Getting your business or your products and services talked about in the press is a great way to make yourself known. You still have to have a good story to tell and convince the media to publish itHere are some basic rules for a successful press release.
Are you making an investment, taking over or concluding an important contract? Are you launching a new product or service? Are you participating in a civic project? These are all opportunities to get people talking about your company, starting with issuing a press release to the media.
Large companies often have a communications department or a well-versed press officer. In smaller companies, or for freelancers, this is usually not the case. But don’t let that stop you! Here are some simple tips to follow that will help you write and distribute good press releases.
Tip #1: Target Your Audience Properly
First step: determine your target audience. No need to flood all the press. Choose the most important media time tracking software for you, that is, those that your customers, prospects or investors are likely to read. In some cases, it is better to address your press release to the local press than to the national press. Another important target: the specialized press. What are the magazines and websites, sector reviews or professional federations, newsletters, specialized bloggers… concerned by your activity?
Once this list is established, build a database. In principle, finding the contact details of journalists on the Internet is not very difficult. The first time, harvesting them may take you a little time. But then you just have to save them in a file that you can add to and update regularly.
Tip #2: Submit your press release by email
In our time, this is the fastest and most efficient way. However, remember to request a receipt: many email systems offer this option in the settings. Sending your file by email will also allow journalists to rework it quickly, which increases your chances of getting an article.
Tip #3: Make journalists want to open your email
Journalists receive dozens of press releases every day and lack the time and space to process them all. They therefore apply a drastic and often expeditious selection. The subject of your e-mail is essential in this respect. The name of your company and the title of the press release must imperatively be mentioned.
To facilitate the work of the journalist, attach your press release as an attachment. Opt preferably for a Word document which allows you to use the copy-paste option more easily than in a PDF document, but also copy the text in the body of the e-mail.
Tip 4: Write a press release that is both concise and complete
The presentation of your press release is important because it reflects the image and professionalism of your company. At the top of the document, place your logo and the name of your company. Specify, in capitals, the nature of the document (press release) as well as the date.
Then, get down to writing a quality text.
The title must be clear, but catchy : the recipient must immediately understand what it is about. Also try to introduce a strong element, which makes you want to continue reading. But above all, keep it short: a title is a line; no more. Eventually, a subtitle can complete your information. Example : “Sotra wins the Cap 48 favorite prize”
Go straight to the point: in the digital age, information is transmitted almost live. Journalists have to work faster and faster. Your first paragraph must therefore summarize all the information and answer the main questions that the recipient may ask (who, what, where, when and why). If done well, this introductory paragraph should be self-sufficient and could be published as is in the “briefs”.
Support your message: the rest of the press release allows you to develop your message. Be sure to structure the text with intertitles to facilitate reading.
Quote a few key figures, refer to studies or social facts… Above all, be sure to include one or other quote that journalists can use without having to contact you again. Example “We hope that our experience can serve as an example for other companies,” says Olivier Rijckaert.
However, be sure to keep it brief. The ideal press release is about one page, or 3,000 to 4,000 characters including spaces.
Tip #5: Mention a contact
It is imperative to offer the journalist the possibility of obtaining more information if he so wishes. So always make sure to mention the name and contact details of a contact person at the bottom of the press release, as well as your website address.
Finally, don’t forget to publish your press release on your own website and social networks : be your own media! As with any text published on the internet, consider applying a few simple SEO rules (link to my last Expert article ) to raise your text in Google’s natural referencing.
At the end of the text, consider the sharing buttons to the main social networks to allow your readers to distribute the information and thus increase your readership with a simple click.
Tip #6: Pay attention to the timing of your press release
Last but not least, send your press release at the right time. Avoid weekend or public holiday eves. If you announce a particular event or invite journalists on site, do it in time at the risk that the agenda of the journalists is already full.
To conclude, if the art of the press release seems too difficult for you, call on the professionals. Many service providers, agencies and communication offices can help you get your message across and already have the necessary relays in the media. Whether this collaboration is occasional or more regular, it can be very valuable.