The press release has long been a PR pantry staple.
It’s an ingredient many PR pros use when cooking up a successful strategy. Why are so many pros continually let down by responses to their outreach?
The PR industry has changed dramatically, but the press release hasn’t kept up.
Great cooking is similar to great PR. Both require experimentation, adequate ingredients and creativity.
Here are three press release writing and pitching tips proven to have reporters asking for seconds.
1. Choose your topic wisely.
Press releases can be a significant financial investment and often require a fair amount of human capital to generate.
All of which doesn’t guarantee meaningful exposure for your brand.
Before deciding to send out a press release, ask yourself these questions:
Content: Based on the audience I’m trying to reach, what format should I choose?
Channel: What conduit should I use to best reach my target audience?
Measurement: How am I defining success?
While your gut may crave a press release, it’s not always going to be the best PR staple to pull off the shelf. Be honest about your end goals so you can choose the channel and content format(s) that give you the greatest odds of success.
2. Lead by example.
Once you’ve decided that short-form text is the ideal format, pitching a newswire is the perfect delivery mechanism.
Keep track of how many targeted media outlets publish your piece. Measure your success with the data.
To stand out, turn your press release into a multimedia content package. Include high-resolution images, expert quotes from a range of sources and video content.
Collaborate with members of your organization’s content marketing or editorial teams. Perhaps an editor can pen a blog post that uses information from your press release.
Supplemental content provides additional coverage and can be picked up by journalists you haven’t directly targeted.
3. Perfect your pitch.
Most journalists aren’t trolling newswires for content.
Instead, they’re seeking human interest stories on social media, looking for eye-catching email subject lines and avoiding generic press releases.
If you want to increase the likelihood of a reporter gobbling up your release, write a highly personalized pitch. Personalized pitches require doing your homework.
Review author pages and read content by specific journalists to better understand how they construct stories.
Figure out their interests them and offer them on a silver platter.
Great writers can turn facts and insights into thoughtfully written articles. Provide adequate data to increase the likelihood of your story being one of them.
Think strategically before deciding to draft a press release. Always include key information and multimedia assets, and customize and personalize your pitches.
A great press release doesn’t have to be complicated; it just has to be appetizing.