By Andrew Blum
It’s been said that the press release is dead. But that’s not really true. It’s just been morphing in recent years, and so has its audience. So to make your press releases stand out, here are a few things to keep in mind.
For starters, you still need to grab the attention of the media and the public with a snappy headline— and make sure it a communicates a strong news hook without puff.
Second, the old rules of writing still hold true: KISS. Keep it short and simple, and keep it simple, stupid.
Third, remember that the 5 Ws – who, what, when, where and why – also still apply. That is the structure expected by every news organization and it will give your story clarity and shape. Be sure to have a designated person proofread the final version to make sure it follows the correct format (and to check for typos!).
Next, pay special attention to the images, URLs and links you will be using. They make the release more compelling and relevant. It’s also a good idea to use words and phrases that are SEO-friendly.
And finally, it may seem obvious, but don’t forget to have direct contact information on the release and make sure someone is available to respond to press inquiries. The release can’t truly stand out if the media can’t follow-up.
Andrew Blum is a PR consultant and media trainer and principal of AJB Communications. He has directed PR for professional services and financial services firms, NGOs, agencies and other clients. As a PR executive, and formerly as a journalist, he has been involved on both sides of the media aisle in some of the most media intensive crises of the past 25 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @ajbcomms