.
Here are six tips for writing a press release that compels journalists to cover your topic.
1. Is it News?
Decide if the release is actually news. Are you debuting a new product, or did you just change the color of your website? Using PRs sparingly but effectively will make writers less likely to rule you out as a spammer.
2. Use a Vibrant and Precise Title.
What you’re sharing must look like news and be quickly comprehensible. Write a title that can stand on its own.
Most writers won't go past the title when determining whether they are going to report your story.
3. Make the Content Scannable.
Online, people scan content; they don't read it.
Don’t go into a diatribe about how your product or service may change the world; explain what it does, why it’s relevant and what problems it solves.
Be succinct. Give interesting facts. Use the inverse pyramid structure — lead with the conclusion, then support it. Try using bold.
And avoid "marketing speak." A news writer — particularly a marketing news writer — is a cynical person. Distract him with buzz words, and he'll grow to resent your brand. That resentment will flow into his publication, if he bothers to cover you at all.
4. Add Imagery.
A demo picture can clarify a complicated explanation. And be sure the release is headed with your logo.
5. Quote with Care.
Quotes lend authority to a story. But in most press releases, they are often lengthy repetitions of the product's merits. If the quote isn't adding value, rest assured it's subtracting some.
6. Synchronize Your Site.
Synchronize your website’s information with the PR. A release that triggers interest will drive a journalist to dig further. Make sure your site will give them what they’re looking for before you publish the release.
Lack of coordination between a PR and its associated marketing materials is easy to spot, and it smacks of poor organization. Avoid that pitfall. It damages credibility and undermines the purpose of your efforts.
A brand’s helpfulness and perceived integrity are crucial to success on the transparent 'net. If you are going to entrust news writers with the responsibility of communicating these characteristics, write a press release with care.
This article was adapted from "Top 5 Tips for a Great Press Release," originally published on CMSWire.com.