Almost all media are sensible for – more or less – the same approach. There’s the guidelines or tips & tricks for the best press release and of course, there’s the human side (link to go to media relations)to get some good results. Most editors will scan through the pile of press releases and pick out the ones that fail certain criteria. Besides the ‘news-worthy’ side, there’s a number of criteria one has to take into consideration.
Here are some guidelines for writing a perfect press release
The header: The title or header of your press release should be short and simple. Lose all the burden of words and focus on the one topic of your news.
Who, what, when, where, why: The answers to these simple questions should be answered within the first paragraph. Please check if you have them lined up. In so many cases people simply forget one of these answers and it is really very sad to forget the Why when talking about a concert or so.
Remain objective: You are excited about your news and want the whole world to know about it. You want to shout it out to everyone! A press release, however, is not the place to shout or even establish an opinion. Try to stay objective when writing the press release. It will look and feel boring – but editors and journalists will appreciate your honesty.
Be available: Whenever a press release is due: please make sure that you are available for answering a question from the press. Be aware that news can be ‘caught’ by the morning shows on radio and television: be available! You don’t want to miss out on that!
Writing a press release
Writing a press release looks and sounds so easy. And in many cases when reading a good press release, it looks so simple! Anyone can do that!
Writing a press release takes time. It doesn’t only take time, it takes more than just time. There are specific requirements for a press release for the media to actually take it seriously.
There are a number of values for a press release to be taken into consideration for the media. Unless of course, your news is so hot, it will shake the world, here’s where to focus on:
- make sure the title is shorter than 70 characters
- use an under title
- mention the sender (that is you!)
- answer Who, What, Where, When, Why in the first paragraph
- use one paragraph for one topic
- write in objective terms
- use quotes and pictures if available
- try to keep it on one page
- don’t forget the “editorial note”
- be available to the press when issuing the press release
- post the press release openly in the mail AND send it as an attachment
When sending the press release to all your contacts in the media, please add your current and potential relations to the list as well. They are interested in your well-being, innovations, growth, and struggles as well, and they are part of your network. It is nicer to have them hear the news directly from you rather than reading it in the papers. That goes for bad and for good news.