News: August 2011

Writing a press release

Journalists receive hundreds of press releases on a daily basis and businesses often struggle to attract the attention of the media as a result. Consider the following tips to help you write a press release that catches the attention of journalists

Style and Length – The language of a press release should be similar to that of an article. Use plain English and generally try to keep the language clear, direct and accurate.

Shameless plugging of products should be avoided in any press release and the total word count should come to about 250-350 words.

What’s the Angle? – Journalists want a newsworthy story that is relevant to their readership. Simply talking about a price cut or a special offer is not enough.

Journalists want content that is engaging for their readers. As such your press release should talk about your firm’s latest innovations, how it has developed a new market niche or perhaps discuss a new trend that has been identified by your firm.

Since journalists receive so many press releases each and every day, you will only have about 30 seconds to catch their attention. As such, it’s best to hit them with the angle at the very beginning, tie in a good headline and a strapline that summarises the newsworthiness of the press release. The first paragraph should then outline the angle in a bit more detail.

Body of the Release – The body text of your press release should essentially cover the who, what, where, why and when aspects of your news story.

So explain who the company is, what is happening — i.e. an innovative product launch, where is this happening — i.e. at company headquarters in London, why is it such big news — i.e. because it is a faster, better, cheaper product than your competitor’s products, and finally when — i.e. when is the product being launched.

To wrap things up a quote from the managing director or an industry spokesperson that describes the benefits of the above can round things off nicely.

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