Understand the Basics
Before you can get a press release picked up by the media, it’s important to understand the basics of writing a press release. A good press release will have a catchy headline and brief summary, which should communicate the essential information about the news in an engaging way. It should also be written in an objective tone and organized in a logical manner.
Once you understand these elements, you can start writing the press release and create a higher chance of being picked up by the media.
What is a press release?
A press release is an important form of communication that helps bring attention to news, events, or products. It provides the media with key facts and highlights the essential details of a particular story that you would like to be shared publicly. Press releases should have a clear focus and message, include relevant and timely information, and be written in an objective format to ensure they are seen by as many people as possible.
The goal of writing a press release is to get it picked up by the media so it can reach your target audience. Press releases are traditionally sent out through a distribution service or directly to journalists at newspapers, magazines, blogs, websites and radio stations. In today’s digital age, press releases can also be published on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook for even more exposure.
Press releases should include four key components: headline, summary statement (also known as the “nut graf”), body text and contact information for both sender and receiver (reporter). The headline should be punchy with keywords related to the topic or product being promoted in order to grab attention. The summary paragraph should include a short explanation that provides context while keeping readers interested in finding out more. The body text should focus on providing background info while emphasizing why this news matters now—it should tell a story without overselling facts or adding too much opinionated language. Contact information at the end of your press release allows journalists to easily connect with you for more info if needed.
Why should you write a press release?
Writing a press release is a great way to get publicity and attention for your business or organization, potentially leading to increased visibility in the media. A well-written press release distills the essence of your news into a brief but compelling message that can be published on numerous online publications and traditional media outlets around the world.
A successful press release should provide readers with relevant information that they can use to make intelligent decisions about the subject matter at hand. It should be written objectively in an informative, professional manner and capture the attention of those who read it. A final, succinct paragraph should give readers information on how to contact you for additional details or quotes from you regarding your announcement.
In addition to providing timely updates about newsworthy topics, press releases can also help build public interest in upcoming events such as product launches, grand openings and other relevant occasions. The content could include relevant quotes from prominent people associated with the launch, historical context around its importance or even garnering interest by teasing a possibility of what may happen at this event—all while providing third-party verification of its validity and importance.
Press releases are important tools for helping businesses stay visible in both traditional and digital media outlets while driving traffic to websites that feature more details about the company’s activity or offerings.
Research Your Audience
Before you start writing a press release, it’s important to understand who your target audience is. Doing some research on who your target audience is and what they would be interested in reading can help you write a more effective and engaging press release. Knowing what kind of topics and content to include in your press release can make all the difference.
Identify your target media outlets
Identifying your target media outlets should be your primary focus when writing a press release. It is important that you research the target media outlet thoroughly before composing your message. Understand the type of stories they normally cover, what kind of language they use, and what kinds of topics their audience responds to. If you do not have adequate knowledge about the outlet, you may end up writing a press release that is irrelevant to them or has little chance of being picked up by them.
When researching potential outlets, consider:
- The primary formats they use
- Their classification between broadcast and print
- Their core audience
- The topics they cover
- Their specific style guide and editorial slant
These key points will provide you with enough information to start crafting headlines and messages tailored specifically to that outlet’s readership. Furthermore, understanding what format works best for each platform will enable you to write effective press releases for each media channel. Additionally, having a clear idea of which outlets are most likely to be interested in featuring your story can help ensure maximum reach for your message.
Understand the type of content they publish
Before you write a press release, take the time to research the types of news and stories that your target media outlets publish. Understand how they present their topics and be aware of any trends they’ve been following. This will help you create content that’s in line with what they normally post, which will increase your chances of getting picked up.
You should also research your audience – the readers who are most likely to see and read your press release. Knowing who the typical readership is will give valuable insight into how to write or tweak the information for maximum appeal. Doing this market research is extremely important because it’ll help you craft a message that resonates with the outlet’s style and audience.
In addition, understanding what terms are trending in your field or story can help you figure out how to appeal effectively to various outlets. Tools such as Google Trends can provide helpful insight in this area, allowing you to identify current patterns within popular topics so you can tailor your message accordingly. Knowing which buzzwords have been making waves recently could be just what you need to grab some attention from the media!
Research their contact information
After you have identified the key journalists who can get your message to your target audience, the next step is to ensure that you have all the contact information necessary for issuing a press release.
When researching their contact information, it’s important to pay attention to detail. Make sure their name is spelled correctly, double check their titles and publications, and don’t forget their email address. You can also look for their professional websites and social media profiles as a way of finding additional information that may be useful in pitching your story idea.
If you’re having difficulty finding certain pieces of contact information for certain journalists that could be an indication that your story does not fit into that media outlet’s interest, so take time to double check before sending out a press release and making yourself look unprofessional.
