What Makes a Great Press Release – by John Warburton
If you are looking for what makes a great press release, then you can find some press release examples of successful campaigns here: Press Release Example
But ultimately, what makes a great press release isn’t a copied format with the right font and the correct line-spacing – If you’ve got a good story you could send it scrawled on a beermat and a journalist would be grateful.
For non journalists, though, working out what is news and what isn’t can be a daunting task – as I can attest to after years of working in national newsrooms and receiving all sorts of nonsense.
But trust me when I say that there are newsworthy happenings in your organisation. before starting jwcpr, I was so confident I could get any business into their target publications that I operated on a ‘no-hit, no-fee’ model. I would turn-up at offices, sit in on monthly meetings and go away with a raft of possible news and feature ideas.
It’s not a sustainable model for a business, but it proves a point.
So I have pulled together some tips on what makes a great press release, it’s not definitive. But I hope it will set you on the right track.
1. Things which need releases – new products/lines, seasonal goods, discounts, offers, surveys, appointments and any company news.
2. How do you know if something is newsworthy? Simple. If you’d tell a friend about it over drinks and their eyes don’t glaze-over, then the chances are it’s newsworthy.
3. Think photos. Always think photos. Sending photos with a press release increases chance of use by 80%. BUT ONLY IF THEY ARE GOOD QUALITY.
4. When taking photos for a press release, you need to illustrate the story but also show the personality of your brand.
5. Adapt the focus and tone of releases for different media, but be careful not to ape the publication style, you will look silly if you do.
6. Less is more – a carefully targeted press release will be more effective than a thousand untargeted ones.
7. Think what you want to achieve from the release then write and target it with that in mind.
8. Don’t just think local, there are dozens of national niche and consumer publications with opportunities for you to be seen & heard. Databases like Gorkana are priceless for this type of data – but they are expensive.
9. Most national newspapers will have opportunities for your brand. It’s a case of knowing where they are and how to approach them.
10. One press release will not make you famous. Keep at it. Coca cola send out an average of two per day.
11. Call journos mid morning. And not close to deadline.
12. Before sending it to a journalist ask yourself: is it news to this person and is it relevant? If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to both. Don’t send it until you can.
13. Make sure you are prepared with follow-up material. You may be asked for additional quotes, opinion pieces or to provide a spokesperson.
I hope you find this useful. If you want jwcpr to help you make a splash and talk about what makes a great press release for you, please get in touch.