Writing an effective press release tips

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Writing an effective press release - tips on what journalists want, how to structure your press release, how to issue it - to get noticed by journalists. http://www.prcoach.co.uk/pr-help/

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Writing an effective press release tips

  1. 1. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 1 Writing an Effective Press Release - Tips by Debbie Leven PR Coach
  2. 2. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 2 1. What’s your news story? • You must have a ‘hook’ i.e. a reason for the story • No sales pitch please
  3. 3. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 3 2. Do your research • Research your key press and media • What topics are they interested in? • What deadlines do they work to? • How do they use social media? • Are they staff or freelance? • Do they work across different press and media?
  4. 4. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 4 3. Ask the question • Don’t assume there has to be a press release • Is it the best way to get your news across to your target press and media?
  5. 5. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 5 4. Think timing • Don’t embargo unless for a very good reason • Know the timing, and deadlines, for the press and media you are targeting
  6. 6. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 6 5. Your press release title • Pick the 3 of 4 words most relevant for your story and craft a title around them Your title must: • Attract attention of the journalist • Show how your story is relevant to them • Be short and snappy
  7. 7. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 7 6. Inverted pyramid structure • Ensure most important information is up top in your press release • Add to the story in further paragraphs • Use third party endorsement if possible • Put additional information in ‘notes to editors’
  8. 8. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 8 7. Constructing the story • Summarise the story in 25 words or fewer • That gives you the first paragraph of your press release • Journalists want human interest so give them that • Answer the who, what, why, where, when and how in your press release
  9. 9. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 9 8. Splice and dice • Consider angles to appeal to your different target press and media • Tailor your news story • Consider what you can offer relevant for the type of media you are targeting– television, radio, online
  10. 10. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 10 9. Use fewer words • Cut out the jargon • Edit, edit, edit • Save opinion for quotes • Keep words and phrases simple
  11. 11. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 11 10. Remember purpose • To present your news concisely • To give outline of the story • To make it easy for the journalist to use your story • To give the journalist what they want in a format that works for them
  12. 12. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 12 11. Issuing press release Do not: • Send your press release as an email attachment • Send photos unless requested • Embed logos in your press release • Send your press release to a distribution list as a blanket email (i.e. not tailored)
  13. 13. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 13 11. Summary • Be clear on the purpose of the press release • Focus on human interest • Ensure there is a ‘news hook’ • Give journalists what they want • Write clear, concise copy • Tailor your press release and personalise approach emails
  14. 14. © Copyright, Debbie Leven, 2013 14 For more information and help, see: • Press release template in word http://www.slideshare.net/debbieleven/press-release-template-word • Press release checklist http://www.slideshare.net/debbieleven/press-release-checklist-uk • PR audit http://www.prcoach.co.uk/pr-help/ • 5 top tips for press release success http://www.prcoach.co.uk/5-top-pr-tips-to-get-press-release-success/

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