You’re convinced your company has an amazing story to tell. All you need do is fire off your press release and, hey-presto, guaranteed media coverage?
Not quite so fast, and not quite so simple.
Newsrooms and journalists are inundated every day with press releases from companies. All those organisations think their story is the most important as well, so how do you get seen?
Here are seven tips on making sure you get the coverage your news deserves.
1. Think audience
Who is it that you want to make aware of your product or service? And where can you find them? If you’re a manufacturer looking to sell to other businesses then coverage in a prestige industry ‘bible’ will probably be more useful to you than the pages of your local newspaper.
2. Is what you’ve got news?
If you’re offering the exact same service as a competitor or it’s something that we’ve all seen before, then don’t be surprised if journalists aren’t all that keen to take up your offer to publish. They’re looking for the different, the unusual; something that will interest or entertain their readers, viewers or listeners.
3. This isn’t advertising
As tempting as it may be to sell your product or service in your press release, reign it in. While this may seem like an opportunity to tell everyone just how wonderful your company is and what else you’re doing, no one wants to read 12 pars of boasting. If you want to advertise, buy an ad. If you want to make people aware of what you do, then use PR.
4. Cliches – avoid them like the plague
Phrases like ‘it’s official’ or ‘rain failed to dampen the spirit’ have been seen countless times before. Make your writing bright and lively without straying into tired old repeats.
5. The same goes for acronyms and jargon
If your work is full of PCCs, AGMs and ACCs then prepare to turn people off. A press release is meant to engage and interest people, it shouldn’t come across as a board report. Use language that’s appropriate for the audience you want to see it. A degree of technical information will be appropriate if that audience is skilled technicians who operate in your field – but not if it’s for a general interest publication.
These are a must. However dry the subject, however automated the process, there will be a way to illustrate and bring your story to life. If you’re quoting the boss in a story then make sure there’s a picture of them. People want to relate to those they read about. People do business with other people, not faceless corporations.
Newsrooms are busy places, journalists are busy people. If you’ve done your homework, your story is interesting and relevant to the audience and it doesn’t get picked up, then don’t give up. Try again, maybe take a slightly different approach or use a new hook – a little tweak may be all your email needs.
There are lots more top tips for securing media coverage. We’d love to hear your favourites.
Want to know more about how to work with the media? Then why not join us for our next Media Relations one-day workshop on April 30. Or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we could help your business build some positive PR.