What do you think makes an effective press release so that your story gets picked up by your local press?
Over 70% of local press coverage is taken directly form press releases so it’s really important you get it right. It really pays to prepare a powerful press release that makes journalists’ lives easier.
- Be honest: don’t over-egg who you are.
- Don’t overstate. ie new and it’s not brand new.
- Grab the journalists’ attention: put the main point of the story in the introduction.
- Do the work for them – Strong intro, quote and photo.
- Get the word count right. 125 words minimum for Google. 350 is normal length of a page lead (between 250-350).
- Be informal. Tell the story as if you’re talking to someone.
- Avoid jargon and clichés.
- Keep sentences short.
THE FORMAT/press release
• Title/Subject line: Make it catchy; but remember it’s journalist’s job to develop the
headline (often for search/space reasons and their requirements keep changing).
• Introduction: About 28 words max, main point of story, tell it like a story.
• 2nd & 3rd Paragraph: Expansion on introductory paragraph.
• 4th Paragraph or later: Strong quote, human, emotional.
• After that: More detailed, less important information.
• End with call to action: Link back to your website.
• Notes to editors: Detailing what you do.
• Contact information: Make clear if it’s for the journalist’s benefit or for publication.
• Photographs: Ideally six for a web gallery and have a prize landscape Twitter one.
• Photograph caption: Including people’s names (left to right) if it’s a small group.