Front Page News

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Timing is all when it comes to press releases. Timing plus a nose for a story, sharp writing and clear explanation.

The problem: Our clients for this press release were a firm of accountants who had never before been front-page news – the splash, in newspaper terms – in the local paper read by swathes of their target customers. They were seeking press coverage, but needed guidance on what would be ‘news.’

The answer: The secret was good timing – and positioning the clients as experts on a hot topical issue. The topic was Child Benefit, and the fact that many local families would lose out to the tune of perhaps £2,500 a year after it was means-tested for the first time. At our suggestion, our clients, Antrobus Accountants in Petersfield, Hampshire, set up a Child Benefit hotline (just an extension on the office switchboard) and we sent out a press release positioning them as experts able to guide families confused by the complex changes.

The result: The local paper, the Petersfield Post, took the bait when we explained Child Benefit was about to become a hugely controversial issue affecting their readers.

Timing was crucial

We warmed the news editor up a couple of weeks in advance, arranged pictures then waited … and in that notorious dead zone between Christmas and the New Year, when nothing is happening and the media is desperate for news, what might otherwise have made a page lead became the splash.

With this press coverage Antrobus raised their profile, established themselves as experts on a topical problem and used the hotline to draw in potential clients.

All in all, a gratifying success. If you angle your press releases to focus on something genuinely newsworthy, and take advantage of timing when you can, you can make the same impact.

Portfolio themes: press releases Hampshire.