A press release sent to a newspaper, magazine or radio station is a great way of generating free publicity.
Here are our top 10 tips to maximise your chances of getting your press release published:
- You need a strong news angle… something new, different or topical.
- It has to be of interest to readers of the publications you’re targeting and fit with the style of the publication – or news editors will bin it! Read the publication beforehand and make sure.
- Call ahead of sending your press release to check who is the best person to send it to (call the newsroom and ask) THEN FOLLOW UP a day or two after sending.Hundreds of press releases arrive every week and you want to check yours has been read and acted upon. Ask, “Just checking if you need any more information…?” “Do you need pictures…?” Hint: Don’t call on press day – no one will have time to talk to you!
- Aim to send in about 400 words – but understand that the publication will chop/change/cut/rewrite it as they see fit. (The only way to avoid this is to pay for advertorial space.)
- Put the best bits at the top: the salient fact or attention-grabbing point, then a paragraph of context, then some more detail.
- Include a few quotes from someone relevant. And put at the bottom of the press release that you are available for interview if more is needed.
- Put contact details and extra facts and figures that back up your story in Notes for Editors at the bottom of your press release.
- Be optimistic. Include feature ideas/discussion points that spin off your story to encourage bigger coverage.
- Send the copy in the body of an email, not as an attachment. Attach relevant pictures if available.
- Put a nice big contact number, and make sure whoever is likely to answer the phone your end is briefed so they can answer knowledgeably.
Although writing in journalistic style makes it easier for busy reporters to slot your copy straight into their publication, you may not feel confident doing so. In that case, keep it simple, with clear facts and information that the publication’s readers will find useful/entertaining.
Remember: this isn’t a blatant sales pitch!
And if you are struggling to get it right – you can always draft in an ex-Fleet Street editor to help you! Get in touch with Lesley at Editing Edge Copywriting.
You can see some examples of press releases we have written for our clients in our portfolio.