What are the secrets of successful press releases?
Well, for me, there are five simple points which can help give yourself a better chance of a journalist publishing your story.
- Make sure it’s a good story – and not a puff piece. Stories which blatantly aim to increase your sales will be a complete turn off, so come up with an interesting angle – aimed at your target publication.
- Write a compelling headline. Remember journalists receive hundreds of emails per day, and don’t have time to read them all. The aim of your headline (or email subject line) is therefore to persuade the journalist to open your email. It needs to be interesting, intriguing or controversial. Or, in some cases, simply to be clear and informative.
- Tell the nub of your story in the introduction. This should include your “top line” – the most interesting angle of the story – and the key facts (the who, what, where, when and why). Think of how you might explain the story to a friend.
- Include proof points, examples and quotes. A good headline and top line won’t be enough to persuade a journalist to run your story. You need to provide them with the building blocks of a story: proof, additional facts, case studies and quotes, even though you should expect the journalist to do additional research themself.
- Avoid jargon. Technical language and marketing speaking are a complete turn-off for a journalist. They need to “get” your story within moments, or you risk them “spiking” your press release. So keep your language simple, factual and grammatical.