Getting your press release to the top of the pile
“I just created a press release to advertise my business, but it hasn’t made a difference or got me anywhere. I thought creating a press release was a great way to advertise. How do I get editors using my press releases!”
Most SME, especially those on a tight budget, quite often confuse PR with advertising. The majority of business owners understand the benefits of advertising, and the smarter ones also recognise that when someone else says something good about the business it is much more powerful than the words of the business owner themselves. That’s why the press release gets sent out, and that’s where they go wrong, because the journalists are not at all interested in giving businesses free advertising based on a promotional press release.
The journalists are there to write good stories that will sell papers, and that is exactly what any press release has to do. Whether it’s you or someone you hire to write up your press release, you have to focus on finding a great news hook, creating a compelling headline and giving some facts and a quotes together with a graphic, which could be a picture, or a brand logo. Just trying to push out a promotional message will get nowhere.
Getting your brand mentioned in the media is valuable, and the time you spend constructing a good press release is time well spent. To get your brand ahead of the hundreds of other press releases follow these simple rules:
- Pass the ‘uninterested’ test. Your target is someone with no immediate interest in you. Will you hook them?
- The headline has to tease. Will yours tease the reader to read on?
- Beat the ‘scan reader’. Will you get them reading every word?
- Concise, edgy, factual, with quotes adding endorsements, and a graphic adding colour. Give the reader something they will see as value.
- Be clever when you issue your release. Link it to a topical news item that the journalist will already be writing about, and the reader will already be reading about.
Treat the journalist as your best friend. Help him, and he will help you. Without realising it!