While media relations is only one part of your overall PR campaign, being able to write a great media release (also known as Press Release) can make or break the success of your outreach. There is a lot of a competition out there and your release has to be relevant and timely. Done well, it can be a great way of getting information to media outlets about your announcement.
Here are a few tips to consider when writing your upcoming media release:
- Develop strong messaging
This means writing down all of the most defining points about your brand, organization, and announcement. You have to be able to identify which are the most important and which are the least important so you know which information to include in the media release.
- Find a relevant hook
The hook is meant to capture interest – it’s what makes your announcement unique. Just because something is happening with you doesn’t mean it’s going to mean anything to anyone else. You have to make the story interesting to a wide range of people (especially your target audience). You could include statistical research on a topic that people want to hear about or even a human interest aspect to the story. For example, you could be partnering up with a charity or community group.
- Use a killer headline
Put yourself in the mindset of a journalist and develop a headline that could work as a great news article headline. Keep it short and attention-grabbing. You want people to read beyond the headline.
- Get to the point
This is the most important aspect of your content and you shouldn’t wait to get it out. By the end of the first paragraph who, what, when, where, why, and how should be answered. Any more than this is just fluff, any less and you haven’t included enough information. The rest of the release is there as supporting information.
- Include an enticing quote
You should have a spokesperson that is ready to speak to the media should they call. The media often use quotes when they are covering a story and if you give them a great quote as part of your release it makes it easier for them. This means your quote should use some of your key messages and they should not be background or what I like to call “fluff” information.
- Keep it short
A media release should be easy to read and quick. Media outlets often get hundreds of releases daily, so you need to make it easy for them to get through yours. If you can keep it to one page that’s best.
- Revise, revise, revise
You should never send out a release without reviewing it first. Make sure you have no spelling or grammar errors and that the flow of the release makes sense. Any time you can get someone else to review the content for you is even better!
- Include contact information
Make sure the media has some way to reach you. It’s best to include more than one way for them to get a hold of you. Include the name of the contact person and their phone number and email.
- Watch your tone
This isn’t a marketing sales piece, so avoid the hype and jargon you would include when selling your products and services. Write in the present tense and focus on the facts of the story you are telling rather than a sales pitch.
Still have questions about your media release? Don’t be afraid to give me a call!
Candace Huntly is the Founder and Principal at SongBird Marketing Communications, an agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making it unique to you.
Connect with Candace