We work with all sorts of clients, and some of our most press-based customers include local musicians, writers and artists. Working with the creative industries can be incredibly rewarding, but there are some lessons we’ve learned about writing press releases.
A good release should give all the vital information to editors, but it should also tell a story. In an ideal world, it should be picked up and taken exactly as-is for website announcements or print publications. A recent example for us was the press release for band, …And The Hangnails, which was posted in local press exactly as it went out.
So what makes a good press release?
1. Keep it short
Only provide the essential information. If you need to provide more background on the company or product, you can add ‘footnotes for editors’.
2. Tell a story
People need to know why they are receiving the release. What is so special that you have to tell the press about it? Don’t just create a written advertisement about why your product is so amazing. Tell the story of its creation, of why it is unique.
3. Choose your words
Jargon is a marketer’s nemesis. Sometimes, it is necessary – but in a press release, keep the language as simple as possible.
4. Spend time on writing the release
Just as an error on other advertising can cost you a reputation, the press will not be interested in a company who cannot take the time to craft a good release. The groundwork is the important part.
5. Make your subject line interesting
The media get hundreds of releases every week. Make yours stand out with a clickable title – once they’re in, you need a hook to keep them reading. Images and embedded videos work well.
6. Use a professional
Press releases use very specific language, formats and techniques to be noticed. It can often be a cost saving to hire a specialist writer to craft the release for you – and they may even be able to manage the distribution of the release, too. It saves one of your staff members from struggling through, taking time away from core tasks to get to grips with the way the media like their emails. They can be a picky lot, the press, so using someone who knows what they’re doing will cut the time it takes, and improve your response rates.
Of course, that’s what we do for our clients, but we’re not saying you ought to use us… except we do have a lot of experience. And can turn copy around in no time at all. And have a track record of higher-than-average open and click rates.