As a PR student, it is important to develop the confidence to write a good press release as soon as possible, it is an essential skill that will always be needed. I remember when a former LCC student spoke about his assessment day for the Edelman graduate scheme and one of the tasks was to write a press release. He was against an English literature graduate who was not aware of what a press release was – so use your advantage as a PR student to nail the art now.
Keep reading for my top tips for press release success!
- Get to the point – the 5 w’s and one h, do not underestimate the power of the who, what, when, why, where and how. The most important information should be in the ‘top line’ of your press release, 10 words or less is the goal.
- Keep it clear and concise – journalists receive hundreds of press releases everyday, so make sure yours stands out. Ensure you have a great subject line, the structure is professional and that your headline attracts attention straight away.
- Know the difference between passive and active sentences– it is essential to be clear, concise and to the point with every sentence, no jargon! Read each sentence and ask yourself, can I write this in a more concise way? – the answer is probably yes, you can.
- Think from a journalist perspective– what do they want and what will make news? Research each journalist before you contact them, they are more likely to run your story if it is something that interests them personally. Also, keep in mind the deadlines of each publication to ensure you submit your release in plenty of time.
- Use interesting quotes and images – quotes and images bring a story to life. Quotes are a great way for important information such as facts and statistics to stand out. And images are a proven way of increasing engagement, so to top off your engaging copy, use a relevant image to support and enlighten the story!
P.s. Janet Murray’s book ‘Your Press Release is Breaking my Heart’ gives a great insight into selling your story in the media – it is definitely worth a read!