While researching contact information it is also important to ask yourself many other questions such as:
- Do they show interest in stories similar to yours?
- Is there any seasonality or timing issues I should be aware of?
- Are there any special formats they require?
These types of questions can help give you more insight into crafting a successful press release.
Write Your Press Release
Writing a press release that gets picked up by the media can seem daunting, but with the right strategy and preparation it can be attainable. There is a format to writing a compelling press release that can help it stand out and be noticed.
By crafting a compelling headline, engaging lead, including valuable information, and following proper formatting, you can write an effective press release.
Write a powerful headline
A great headline can make the difference between a press release that gets noticed and one that falls flat. Along with getting your message across quickly, it may be the most important element of a successful press release.
When crafting your headline, you should strive to create a message that grabs attention, is concise and creative and contains key words related to your announcement. Choose action verbs where appropriate and try different phrases until you find one that conveys the essence of your announcement.
Your headline should be written in title case, meaning it should look like a standard book or magazine title, with only specific words beginning with capital letters (e.g., nouns, pronouns, etc.). However, if you trust that capitalizing all words will draw more attention to your press release – as we recommend at times when applicable – don’t hesitate to do so. In either case, no punctuation is necessary unless specifically needed for clarity or emphasis (e.g., exclamation points).
Now it’s time for you to craft your own compelling headline for your next press release! Don’t forget to capture key words as much as possible; just like search engine optimization (SEO) practices, this will help draw more eyes toward reading about what you have to say.
Include all the essential information
If you’re writing a press release, there are certain elements that are essential components. Make sure all the “must have” information is included in your press release so that it can be easily picked up and printed by the media.
Your headline should grab the reader’s attention quickly and accurately represent the content of your story. It should be short and to the point, typically no more than a few words or one short sentence. A good headline provides a quick snapshot of what’s included in the story.
The body of your press release should include all relevant details including when and where the event will take place and why it’s significant or interesting to readers. This section should provide enough detail to allow media outlets to craft their own stories from it. But keep it concise – Don’t go into too much depth in this section, saving some information for any follow-up interviews that might later occur with reporters.
Be sure to clearly state your purpose for writing a press release – is an announcement made? Is new information being revealed? Are you trying to create awareness about an issue? Tailor your message depending on its purpose so that readers know exactly what you’re trying to get across with the release.
Finally, provide contact information for someone at your organization who can answer questions or provide additional context if necessary following publication of the story by members of the media. Often times people won’t pick up a story but simply want more details or clarification before they do; make yourself available as needed!
Write a captivating lead
Writing a press release that captures the media’s attention can be a daunting task. The lead of a press release is not only responsible for drawing readers in, but it should also provide enough information to pique the interest of journalists and encourage them to read further.
When crafting your lead, aim to include the most important facts first. Start by understanding who you are writing for and why. Identify what makes your story unique or newsworthy and think about how best to express it in a captivating sentence or two. You should also summarize your main points quickly and as concisely as possible; avoid getting too detailed at this stage, but be sure to include any relevant dates, names, and places.
By considering these elements when creating your lead sentence or two, you are likely to draw media attention and generate reader interest in the rest of your story. Good writing practices along with careful proofreading will help ensure accuracy of the words used throughout – making it easier for audiences to understand why your story has made headline news.
Once you have completed your press release, you will need to make sure that it gets distributed to the right people in the media. You can choose to distribute your release through traditional PR channels, such as press release distribution services and journalist databases, or you can use modern channels such as social media and blogging. This section will look at the different methods you can use to distribute your press release and how to make sure it gets seen.
Distribute your press release to the right outlets
Once you have written an effective press release, it is important to ensure that your hard work is seen by the right people. Although the main goal is usually to attract the attention of news media, don’t forget about other potential outlets such as trade publications, local newspapers, broadcasters or influencers in your field.
Start by making a list of all of the potential outlets that might be interested in your press release and remember to prioritize them according to relevance and reach. Look at their style guide if one exists and make sure that any message you craft complies with it fully. You may also want to look into whether individuals at these organizations have experience with similar stories or topics in the past.
Next, craft a separate email for each outlet that includes a brief note about why you think the story fits their requisites and then attach a PDF copy of your press release. If possible, don’t hesitate to follow up with an email or phone call after a few days if you feel comfortable doing so – this will often be enough for curious reporters who may want more information before writing a full story about your announcement.
Use press release distribution services
Press release distribution services are a common and effective way to distribute newsworthy content to the media. They offer an easy way to maximize the distribution of press releases and increase the reach of individual stories. Press release distribution services allows you to customize your content for different audiences and geographic regions, increasing your potential for successful coverage.
When deciding which service to use, it is important to consider features such as formatting options for press release headers and summaries, pricing structures, delivery speed and reputation. Many professional writers already subscribe to one or more of these services; others may consider creating their own accounts.
