You’ve been asked to write a press release for a client. You go over the steps in your head: Start with an enticing lead sentence, find a quote for the second paragraph, gather statistics and include a few lines about the organization. Although this may be the correct procedure, is this really all that can be done to draft an exciting, newsworthy release? According to a recent blog entry on Ragan.com, much more is involved in making a press release effective and enjoyable to read.
Consider the following guidelines:
• Give readers a reason to care: If you’re covering a bland topic, brainstorm for unusual leads and less obvious angles. This will help in making the release more interesting. Never hesitate to ask a colleague, “Do you find this enjoyable to read?” Remember not to be offended when they offer suggestions. A colleague can provide needed insight into how successful a press release will be once in the hands of a reporter.
• Go beyond text: Audio, screenshots and videos can help aid in delivering a message. If you see a chance to stray from the traditional press release, go for it!
• Include a call to action: Reporters must enjoy your release if you expect them to cover it. Remember, however, that once this happens, readers outside the media will see your content. Readers can help spread the word and do some PR leg-work. Links to a survey on Facebook or a suggested tweet are excellent additions to the end of a press release.
• Edit well: Your writing must meet the grammatical standards of journalists and reporters but beyond that, a press release is a reflection of your client. Poorly edited press releases bring about negative attitudes and diminish reputation.
The above suggestions can help turn seemingly dry content into a relevant, newsworthy press release. In addition to these guidelines, using as much creativity as possible can only help in PR writing. Get your media list ready, it's time to send out your press release! Let us know if you have any additional suggestions to make!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Frank Kunkle.