We love a bit of good, old fashioned public relations. The world of marketing may be changing for 2018, but there are some practices that see little modification. Whilst we predominantly deliver our carefully crafted strategies online, there’s nothing wrong with spreading the word offline too. Good public relations often begin with a press release, and whether you’re looking for online or offline coverage, a well-written one counts.
Media representatives of course receive tons of these things every day but the press release is still an essential part of the news gathering process for publications around the world. Getting your company the column inches it deserves however isn’t as easy as it used to be. As with the optimisation of Google AdWords campaigns, there are a number of clever methods you can call upon to ensure your press release cuts through the noise and the news or advice within gets shared as intended.
Using PR to strengthen your brand identity is important. These days consumers – 96% of B2B buyers in fact – want to purchase goods and services from industry thought leaders. Make sure your company is positioned as one by using the following press release writing tips to showcase your brand.
Good headlines count for a lot…
Grabbing the attention of the recipients of your release is of course the aim of the game, and this should be done in the first instance with a great headline. A strong headline is just as fundamental as a good subject line as described in our recent blog post detailing ways to make your emails stand out. Don’t be tempted to make your headline more dramatic than the following body text however, instead make it clear, engaging and an accurate interpretation of the succeeding copy.
…and so does that first paragraph
Your quest for succinctness shouldn’t end there. Your first paragraph also needs to grab the attention of its readers. Reporters and other media representatives are very busy people after all so making the long, painful process of reading press releases and extracting newsworthiness easy is important.
The first paragraph of your release should summarise the main points of the wider story, giving recipients the main message and the freedom to simply scan the rest.
Back it up with hard facts
Contrary to popular belief, journos love facts, so make sure any claims that you are making in your release are backed up by cold, hard evidence. Claiming a trend? Provide the proof that cements it. Making an outrageous point? Prove it for a more compelling argument. We won’t sugar the pill here, press contacts don’t have the time or inclination to follow up points, which means that the most creative and colourful releases end up in the bin. Make sure your contacts have all the evidence they need to create the story right off the bat, from the main points and evidence right through to quotations from all the right people and background information (known industry wide as ‘Notes to Editor’).
Keep it short, sweet and informative
Press releases shouldn’t be essays; we recommend a single page for releases with two pages max. A well-written release should have no problem with this restricted word count, and those that do, should cut the fluff for a more readable document. Don’t forget to include your contact information and access to further information so those interested can find out more about the subject matter of your release.
Looking to boost your brand online too? Develop a digital strategy that works with these top marketing planning tips straight from our experts.
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