The purpose of a press release is to influence people by changing their opinion, having people purchase a product or service or even voting for a particular candidate or issue. This could include vendors your work with, online bloggers, the general public or of course, the media. Reaching out to the media, for the majority of the time is through online communication like social media, news sites or email. Seldom is communication through direct telephone or in person unless you know someone personally in the media to give your pitch.
A press release is an endorsed piece of information used for announcing an event, product or service, product change, management change or financial results that may be of interest to a reporter. This is to wet their appetite and save you time if they contact you.
The truth is the majority of press releases are drier than sawdust and are not written well nor engage the reader.
“By Far, the most important part of a media release is the headline. This is the main support of your story that dictates whether your reader continues reading or simply flips to the next story with a more engaging headline” said Michael Iwasaki, managing partner at 24-7 Press Release Newswire. “We cannot emphasize enough that it is critical having a strong hook, more so than your competitors. A great example we saw from article in Forbes that got our attention? ‘News Report Ranks Top U.S. Cities for Bedbug Infestations’. Does this not make you want to read the story? Of course it does, because it plays off your emotions as they know you will want to see if you’re in one of those cities!” continued Iwasaki. A social media hint. Your headlines are shared on places like Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook. Do not repeat the headline in your first sentence.
For the body, it is all about the details. Going deep and making sure your homework is done. Avoid jargon that reporters may not understand and avoid a sales pitch. Get permission and use quotes from recognized, credible 3rd parties. This is instant recognition. Less is better. Ideally, keep stories under 400 words and make sure if you are using a boilerplate, make sure your information is current brief and accurate.
Distribution of your press release is the final step. Using a credible service that has been in business for a long time with a good reputation and recognizable distribution partners is ideal. This saves you the time and effort of trying to reach out to all the necessary media points in your industry. You may pay a little more, but your message will get to the right places. 24-7 Press Release Newswire (http://www.24-7pressrelease.com) with their Mass Media Visibility package partners with credible distribution outlets including PR Newswire and Associated Press.
Once your press release has been distributed by your vendor of choice, you will hopefully reap the results you are looking for. If you talk to anyone in the media, they will recommend letting the journalist reach out to you. Don’t try to reach out to them. This may turn them off.