Press releases are a great way to share your amazing business stories with the world. But, if you’re reading this post, you probably don’t have a huge marketing and PR budget. You may not be able to hire a big time publicist, but you can still do a great job of getting your story out.
I want to help you create press releases that will get your story covered in news publications, including newspapers, magazines, radio and possibly television, but I also want you to remember that those are not the only mediums that are available to get your story out.
The world of media and how people get their news has changed so much over the past ten years. There was a time when we all got our “news” from the major news outlets- mostly TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines. Today, getting a feature in a major news outlet is great, but there are other ways that a press release can benefit you and your business. You should also consider pitching your story to blogs, podcasts, and video/YouTube blogs, and internet radio stations as well.
While your number one focus of drafting a press release is getting your story covered in a major publication, even if your story never gets picked up, a press release can be a great way to communicate with your audience. Another option is to share your news releases on your social media sites or through your email blasts. This still accomplishes your goal of letting your story to your target audience. LinkedIn is a great platform for sharing press releases. You can link to them from your profile or business page and host them on your website in PDF, or use LinkedIn’s blogging feature and post them directly on the site.
The key to creating these dual functioning press releases is to create releases that are clear and concise but also creative and interesting.
So how do you write a press release that gets your story covered?
Make Your Headline Irresistible
Your headline has one main goal, and that is to grab the attention of your readers. Whether your actually pitching to a news outlet or your sharing your news with your email subscribers, the only way people will read your press release is if the headline is catchy. Make sure that your headline clearly states what the press release is about. Try to make the first three to four words of your headline the most important. For example, instead of saying “Hair Salon in East Falls celebrates 50 years by Opening New Location”, reword it to say: “50 Year Old Hair Salon Celebrates with New Location.”
Get to the Point
Anyone who’s reading your press release shouldn’t have to wait until the end to get all the important details. Share the most important stuff first. That means your first paragraph should include who, what, when, where and why. All of your crucial information must be in the first paragraph to avoid a reader missing it later.
Say Something Quotable
This is especially important if you are going to send your press release to news outlets. You want to give the potential reporter something that they can actually quote you on. Great press releases will have two strong quotes that, separate from the rest of the release, still make sense. If you can, try to include a quote from a customer, stakeholder, employee, or some other party that is relevant.
Support Your Story
Your final paragraph should provide background or additional (non essential) information that will strengthen your story, but avoid adding words just for the sake of it. No one wants to read something that could have been eliminated totally, so again, make sure it’s clearly relevant and interesting to read.
Creating press releases for your business is not difficult, especially if you incorporate these tips. You can get media coverage for your business and get your story out there, even if you can’t afford to hire a publicist. Use our FREE Press Release Template to help you get started creating releases that stand out.