Typically, a distribution service will charge a flat fee that covers exposure of the released content on different networks associated with that particular service. Depending on the package offered, they may also provide additional services such as performance tracking and media contact database access.
Using a reputed press release distribution service can be one of the best investments that any business or public figure can make toward staying in news cycle without spending too much money in doing so. It’s worth putting in some time and effort into researching a suitable distributor prior to publishing any important announcements or stories; it’s well worth the investment if it increases your reach sooner rather than later!
Reach out to journalists and bloggers
One of the most effective ways to get media attention is to target individual bloggers, journalists and editors. Take the time to craft a well-written personalized email that explains why your press release is relevant to their publication and readership and make sure you include a link or PDF attachment with a full version of the press release.
Additionally, add an enticing subject line that will grab attention and make title tags for the story you’re pitching. Even if media members don’t click through to your story, you can still appear in their newsfeed just by having the right title tags. Also, research and include any related articles or background information on the topic that shows your expertise in the area. Be sure to read up on what topics interest them most before sending a pitch as well; editors are adults too, and they hate spam messages even more than anyone else.
Track Your Results
Writing a press release is only half the battle. You need to ensure that it gets picked up by the media, otherwise, it won’t make an impact. Luckily, tracking your results is relatively straightforward.
You can use various tools and strategies to track your press release metrics. In this section, we will go over the different ways you can track your press release performance:
Monitor your press release performance
Evaluating the performance of your press release is an important step in any media relations strategy. After your press release has been distributed, you should pay attention to how much coverage your story is receiving and where it is being shared. Monitoring results can help inform and adjust future press releases to create a more successful example next time.
When evaluating the reach of your press release, it’s helpful to track measures like impressions or circulation to assess how many people actually read it, clicks or website visits to determine who was interested in exploring further information on the topic that you covered, and sentiment scores to understand public reactions. You can measure these values in a number of ways depending on your budget but it’s worthwhile identifying online analytics tools such as Google Analytics for tracking website visits, or PRWeb for measuring post-release publicity impressions and sentiment score.
Wherever possible, take advantage of traditional media outlets like newspapers, magazines and television programs so that you can receive higher profile coverage that may potentially reach large audiences – though bear in mind that these results will be harder for you to measure directly than an online medium would be. In this case you could use paid services such as Meltwater which are designed to help track digital influence around specific topics or stories so that PR specialists can better gauge their digital campaigns over time. Finally, consider what kind of feedback you will get via social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook where comments from readers can give you valuable insight into how they are responding overall what they think of your idea or article.
Tracking the performance of your press release is essential if you want better measure its success and ensure greater success with future ventures in media relations. It is thus necessary for any successful public relations strategy concerned with getting picked up by the media!
Analyze your success metrics
Once you’ve released your press release, it’s time to analyze your success metrics. What is the return on investment (ROI) from the press release? How many stories have been generated as a result of your efforts? How did the media respond? All these questions should be taken into account when evaluating the overall success or failure of your press release.
Start by examining stats such as open and click-through rates, and total reach and impressions gained. Consider media coverage in both online and print newspapers, as well as radio and television outlets. Pay particular attention to social media referral sources such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit. Finally, track link clicks within the main body of the press release itself to measure direct website traffic driven by the publication.
By monitoring these key performance indicators, you can determine whether or not there is a need to tweak or improve parts of your press release strategy moving forward. This also allows you to prove its effectiveness against more traditional methods of communication such as paid advertisements. Keep in mind that measuring ROI for each individual press release may be difficult in some cases due to time lapse between publications, so concentrate on building up feedback from stakeholders all throughout your campaign instead for better long-term success results.
Measure the ROI of your press release
In today’s digitally driven world, an effective press release can be an invaluable tool for promoting your brand, products and services. But how do you effectively measure the ROI of a press release?
Measuring the ROI of a press release involves tracking a variety of metrics across multiple channels. You should track mentions on news sites, blogs and other social platforms; the number of visitors to your website or blog after each press release is issued; and any changes in sales that may result from increased public awareness generated by the press release. Additionally, you should look at the total number of shares, retweets and clicks from social media followers – check both clicks to your website but also user engagement with content posted around the announcement.
To effectively track these metrics, use web analytics tools such as Google Analytics to monitor your key performance indicators (KPIs). For more detailed data on online reactions to releases, use tools like Hootsuite Insights or Buzzsumo to dive deeper into conversations around your product or brand. Finally, you might also consider setting up trackers in specific articles or sites that are part of Article Marketing Strategies to gain more insights into where they are generating leads on their own.
By measuring these key metrics over time, you can see how each individual press release contributes to overall ROI for your business and continue making improvements – resulting in larger-reaching success with future campaigns!