The secret to creating a newsworthy press release

The media ignore press releases all the time. It doesn’t make sense to simply hope that the media understands the relevance of your news. Media Relations Agency has been telling our clients’ stories through the media for more than 30 years. We developed our Media Grade Content® to increase our press releases’ appeal to reporters and producers. The secret to creating a newsworthy press release is to be strategic about what it says and how it’s used.

What to say in your next press release 

  1. Write to please the audience, not the media.  The media won’t act on press releases unless a quick skim catches their interest. Specifically, they are looking for news that is relevant to their audiences.
    At first, you may think that’s obvious. You wouldn’t pitch a story about snow shovels to Miami TV producers, right?
    But what happens more often is that the news is relevant; it just isn’t positioned the right way. For example, a story about a safer trampoline may not interest a local reporter unless you also cite local statistics about the high number of local trampoline-related injuries.
  2. Be careful about mistaking timely for newsworthy. Timely is using a press release to publicize an upcoming event. This is nearly always a good idea. But if you slug every release with a location and date, that instantly limits its appeal. Some reporters may presume your news is outdated if they don’t run the story right away. Likewise, a Los Angeles reporter who sees Minneapolis in the slug may not immediately see the importance to her audience.  

A newsworthy press release educates audiences. It gives them information that will somehow improve their lives. Read your press release from your target audience’s perspective. It should clearly answer, “What’s in it for me?” Establish an emotional connection between your product and the reader.

Two strategic ways to use your release 

  1. Be respectful of reporters’ time. Keep your release short. Most reporters don’t have the time to read long releases. Media Relations Agency’s releases rarely exceed two pages. If you can’t tell your story in two pages, reporters may question whether you really understand its value to their audiences. 
  2. Do as much work for reporters and producers as possible. A good press release helps reporters with their jobs by showing them how the information can be presented to their audiences. Then, offer to help complete the story by supplying photos, studies and related information. Instead of simply using wire services, firing off an email or messaging reporters on a social media platform, Media Relations still believes it’s essential to have one-on-one conversations with the media. Our publicists use our releases as just one tool to co-produce complete stories in the media on behalf of our clients. 

When we write a press release, it is with the understanding that people buy on emotion and justify their purchases with facts. The Media Relations team (strategists, publicists, writers and graphic artists) provides the media and online audiences with complete stories. We control the angle. We connect with them by sharing how our clients’ products help to enhance their lives. Our clients’ messaging and value points become a natural part of these stories.

This approach helps reporters and producers envision why their audiences will care about our clients’ stories.

We love what we do, and we’re happy to share our advice with you. Contact us for a free press release assessment. We’ll review your release and show you how to give it more spark. Or if you’d like to discuss other content needs, call us at 952-697-5269 or use this form

Robin Miller
Editor-in-Chief

 

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