8 tips for creating a news release that will result in numerous media placements and boost your exposure
It’s a problem public relations professionals encounter all the time. They write a news release based on what media and target audiences want to see. Then, the CEO or another C-suite executive reviews the release and adds long quotes and several paragraphs of company information to appease partners or other stakeholders. This is a huge (and common) mistake.
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, think about whom you want reading your news release. Who is your intended audience and what do they want to know?
Since news releases contain an abundance of information, companies are often confused about how they should use them. Read on to learn how to write news releases for the newsroom, not the boardroom, and how your company will benefit from the distinction.
Why the audience is important
Imagine that you’re in an elevator with someone who asks you about your company. If you’re talking to a reporter, your response will be different than if you’re speaking to a job prospect or a potential investor.
Knowing your audience helps you filter your information to include only what’s necessary for them to understand your message. You want to appeal to what they’re interested in, connect with them on a personal level and encourage them to take the next step.
Unfortunately, in today’s digital age, it’s more difficult to write for a specific audience. This is due, in part, to the fact that news releases are now typically posted online for the public and all audiences to see for themselves, whereas in the past, news releases were only for media. Still, it’s crucial to bear in mind that while reporters might not be the only ones to see a news release, they are your primary audience. Think of it this way: If you don’t first interest the reporter in your information, it’s possible that no one else will be interested either.
Eight tips to remember when crafting a press release
- Every piece of content is not for every audience.
You can change and remarket speeches, news releases and reports; however, you shouldn’t use them over and over in the same format.
- Whenever you develop content, it’s important to remember who will be reading it.
Most companies write news releases to the pleasure of their boss, CEO, corporate leadership or board members. Instead, you must focus on your target audiences.
- Write news releases for the living room, not the boardroom.
In other words, your ultimate goal should be attracting the attention of your buyer personas where they live, to spread your news and inspire action.
- News releases are a tool to reach the media, and the media helps you reach your target audience, customers and prospects.
Your news release should give journalists everything they need to write a story that will interest your target audience.
- Headlines are important.
You only have a few seconds to capture the reporter’s attention. Make each headline count. It should be concise, provide a good overview of your information and entice the reporter to read on.
- Stick to the facts.
Including quotes that don’t offer any additional information or facts just to appease board members will only serve to muddle your messages. You should save content whose purpose is only to please the CEO for internal newsletters and memos.
- Provide value.
Your press release should feature interesting news that is educational, entertaining or provides a great story.
- Hire a PR firm to help you.
A news release is a unique piece of content that requires time, attention and respect to reach the right people at the right time. This isn’t always easy, so it’s best handled by professionals with experience and success in placing news stories in appropriate news outlets.
If you’re looking to get more exposure for your company, let the experts at Axia Public Relations help you. A news release is just the first step in a comprehensive media plan, and we can help you complete the journey to more visibility and brand recognition. To find out more, contact us today or download our e-book Learn Media Relations from the Media.
Lisa Goldsberry is a blogger for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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