Make Your Press Release Interesting
Journalists and news reporters receive an overwhelming amount of press releases every day. Why should they read and share yours? Make each press release interesting so that it will get picked up and read.
“The key is to show the reporter or editor what’s in it for them,” says media strategist Mark Grimm. “Get to the point, be visual, and have a clear idea of why your story matters to the public.”
Avoid making the mistake of using a press release as an advertisement, as that’s not the purpose of a release. Scampoli reminds writers that a release should read like a news announcement and not an advertorial.
One way to make a press release interesting is to tell a story, says Alison Podworski.
“If you are putting on a fundraiser walk, don’t just talk about the walk,” says Podworski. “Provide the journalist with a story. Do you have a person who is walking for specific reason? Can they share their story? Remember, journalists are storytellers, provide them with the story.”
When writing a press release, MediaSource president Lisa Arledge Powell looks for what she calls Brand Journalizer Criteria:
- Focus on the audience: Always consider what the audience cares about and how they will benefit. It’s not about the organization’s brand, it’s about the organization’s audience.
- Find a voice: Find a real person and tell the story through their eyes.
- Be credible: Seek tie ins into a national trend or bigger picture. Integrating third party statistics or facts bolsters credibility.
- Keep it simple: No technical talk. Find an expert who can speak the consumer’s language.
- Think visual: Find stories with compelling visuals. A video, photo, or graphic is worth a thousand words.
- Unbrand the content: Brand journalism is not brand-centric, but a brand journalist’s job includes figuring out how to seamlessly weave in a brand presence.
The bottom line: make your press release interesting for readers. “The best pieces provide valuable information and engage the reader with the content,” says HireTeamMate cofounder Ninh Tran. “When it’s funny, shocking, or controversial or breaking news, people will share.