I love press releases. They are one of the most clear, concise and non-manipulative ways to communicate important information. And, if written correctly, news releases offer facts and invite participation in a tantalizing way that makes everyone want to read them. I’ve found they are welcome addition to any direct marketing program; why save the good stuff only for the media? Everyone wants to be in the know.
Here’s 6 ways to create a press release that everyone will love:
1. Ask your self, “Who cares?” What is newsworthy about this topic? Make it relevant to your audience or postpone the idea until you come up with a good news angle.
2. Create an informative, benefits-oriented headline. This is the one sentence that everyone will read: make it good! For a product release, tell the reader how the product helps them. For any other topic, tie it in with a big picture issue or trend.
2. Simplify, condense, and streamline. Make it easy for people to read and understand what you are communicating.
3. Tell readers how to take action. If you want them to register for an event, buy a product, participate in a survey or call their legislator, tell them how to do it.
4. Use testimonials. Using quotes from customers or supporters brings other perspectives into your release, while also increasing the credibility of what you are saying. This takes extra effort, but is always worth it.
5. Provide a contact person’s name, phone number and email. I really dislike reading a release on a company’s Website, but not being able to find any way to get more information. I don’t want to call an 800 number; I want a person. Don’t block people from calling you.
6. Use AP style. Pros know the format of a press release and so do publication editors. Make it easy to copy and paste the text in your press release so you will get published more often.
The press release is under-utilized in marketing and sometimes mangled by those eager for free publicity. Regardless, it’s a great tool to get the word out!