After nearly two decades in the PR industry, we at Fort Lauderdale PR agency Durée & Company ― also with an office in Aspen, Colorado ― know that writing an attention-grabbing press release is an art. While we have written thousands of press releases over the years, we know that not every single release we send out will get picked up. In fact, according to Dennis L. Wilcox and Lawrence W. Nolte’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques, only 3 percent to 45 percent of all press releases sent to journalists are even considered.
So, how do we write press releases that get noticed? Following are 8 tips to give your press release a chance to make the 3 to 45 percent that journalists find interesting enough to consider:
- Think as if you were a reporter. What would your readers be interested in? What would help you sell more of your publication?
- Tell a story and provide a benefit; don’t just make an announcement. ABC Company has just launched a new “Pear” tech device ― but why should anyone care? Make your headline intriguing, such as “ABC Company’s Pear Helps Users Access Fraud Alerts in Split Seconds,” instead of “ABC Company Introduces the New Pear for Fraud Alerts.”
- Make journalists’ lives easier. Many journalists are overworked and underpaid. When a press release comes across their desk, they most likely take a quick glance. Make that glance worth their while. Create a unique headline and lede to get them interested ― after all, these may be the only things they read in the release. Ensure they can read it in one minute or less. Use tools such as subheads, bullets, infographics and more to make it easy for them to skim over and get the most important information.
- Always, always, always use good grammar and a set style of writing. If your release has bad grammar, improper punctuation or shows no knowledge of styles such as AP Style or Chicago Manual of Style, well ― yikes. Reporters want to know that you’re serious, professional and basically, you know what you’re doing.
- Employ the KISS (Keep it Simple, Stu- – -) theory. Press releases are just the facts. Give reporters the facts they need to get their attention, and stop at that. Anything else they want to know, they will contact you. In essence, this is what the goal of a press release is ― gain the reporter’s interest, but leave them wanting more, so they start communicating with you. Use concise and real facts. One-page press releases are optimal, and two-page releases are the max.
- Include quotes from credible sources whenever possible. Journalists want to know what expert source the information is coming from, and typically this is not the PR agency. This is why it’s important to use reliable quotes from your client. They are the most knowledgeable about the subject, so let them take the stage in the release.
- Include your contact information and a way for the reporter to get more info on the subject. You must include media contact information on all press releases, so any interested party knows how to reach you. If you don’t, the reporter is most likely not going to search for it. Also, always include a website, phone number and email address for the client in the boilerplate, so anyone interested can do more research if the subject matter strikes their fancy.
- Send your release to the right publications. Don’t waste a journalist’s time by sending a release about a new children’s toy to a horse fanatic magazine. Know whom you want to target and why.
For more information about how D&Co can write and distribute the ideal press release to gain attention for your organization or company, visit dureeandcompany.com, call 954.723.9350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. The firm serves the corporate, agency and non-profit arenas for local, national and international clients focusing on public relations for real estate, public relations for restaurants, public relations for law firms, public relations for charities, public relations for healthcare, and many more. Durée & Company services include Public Relations, Social Media, Marketing, Advertising, Special Events, and Radio Promotions and Outreach.