Axia PR offers tips on media-friendly writing
Your business has made some incredible headway and is on the cusp of launching the next big thing. But how do you share this information with the world?
A basic tool of the public relations trade is the news (or press) release. A well-crafted news release contains all the pertinent details you wish to share, along with factual support, delectable sound bites from valuable resources and company positioning. But too often, companies believe that anyone can write a news release and the news media will go nuts over it.
News releases, as a rule, are a critical connection between the news media and your business. If not drafted properly, news releases end up in the trash or quickly deleted, ceasing any positive PR potential. Therefore, businesses and organizations of any size should consider their options when deciding who drafts their releases:
Use your internal PR team. PR pros are educated and trained to efficiently obtain the details necessary to craft the perfect news release. Give them the parameters and let them work their magic.
Hire a PR firm or PR consultant. Many business owners, particularly bootstrapped small businesses, believe they can’t afford PR support, when in truth, PR support is what helps fledgling businesses become reputable in short order. An investment in a PR firm or PR consultant can ensure that any news you wish to share is not only properly drafted, but presented and pitched to a targeted audience, resulting in maximum impact.
Ask a journalist friend. In an era of “citizen journalism,” true journalists can be hard to locate. Journalists are trained news professionals. They know well the type of information needed to gain interest; they know the questions to ask; and they work collaboratively to (a) determine if your news is worth a press release; and (b) help you draft a release that will no doubt earn you ink.
Use a press release writing service. Many Internet-based businesses offer this service, as well as several additional marcom support services. The most widely recognized writing services often employ former PR pros or journalists who understand how to properly craft a news release for distribution. But be aware that you get what you pay for. Research your options to ensure you’ve uncovered the most reputable source prior to clicking the “purchase” button.
Consider a staff member who writes well. If no other alternatives exist, look within the walls of your own business for a staff member (regardless of title/position/job) who writes well. A word of advice: Edit your documents closely for typos and grammatical errors. Should your news release contain any mistakes or be void of any valuable news, it will assuredly find its way to the recycling bin or the digital trash can.
Creating a news release is a delicate process. Businesses must provide enough information to pique a journalist’s interest without being too verbose or, worse, not providing enough “meat.” Before attempting to create your own news releases using how-to articles found on the Internet, consider chatting with a seasoned PR professional. In addition to news release writing support, a PR pro will offer ways to publicize, promote and extend your business operations, resulting in greater corporate growth. Download Axia PR’s guide Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment to learn more about how PR can positively impact your bottom line.
Wendy Bulawa Agudelo has more than 15 years of experience in technology, business, consumer and non-profit public relations. She regularly pens feature articles on parenting topics for Bay State Parent Magazine, serves on the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress PR Task Force, is a culinary enthusiast and champion for the special needs community.
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