Writing a successful press release

Press release computerWhen you’ve launched your latest product, or added a new service to your business offering, the next step is to tell people about it, so that when they have need of what you offer, they’ll know to come to you first.

But writing a strong press release takes more than just understanding your business offering. You might know your business inside and out – but communicating it in the right way, to the right people, takes a little more thought.

We thought we’d put together some top tips to keep in mind when writing your next press release: 

1) Who are you writing for?
Many companies forget to tailor their copy to their target audience. If you have a product you want to sell to tradespeople, for example, tailor the release so that it talks directly to them, and covers the features and benefits they will encounter in using the product, not the features that are more relevant to the homeowner they are working for. Ask yourself – who are you talking to, and why should they care about what you have to say?

2) Is it too technical? Or not technical enough?
Make sure you pitch your press release at the right level. If your product or service is technical, but you’re trying to sell the features to general consumers, don’t get bogged down in too much detail, however proud you are of the innovation involved. Make sure it still reads well and can be understood by laypeople who may only have a basic understanding of the subject. Instead, focus on why what you offer can make their lives better, and what benefits it brings to your customers.

3) Where do you want to be published?
Is this news something you want to send to a local paper? Or an interiors magazine? A magazine that targets tradespeople? An online news website? Every industry has its own media, and each sector has specific things they will – and won’t – cover.

The easiest way to get something published is to give the editorial teams exactly what they’re looking for, and that means reading the publications and understanding the kind of editorial they want – then writing to suit their needs. Sometimes, picking two or three magazines and writing separate releases specifically tailored to those will get you more exposure than sending out the same release to dozens of magazines, when the information enclosed isn’t quite right for any of them. If in doubt, contact the magazine directly and ask them what they look for – they’ll be able to give you some good tips.

Stack of newspapers4) Ask yourself: is it news? 
It’s natural that you are pleased with your product offering, otherwise you wouldn’t have devoted the time to bring it to life. But the fact that you think it’s new, revolutionary and unique is, sadly, not enough on its own. You have to explain why it’s new, why it offers something more than what’s already on the market and why people should consider spending their hard-earned money. With every point, ask yourself – what’s in it for your readers?

5) The five ‘W’s
The basic premise of any news release should always be the five ‘W’s – who, what, where, when, and why. Who are you? What is the new product/service? Where is it available? When is it on the market? Or, when is the event taking place? And – most importantly of all – why should people take the time to read it? Stick to those, and you won’t go far wrong. Then, if you really want to cover all the basis, throw an ‘H’ in there as well – how. How does it work?

Posted by Jennie Ward

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