0
What does a
journalist really lookjournalist really look
for in a press release?
Ian Kirby, Director, MHP Communications
The Press Release is dead
“The press release is dead. We will
have to dip into the tool box and
broadcast now and again, b...
Long live the press release
09/10/2013 3
These newslines won’t sell
• Slight relaunches
• Stories in a vacuum – why is this relevant?
• Low prices, great service, ...
What will turn OFF a reporter?
Cheesy jokes
/ technical
language
Obvious
corporate
messaging
“A spokes-
person said”
09/10...
Rejection is hard to get over
09/10/2013 6
But it doesn’t need to happen!
Before you write
What does the journalist want?
Which language do they speak?
Get your facts straight
09/10/2013 7
Get you...
What will turn ON a reporter?
Direct quotes
Punchy
headlines
A clear and
significant
story
09/10/2013 8
Direct quotes
from...
The headline is the hook
• Sum up the story in eight words
• Most memorable headlines are never “Trains run on
time and ar...
Content checklist
• Who?
• What?
• So what?
17/07/2012 10
• Why?
• How?
• When?
Flog your story
• This is a world first!
• Put the big numbers at the top
• Get a quote high up in the story
• Put the cli...
Get your boilerplate right
• Check your numbers add up
• Avoid caveats – they look like you’re lying
• Hand over the data
...
Selling it in
• Identify your targets
• Check again
09/10/2013 13
• Call them first
• Be adaptable
• DON’T BE A STALKER
www.mhpc.com
Ian Kirby
Director
60, Great Portland Street
London
W1W 7RT
+44 (0) 20 3128 8547
+44 (0) 7710 760724
ian.kirb...
What does a journalist really look for in a press release
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What does a journalist really look for in a press release

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How can we ensure that the journalists receiving our press releases are getting what they want? What constitutes a good press release in the age of twitter? Director of Media at MHP and former Political Editor of the News of the World Iain Kirby will guide you through some key techniques to ensure you gain maximum impact.

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Transcript of "What does a journalist really look for in a press release"

  1. 1. What does a journalist really lookjournalist really look for in a press release? Ian Kirby, Director, MHP Communications
  2. 2. The Press Release is dead “The press release is dead. We will have to dip into the tool box and broadcast now and again, but it is no longer ‘SOS’ (Send Out Stuff).” 09/10/2013 2 Alex Aiken, executive director, government comms
  3. 3. Long live the press release 09/10/2013 3
  4. 4. These newslines won’t sell • Slight relaunches • Stories in a vacuum – why is this relevant? • Low prices, great service, wide selection 09/10/2013 4 • Stories in a vacuum – why is this relevant? • Obvious product placement • Bad jokes and poor hooks
  5. 5. What will turn OFF a reporter? Cheesy jokes / technical language Obvious corporate messaging “A spokes- person said” 09/10/2013 5 MISTAKES One fact stories Gaps – why should I do the work for you?
  6. 6. Rejection is hard to get over 09/10/2013 6 But it doesn’t need to happen!
  7. 7. Before you write What does the journalist want? Which language do they speak? Get your facts straight 09/10/2013 7 Get your facts straight What’s your top line? Is this new?
  8. 8. What will turn ON a reporter? Direct quotes Punchy headlines A clear and significant story 09/10/2013 8 Direct quotes from the boss Context and comparisons Digital links, images and video
  9. 9. The headline is the hook • Sum up the story in eight words • Most memorable headlines are never “Trains run on time and are clean” or “No staff losses this year” 09/10/2013 9 • Don’t get technical • Put the big numbers in the sub-deck • Super Cally Go Ballistic, Celtic are Atrocious
  10. 10. Content checklist • Who? • What? • So what? 17/07/2012 10 • Why? • How? • When?
  11. 11. Flog your story • This is a world first! • Put the big numbers at the top • Get a quote high up in the story • Put the client at the bottom, but make them essential to the 09/10/2013 11 but make them essential to the story • Write like you speak • Seventeen words in a sentence • One piece of punctuation • Avoid caveats • Short is sweet
  12. 12. Get your boilerplate right • Check your numbers add up • Avoid caveats – they look like you’re lying • Hand over the data • Check web links are live • Photos, graphics, shiny stuff 09/10/2013 12 • Photos, graphics, shiny stuff • Let the hack speak to a human being • Give them your numbers and your e mail
  13. 13. Selling it in • Identify your targets • Check again 09/10/2013 13 • Call them first • Be adaptable • DON’T BE A STALKER
  14. 14. www.mhpc.com Ian Kirby Director 60, Great Portland Street London W1W 7RT +44 (0) 20 3128 8547 +44 (0) 7710 760724 ian.kirby@mhpc.com
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