Press Releases – Make Them Work Harder For

Journalists receive many hundreds of emails, pieces of post and telephone calls from those trying to get press and media coverage. That means that your press release has to be pretty good to stand a chance of being used. In today’s fast-paced business environment you don’t have to rely just on the journalist to get your news out there – there are now many more opportunities and channels. By making your press releases work harder for you can get more coverage and also ensure that your coverage has longevity. Doing that takes skill, experience and expertise – here are some tips to help you get more from your press release.

News upfront – you need to focus on the news value. That means you should avoid blatant promotion of your organisation and the mention of their name in every sentence. Your first paragraph must answer the key questions for your news story – Who? What? Why? Where? When? and How? It’s essential to get that right upfront in your copy. Editors edit from the bottom of a press release upwards. So, it’s a good test to see whether the story can be fully understood, and your messages conveyed, if only the first paragraph were printed.

Website – if you have a website then you have a great opportunity to highlight your news by placing the copyon the site. This not only reflects that you have news to convey but that you keep your site updated. Journalists also use the internet more than ever as a way of carrying out research for stories. So, placing press releases on your site will also highlight your expertise to journalists and encourage them to contact you for comment in relation to other stories.

Optimise – traditional press and media is valuable but so too is online media. Also, by optimising your press release with key words and links it helps to encourage traffic back to your site. Ensuring that it is issued to online media is a good way of extending the life its visibility – their archives mean that coverage will come up in searches for quite some time after the news was actually issued.

You also need to have an attention grabbing headline and use the right structure and a style that is clear and concise. Presenting your news in a way that fits with the journalist’s needs is essential, make it easy to use your news story.

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