When you want to get some news out to a media outlet, the standard way of doing that is by sending out a press release. It’s usually a one-page article that provides answers to the main questions that any newspaper, (online) magazine or radio station would have: What? When? Where? Why? And sometimes, How?
Initially, you might think to yourself, “Gee, that sounds easy enough” but there’s a reason why media companies receive sometimes hundreds of press releases in a month’s time but only a handful actually get an inquiry from them. It’s because the press release was written in an effective way which garnered a response.
If you would like to alert a publication or radio station about something that you have coming up, we’ve enclosed five tips for how to write a successful press release below:
Gauge your time. You could have the best news ever to share but if you don’t get it into the right hands in the appropriate amount of time, it’s not going to matter. People who read press releases look not only at the date and time of an event but also the date that it was sent to them. Try to have at least a 3-4 week lead on your information.
Think about who you’re writing it to. Oftentimes, individuals assume that they can write one general press release and send it out to multiple outlets when that’s not a very smart move to make. The kind of tone that you would use for a newspaper should be very different than how you would present your information to a niche publication, so make sure you word your content based upon the media platform that you’re contacting.
Be clear and concise. One mistake that a lot of people make is that their press release ends up being more like a short story. This is not the time to show how great your creative writing skills are. You are to simply provide the information that is needed in a clear and concise kind of way. And again, if it’s more one page, in most instances, that’s a sign that it needs to be reedited. If people have to turn over pages, that’s a press release that’s simply too long.
Have several forms of contact information. There used to be a time when, if you had your phone number and mailing address, that was all that was required. Thanks to the internet, that’s no longer the case. Whether you’re reaching out to an online radio station or you want to have a music promotions company like SonicBids post your press release, make sure that when it comes to your contact information that you also include your email address and Facebook and Twitter account info too.
Don’t write only one. You may not get a response to the first press release that you send out, but that shouldn’t discourage you from writing others. Remember media companies, reporters and websites are getting tons of information on a weekly basis and so they can’t get back to everyone. But, if you make sure to send well-written releases that are relevant on a consistent enough basis, there’s a pretty good chance that eventually, they’ll reach out. When it comes to getting publicity, patience is just as important as good copy. Always make sure to remember that.