On Tuesday we wrote about the huge marketing benefits a little bit of PR can bring to your business. And the action items were all about working out your unique “angle” or story. Now that you have your backstory and angle all worked out, it’s time to write your press release.
The first “law” of writing a great press release is: Make sure the story is suitable for the publication. A press release sent to your local Community News needs to be tweaked if you are also sending it to the Financial Review. Don’t send the same generic press release to ten different publications unless you’re Barack Obama.
The next thing you need to do is make life as easy as possible for the journo/publication. In other words, write the story for them. This means it needs to be snappy, engaging and newsy and as mentioned above, tailored to their target audience.
If you feel you can’t do these two things stop here and engage the services of a copywriter.
If you do feel up to the job … read on!
ACTION ITEM – Write a great press release
This is a long action item … but it needs to be 🙂
STEP 1: Write a great headline
Imagine your story in the local newspaper. The headline isn’t going to be “West Perth accountant loves helping their clients” is it? How about “Local accountant has formula for financial success”. You should spend as much time on your headline as you do on the rest of your press release. If you’re struggling to write a great headline, go to your local newspaper for some inspiration or have a quick read of the this blog post: http://www.copyblogger.com/10-sure-fire-headline-formulas-that-work/
STEP 2: Write the first paragraph
If you’ve managed to get the reader past the headline … well done! The first paragraph is now vital to get them to read to the end – it’s the hook! Here’s how to write a great first paragraph:
- This one is written for bloggers … but is still relevant
STEP 3: Write the rest!
The rest of your story needs to deliver on the great headline and first paragraph. Keep the language simple (ie don’t use industry terms) and keep the tone engaging and relevant. Once you’ve written the release, leave it for a day and then come back to it. You will quickly pick up on any undesirables (bad grammar, boring bits) you missed on the first pass.
While you are crafting your story ask yourself:
- Is it relevant to the audience you are pitching it to?
- Is it interesting?
Once you’ve ticked these boxes …
STEP 4: Make sure the publication or journo can reach you
Provide all necessary contact details (phone and email) and indicate which is the best way to get hold of you.
STEP 5: Get your story in the hands of the right person
That’s a story for next week. Stay tuned ….