Press releases have long been a tool to gain maximum exposure in your industry. In fact, they’re essential for increasing your brand awareness and helping your public relations (PR). However, if the right people don’t see your release, you won’t get very far. Distributing your release effectively could help get your story picked up by national newspapers, magazines, or blogs.
In this blog, you will learn how to properly create, distribute, and pitch a press release for optimal brand awareness.
Before we dive into how to write a press release, let’s discuss what it is. A statement is issued by an organization to the media to gain exposure on an official announcement. Your mind may immediately go to the traditional version of a release, but remember videos are also useful in this space.
Press releases should contain vital information like “who,” “what,” “why,” and “where.” This information should ideally be in the first paragraph. From there follow the inverted pyramid style with the most crucial information at the top and trickles down to the least important information.
A press release should be an educational page (or two) of content, not a place to embellish your company!
Follow this formula to achieve a great release:
- Create an Eye-Catching Headline (Don’t use the company’s name unless they are widely known.)
- Summarize the topic in one sentence. This should be your subhead.
- Communicate the news’s value to the press.
- Offer a tempting quote from a prominent person within the organization.
- Supply valuable background information on the subject.
- Summarize the “who” and the “what” in a boilerplate.
Determining who should be on the receiving end of your press release is a vital part of getting maximum exposure. Here are five ways to give yourself a fighting chance:
- Target journalist who might give a hoot
- Gather contact details
- Craft a killer pitch
- Time it right
- Follow up
Find the right people
Most journalist work within a beat and hone in on any exclusive news in their sector. Even though you may want to, don’t just send your story to anyone in the media. Do your research and create a list of viable members who would be interested in what you have to say.
Know who and where you’re sending it to
So you may know the who, and the where but get more details than that! Try using an extension or your contacts in the area to find the right email address for your target.
Write that pitch
This is an important part, and more information is provided below!
Send it at the right time
Remember journalists receive hundreds of pitches a day, most of them in the morning. Try waiting an hour or two and sending mid-morning/afternoon. Also, choosing the right day is essential. Pitching a release on a Friday probably isn’t the best time.
Follow up on your pitch
Following up on a pitch is frowned upon by some media members. But if it’s something you’re passionate about, give it a try!
You may not always have to pitch your release. Multiple free press release sites exist which allow you to post your release for free! Here’s a list of free sites. Also, if you have the budget, many of these sites also provide paid options which will give your release more exposure.
Now that you have a great release written or made it’s time to design the perfect pitch. The best way to relay your news is via email. Also, this makes it easier for you!
Why is it important to have a killer pitch? This is the first thing a journalist will read, and if they don’t like what it says, chances are they won’t even open your press release.
So how can you make sure your pitch will get opens? Check out these tips:
Have tempting subject lines
- Keep it short and sweet: Get straight to the point.
- Get creative: Provide a unique angle.
- Make it super-specific: Tell the journalist exactly what they’re about to open.
- Provide exclusivity: Pitch out a unique point of your release and push it hard!
Get straight to the point
- Get straight into the purpose of your email. Showcase the story and explain why they should cover it in their publication.
- Make it personalized. Do your research and point out why they should cover your story.
Getting your press release out there and in the right hands can help your organizations build brand awareness and improve your PR efforts. By following these tips, you can get your announcement on the right tracks to being heard.
This article was originally published on the Red Branch Media Blog by Madison Knopik.