Editor’s note: Daryl Toor, who has worked in marketing and public relations for more than 20 years, is founder of Atlanta-based “Attention.” He writes a regular column on Mondays about trends in marketing and communication.The most basic way to getting your business mentioned in the media is to dispatch a press release. Almost all mass media (newspapers, magazines, radio and TV) accept press releases.
A significant portion of the news and stories published through the mass media originates from press releases. You can use press releases to announce a new website, expansion of existing business, change in key appointments or the launch of a trade event.
In this article, I’ll reveal to you five most important PR success tips that every press release should incorporate.
PR Tip #1: Never pitch
The biggest PR mistake, which people make when they write their press release, is to write it like a sales letter. They try to sell the benefits, the low price, the discounts, rebates, etc.
Editors who receive press releases are not interested in sales pitches. Their job is to present news worthy stories to their audience.
Instead of pitching 101 benefits of buying your latest product, tell the editors in plain English why their audience will be interested in your story.
We read and hear all kinds of news daily. They don’t sound like product pitches – they are news! That’s what editors want – news!
PR Tip #2: Make it news worthy
Examine your story from all possible angles. Which angle would make a juicy story that appeals to your targeted media audience?
Here’s an example. Your beverage company just launched a new website and you want to get it mentioned in the media. How do you make your story news worthy?
Perhaps on your new website you are offering a complete online guide to the best restaurants in the state. That’s your news angle!
Most people are keen to discover the best places to dine and wine. When you write your press release, focus on the restaurant guide and write a juicy story around it.
PR Tip #3: Short and sweet but complete
Editors are extremely busy people with deadlines to meet. They don’t have time to read lengthy press releases. Write your press release in less than ten short paragraphs – preferably under one page.
But be sure to include basic information such as the What, When, Where, Why and How of the subject matter.
Provide full contact information such as phone, fax, email, website address, mailing address and name of person(s) whom the editors can speak to.
PR Tip #4: Mind your language
Write in plain simple English – explaining your story clearly. Avoid technical jargons and flowery words. Spell check and grammar-proof your press release.
If you can’t write well, get a professional PR writer to do your press release. It’s worth the investment. Poorly written press releases are rarely read. Don’t botch up your business image by sending out a badly written press release.
PR Tip #5: Spice it up
Spice up your press release with an exciting headline that grab the editors’ attention. The toughest stage of any media campaign is getting editors to read the press release – and they get a lot of press releases daily!
Include interesting quotes from relevant people to liven up your press release. Just check out the newspapers. Almost every article has at least one quote.