Did you know that 43% of journalists get at least five story pitches a day? About 48% of journalists get at least one pitch a day.
You can take a couple of things away from those statistics. The first is that journalists are busy. The second is that you have to have an amazing press release if you want to get the attention of a reporter.
You have to know how to write a press release for today’s busy world. What worked 20 years ago no longer applies.
If you want to give yourself a chance to get attention and get coverage, you need to read on to learn the steps for writing a press release.
1. Why Should Editors Care About Your Press Release?
You have to think about the person who reads your press release as you draft it. What are their challenges? How can your press release help solve them?
For journalists, they have to develop a story that is of interest to their readers. They also have to do it under the pressure of a short deadline.
That’s what you need to keep in mind when writing the press release. Your first step is to sell it to the editor.
There are a few ways to do that. The first is to piggyback off of a breaking story and make it relevant to your product or service.
You have to tread lightly here because it could be taken the wrong way, especially if the breaking story is a disaster or related to a death.
What you can do is provide new research or statistics related to your product or service. That can be newsworthy and get coverage.
2. Why Would Readers Care About Your Press Release?
The challenge of a press release is that you really have to keep readers in mind as well as editors. Your press release needs to be interesting to a publication’s readers.
As you write the press release, you should have a way to make it appealing. Think of a reader’s challenges and how the information in the press release helps them solve those challenges.
3. Write a Riveting Headline
What’s the most important part of writing a press release? The headline, without a doubt. It’s the first thing that people will see.
You need to make it compelling and capture attention right away. The goal of the headline is to get someone to read the rest of the press release.
You should draft 15-20 potential headlines. This may seem like a lot, but your success depends on the strength of your headline.
Your headline writing skills will get better as you go and you’ll have a great headline to go with.
4. Follow the Basic Format
Press releases follow a standard format. You shouldn’t deviate too much from this because it’s what journalists expect to see.
Your press release needs to cover who, what, where, when, and why. You should also have a couple of quotes in the press release from company executives.
eReleases has an in-depth guide about writing press releases and how to format them.
5. Keep It Short and Sweet
A press release shouldn’t be a lengthy dissertation. You need to keep it short and sweet. It should be between 300-650 words.
Anything longer probably won’t get read by editors unless your company is already well-known and newsworthy.
6. Make the Editor’s Job Easy
You can do all of the steps outlined above, but you still have a little more work to do. Remember one of the main challenges of journalists? They’re busy.
You don’t want to make them chase you down for information related to your press release. They won’t bother and you won’t get coverage.
You need to make sure that you include the company contact information, boilerplate (the general information about the company), and a link to high-quality photos.
The photos could be headshots or product shots, depending on the topic.
7. Send the Press Release to the Right People
There’s almost no point in writing a press release and sending it to a generic email address. You want to give yourself an opportunity to get coverage, so do the work and figure out who the best person is.
Look through a publication’s masthead, which lists the different reporters and editors. Find the one that’s most relevant to your business and your target audience.
LinkedIn and Twitter are two other sources to find the right editor. You can send it directly to them and
Benefits of a Press Release
Is it worth it to go through all of that trouble to write a press release? It sure is!
You can build more credibility for your business if your press release turns into an article. If you do your part well, you can quickly become a go-to expert for journalists to contact for quotes and industry insights.
It’s also possible to get more sales and it’s an affordable way to get your name out to a wide audience.
How to Write a Press Release
It’s tough to get press coverage these days, but if you know how to write a press release, you’ll win the PR game.
You need to start off with a reason for the press release and make it relevant to a publication’s readers and editors. Make sure that you grab their attention with a great headline and cover all of the important information in the press release. You should make it easy for an editor to read it and decide to publish the article. Do you want more tips to market your business? Be sure to check out the Digital Marketing section of this site.