How to get your press releases noticed

Top 5 Tips: Getting your press release noticed

In a crowded marketplace, how do you grab the editor’s attention rather than have your press release spiked without even a second glance?

While there’s never a guarantee it will get published there are some basic guidelines to tip the balance in your favour.

Headline: A powerful headline is vitally important. While it may never reach the heights of some classic ones from the tabloids – who can forget ‘It’s the Sun wot won it’ and ‘Up Yours Delors’ – it does need to make an impact and act as an enticing starting point. Try and make it six words maximum, after all it’s not meant to be War & Peace. If all else fails, have fun with it!

Intro: Now it’s crunch time. This is your opportunity to sum up the press release in an exciting and informative manner. However, the challenge (or skill) is to do it in 30 words or less. Any more than that and it’s too long and will start losing the reader’s attention. Also remember that newsdesks will usually start cropping from the bottom up, so make sure that anything important is said early on. At the end of the day make sure it tries to answer the basics – who, where, why, what and when?

Newsworthy: This is where you need to face facts. Is your press release actually newsworthy or just bluff? If, in your heart of hearts, you know that it’s just an advert dressed up as a press release then the chances are that the newsdesk will see straight through it. After all, don’t forget the story of the boy would cried wolf. If you bombard editors with endless press releases of no real value to them then what do you think will happen when the time comes that you really do have something newsworthy to say?

Photo: It really is true that a photo tells a thousand words. If the story lends itself, then ‘think outside of the box’ and be as creative as possible. If the press release is very factual and dry, then make sure it has the right tone, sometimes a simple head and shoulders image will do. If you feel you have the skills then take the photo yourself (you can find some advice on taking photos in our blog dated 4th September), otherwise hire a professional photographer. It could pay dividends.

Target: Make sure your press release reaches the right editorial contact. If possible avoid sending it to generic email addresses such as editorial@……., or newsdesk@…… . Just spend a few minutes finding out the name of news editor, business editor, etc and try and send them a personal email to accompany the press release. It might take a little bit longer but it could be time well spent.

Of course, if you haven’t the time or expertise to write a press release yourself, then Red Marlin would be delighted to hear from you to see how we can help!

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