How to make your release stand out and get read
Most press releases can easily fall victim to the same fate: delete! It's just so easy for reporters, editors and producers to dismiss your press release when they are inundated with hundreds of emails throughout the day.
Calling the news assignment desk at a television station or newspaper might get you confirmation that your press release has been received, but that's about it. No guarantee it's been read or that they intend to actually cover the news in your release.
So, it's even more important these days to make your press release as compelling as possible. You need to make sure you include the following five essentials with any release.
Headlines matter. The headline of this post is an example of something that got your attention and got your wondering how you can improve on the press releases you send. The headline should get to the point. It should be clear about the subject and should make the reader curious about the potential news value your release contains.
Great secondary headline
This is the line that helps explain the headline and goes into further detail. It adds important information and offers a reason to open the email (if it's included in the subject line) and at least scan the press release.
Great opening paragraph
If a reporter has bothered to open the email, he or she will decide whether to use your story almost entirely on the first paragraph. So, it's critical that these opening few sentences lay out the essence and the news value of the story. As we wrote in previous post, don't bury the lead.
The writing should be sharp and clear, no hype or superlatives. All of the pertinent 5 Ws should be used so that it's obvious what the story is about and why the reporter should cover it. Now is not the time for a wordy narrative.
Along with solid writing, good quotes will help sell the story and persuade the reader that the story will have some color. Don't merely recite facts and statistics. The people quoted in your press release should have valuable things to say so that a reporter or producer is encouraged to interview them.
Getting your press release read will always be an uphill battle, but these five essentials will go a long way to improving your odds.
Mack Communications | Twitter: @Mack_Comm