Here Ye, Here Ye!

Whether you are writing your first press release or what feels like your 10 millionth, it can be daunting trying to package your exciting news into something that a journalist or media insider will be enticed to mention. We’ve gathered our top five tips on how you can make your press releases more engaging, and in turn garner more attention.

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If you want journalists to truly get your message, you need to speak to them in their native tongue—use their rules, follow AP guidelines, be concise and accurate, and remember the five Ws.

Just because you think that some detail or point is the most fascinating aspect of your news, doesn’t mean that someone in the media will agree. Take a step back and think about what is truly relevant about your client or the information you want to share. Or better yet, what’s in this release that can benefit the journalist?

If your press release is targeting Salem, Massachusetts, be sure your journalist isn’t in Salem, Oregon. Likewise, if your story is health-related, don’t send it to someone in the sports department. A little research goes a long way.

You may be trained to think that you have to include a packaged quote from some executive in your release, but good reporters prefer something less canned. Give them access to the executive instead by sharing that they can interview someone for an article.

You want your subject line to keep them reading, but if you oversell or try to get too cute, you do so at your own peril. Convey a key detail or statistic, but do so honestly. If you embellish and the journalist finds this out after pitching the idea to his or her editor, they will not remember you fondly as they scramble for a new story to fill that hole.