Become a PR PRO & Grow Your Brand & Profits
3-Question Quiz On Press Releases·
- Know how a press release can help your business?
- Ever put out a press release that got picked up by legit media?
- Know how to make press releases work for your business?
If you answered no to any of these questions (most people answer no to all) then use the next 4-minutes powering up your knowledge and skills to Power Punch Press Releases that grab publicity and get your products and services noticed by your target audience. Even if you’re a Public Relations (PR) Professional, these tips are good to review.
Press releases are one of the most effective means of free publicity to grow your brand and profits. Yet unless you’re a big business you probably underestimate this powerful medium. You may think, “no media cares about what my business has to say, and even if the did, how would we get their interest?” Editors of online news and various online publications along with magazines, newspapers, radio stations, and television news all rely on press releases as a vital source for their stories. Also, send to noted bloggers and industry leaders. That means they are looking for your help to provide story ideas.
Let’s discuss how you write Power Punch PR to persuade editors and reporters to give a flip about your company news. Here are the basics on how you do it… You write a catchy headline along with a newsworthy, factual, topical press release. Then you send it to the right people. This is a press release… ta-da! Your odds are better than you think if you do this right, do it enough times, send it out to multiple sources, and follow up. Every year thousands of press releases are picked up by news outlets so yours can be too. They may publish your release word for word or may paraphrase it, but either way, you get free press. This alone gives you talking/selling points in your pitches to the market. Of course, you need an edge to get noticed since news outlets are inundated by press releases every day. After all, their priorities probably aren’t matching yours. Be optimistic, and go for it though. Like it says in the book, Overcoming The 15 Categories of Rejection, “The 3-Ps… Professional-Polite-Persistence pays off.” Use the best practices to write press releases that wow editors and reporters so your probability of getting published, or on the radio or television goes way up.
Becoming a PR Pro
- Headlines are key. Since you may only get your headline read, it needs to be crisp and catchy. Take notes from how that news outlet writes or delivers headlines. Consider what is attention grabbing, slightly provocative (if appropriate), makes you stop and think, and keep it brief. The shorter the word counts, the better the headline, so no more than 10-words. Definitely avoid overused adjectives like “amazing” and “revolutionary.” Come on, everyone makes these claims. Keep it to the point and add a little pizazz.
- Content is cash! Find an interesting spin or a new twist to present your angle on a press release. Remember though, you need to choose wisely and pick something that is actually news. Otherwise, you’ll lose their interest immediately and lose credibility for future press releases. Tie your release to current trending news when it can be related to ride the trend waves. Use creative writing skills and consult a copywriter is possible.
- After the headline, which is key, be sure to have your opening sentence power packed with the main points. Get to the point fast with the facts and don’t waste people’s time. News people have short attention spans, as there are a lot of stories speeding at them, and they have to make decisions in rapid-fire style.
- Use all your firepower in the content after the headline and then the opening sentence. Now it’s time to shine and do it with as few words as possible while remaining intriguing and factual simultaneously. Not as hard as it sounds. Just practice and it will become a “party trick.” Include the benefits of your product or service. For example, “Mew global discovery identifies all the categories of rejection that exist in the world. Turns out there are only 15 ways to be rejected. Now people of all walks of life can overcome being told NO and achieve more in their lives.” Maybe even say, “Limited time, buy the book for 25% off now at www.15COR.com.”
- Add all the necessary details of your story in subsequent sentences. Choose carefully what you add and list information in the order of importance. Editors often cut lines toward the end, which is why all the best information needs to go early in the release. Plus they may not read more than 3-sentences.
- Grammar counts! It isn’t grade school or Graduate College, but it is professional media you’re communicating with. Therefore, get the grammar and punctuation precisely correct. Otherwise, you look sloppy and sketchy. This gets you in “File-13,” meaning the trashcan.
- Increase your odds of being picked up and used if you can add 1 or 2 quotes from notable, reliable or expert sources. This gives a point of view and reflects the personality of the speaker. Plus, it adds a vital touch of the human element, which is a great way to relate to all types of audiences.
- The ideal length for a press release is a half-page up to one-third a page. If you absolutely need more room then keep it to no more than one page. It is wise to write the word Ends or ### or -30- at the bottom of the release because this lets the editor know your release is over. Plus, it demonstrates some professional understanding of their lingo and gets you noticed as more than a novice.
- When pictures are included be sure to use a caption providing names of people shown or locations captured. Also, include sources, contacts, and the press release date. Make it easy to professionally use your story.
- How you send the release matters, today news outlets often ask for emails. Surprisingly, many still maintain fax machines for accepting release too. Using the U.S. Postal Service is a viable method and delivers a personal touch. There is still no guarantee the U.S. mail will yield a better chance of being seen or used compared to email.
- Avoid attachments when using email. E-Viruses are a scary threat and news outlets will immediately delete attachments. Often they have spam filters established by their IT departments to redirect emails with attachments so they will never be seen and end up in purgatory.
- As mentioned earlier, be Professional-Polite-Persistent, and consider this a numbers game governed by quality writing skills. Keep sending press releases and you will get more picked up in print, radio, online publications, and television too. When to send them is simple, send them as much as possible, meaning when you have real news you can spin to your advantage for a story.
- Remember to add contact details. Names, titles, business names, phone numbers (ideally your business and cell) email addresses, mailing addresses, and any relevant social media accounts. For example, I communicate with media people through LinkedIn sometimes.
Getting published! Now for the Holy Grail low down on press releases. The who, and where you send them to. Obviously, sending them to the right people at enough publications, bloggers, media outlets, and industry experts will increase your success. Good News! There are thousands of news agencies, magazines, online publications, associations (with big memberships), and social media influencers who can get your release in front of the eyes and ears you desire. Find the ones right for you by checking media directories online or at the library.
I highly recommend using online services like, PR Web, which offers free distribution. You can also use paid services like PRNewswire.com, Newswire.com. ERelease.com, PressRelease.com. Use the Internet, as with anything, to search for local and or relevant national outlets to build your distribution list. Here is a link to the Top Ten free and paid release sites.
Also, look for relevant trade associations or membership groups. List the industry experts and contact them too. Use social media, like LinkedIn or Twitter to find and contact media reps. Ask your friends and family who they may know in the media or their friends may know because you shouldn’t underestimate the 6-degrees of Kevin Bacon.
The bottom line is you need to spend some time and energy building up your media contacts list. It is worth it! Then build a good reputation with intriguing, buzz-worthy headlines followed by real catchy news content so media reps read more of your releases. Follow this up with good old-fashioned timely follow up (The 3-Ps) and you are a true savvy PR Pro! The media gods will shine down on you with publication manna from heaven. The free PR will be bestowed upon your business and fame or infamy is sure to come.