Even in the age of digital media and social media opportunities such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and LInkedin, press releases are still an outstanding tool for putting your business or organization in front of clients and the public. They should be a regular part of your marketing and public relations efforts.
Effective press releases do more than just generate news coverage for your organization. They tell the media and the public who you are and what your organization is about. They also keep the focus on the information you want to convey, and can help shape your public image.
Here are some of the basics…
Keep it short. A page to a page and a half, except in an extreme circumstance.
Keep it focused. Stick to the main reason for the release and avoid extraneous information.
Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. The most important thing reporters want to know is Why is this important, and Why do people need to know about this? Put that information near the top.
Avoid creative prose. Lean toward a formal tone and stick to the facts.
Distill technical or research information. Help the media understand it so they can better explain it to the public. Give examples of how the technology or research benefits or helps consumers, homeowners, athletes, automobile safety, etc.
Go easy on the numbers (unless you’re reporting survey results). Round them and include only the most important figures.
Use a Note to Editors at the end of the release for special instructions, i. e. interview availabilities, location, etc.
Think outside the box in terms of the important information to put at the beginning of the release. What’s important within the walls of the organization may not be important to the public.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Media response to a press release is dependent on several factors such as the overall importance of your announcement, other news that is occurring at the time, the time of your press conference, event, etc.
Send your release to every local and regional newspaper, radio and television station. Include the smaller daily and weekly newspapers, and all of the radio and t.v. stations. .
Put a headline above the first paragraph. Use capital letters to indicate when the information can be released. Put the date the release is sent, name of the person to contact, and their phone number.
Again, this is the age of digital media and social media... be sure to post your press release to your business or organization's website. Tweet it, if you're on Twitter and post it to your blog, Facebook or Linkedin pages, if you have one or both of those as well. It'll take a few extra minutes, but when you do, you'll be taking your media relations efforts and moving them into the marketing and public relations realms, as well.