A Sylvia Marketing & Public Relations Intern Voices Project
A press release is a valuable tool for communicating important information. Whether you are trying to promote a new product, raise awareness about a cause, or tell people about a new location, a press release can do wonders for your business. When you are writing a press release, there are several things to keep in mind. Among them are targeting the right publications, using the present tense, and making sure to follow up with journalists after you have sent your release.
Target the right people or publications
When writing a press release, it is important to target the right people or publications. This will make your press release more effective and will also increase your sales. For example, a thirty-two-year-old won’t read the same publication as a sixteen-year-old. Therefore, it is important to know the demographics of your target audience.
A simple way to reach out to a specific audience is to use social media. You can also use circulation numbers to estimate the audience’s size. However, this can lead to inaccurate results.
Ideally, you want to choose a media outlet that has a large readership and one that covers relevant beats. Also, it is important to select a writer who will cover your subject matter. If you don’t have a writer, you can search for bylines on articles you find interesting. It is also possible to find writers on Twitter or other social networking sites.
If you are writing a press release about your local restaurant, it is a good idea to target local news outlets. In addition, a local business website can also be targeted. These types of media outlets are always in need of a story. They are also willing to review your press release and provide accurate reports on views and clicks.
Choosing the best media contacts can be as easy as creating a spreadsheet with columns for each contact. The spreadsheet can also include their name and contact information. By using Google Analytics, you can also track the number of opens and the ROI you get from each of these contacts. Having high-quality media contacts is much more beneficial than attempting to contact thousands of media contacts.
Use the present tense
When writing a press release, you have two choices. The first is to write in the present tense, which is a great way to make the reader experience the action. The other option is to write in the past tense, which is a good way to convey information about events that occurred in the past. There are several reasons to choose one tense over the other, but the most important is the context.
Using the present tense isn’t just for young adults. There are some traditional genres that are written in this tense, such as science fiction, memoirs, and coming-of-age stories. Some people may even have a preference for this tense. However, it’s best to consider the audience you’re targeting. Using the present tense makes sense if you’re a reporter, for example, but you wouldn’t want to use it if you’re writing a formal news article.
Writing in the present tense is a little more complicated than you might think. If you’re unsure about using the present tense, you might want to do some research. For example, if you’re attempting to write a press release on a scientific discovery, you’ll want to make sure that the tense is the proper one. In addition, you’ll need to make sure that the active voice doesn’t conflict with the reporting.
While you’re at it, you might also want to consider using the correct tense for your results section. This isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it’s a vital step in writing a well-rounded press release. By using the appropriate tense, you’ll be able to tell your readers what you found, and they’ll be much more likely to trust your claims.
Make your distribution email stand out in a crowded inbox
One of the best ways to get a press release noticed is to send an email. This is especially true if your message is related to your product, service, or company. The most successful emails are the ones that conform to your company’s branding standards, so make sure to incorporate your logo into the design. A clever subject line is one way to get attention. Using a media distribution service like Mailchimp or Vuelio is also a good idea. These tools can help you track the open rates of your press releases and notify you if any are missed.
The subject line is obviously the most important part of the email. You want to attract the reader’s attention, but you also want to convey why your offering is of interest. For example, if your news item is about a new product, your opening line might be something to the effect of “The newest member of the family is…”, followed by a few introductory paragraphs about the company. An embargo, if applicable, should be mentioned at the end of the message, allowing you to share your news while you still have the opportunity.
There are a number of other things to consider when writing a press release email. If your message is related to a product, for example, include a link to the product page. Alternatively, you can add a short blurb about the item in your body.
Don’t paste the content of a press release into an email
In the context of email marketing, it’s no surprise that the press release has taken a back seat to other, more popular media. The reason is simple: the news isn’t necessarily going to be viewed right away. For instance, your press release could be sent to journalists on a whim, but you’ll still have to answer a series of questions before the eminently oblivious press decides to take your word for it.
One way to ensure your press release makes it to the editors is to add your gizmo to their inbox. This is especially true if you’re looking to impress your competition with a bit of eyeball power. If you want to get on the radar, a few tips and tricks will go a long way.
To get your message across, you’ll need to find a way to wring the most from your limited emailing time. While this isn’t as easy as it sounds, it will pay off in the long run. Keep in mind that you can’t expect to be the recipient of hundreds of messages, so it’s best to keep it to a minimum. Plus, if you’re a little short on time, you can always send it via snail mail. Most big providers, luckily, offer a range of ways to deliver, from pre-approved to mass email. From there, all you have to do is figure out which method is best for you.
Having a few well thought and properly executed press release email templates in your arsenal will make you a press magnet.
Follow up with journalists after sending
After sending a press release, you should follow up with journalists to check whether they received it. Follow up with journalists by calling or emailing them, but do so with care.
Reporters have a lot of press releases in their inbox, and they are busy. If you don’t follow up within a reasonable time frame, your press release may be overlooked. You don’t have to beg them for coverage, but you should let them know you’re available if they need more information.
There’s no right way to do this, but there are a few things to keep in mind. The most important thing to remember is that the pitch should be informative and value-based. This means that you should be able to explain the lead and why it’s newsworthy.
It’s also important to be professional and polite. Make sure you’re addressing the journalist by name. Also, be sure to provide context about who you are, why you’re writing, and why you’re interested in the topic. Lastly, remember to use a clear and direct tone.
Generally, the best time to follow up is mid-morning. Journalists are more likely to respond to phone calls and emails at this time, and you can also reach them before the inbox begins to overflow.
To make sure your follow-up is effective, you should consider the time of day and day of the week. For example, if a reporter receives a press release on a Friday, they will have more time to consider it. They might also have a deadline or other priorities to attend to.
If you do get a response, be sure to thank them for the coverage. You can then mention new developments in your story.