Writing a press release can be daunting. After all, you’re an expert in your business but this isn’t something you’ve trained for. I’m going to remove the mystery around the process and help you to write an effective press release for your business.

Once you know how to write a great press release, I’d also suggest you revisit our previous blog, “How to generate free media coverage for your business“, so that you are in a strong position to gain that free publicity for your company.

First, before you plunge headlong into writing press releases and sending them out to the media, ask yourself: Does my business need to do this? Does it fit into your overall marketing plan? Do you have a newsworthy story to tell?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then great, let’s get started.

As a former journalist and experienced public relations professional, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to make sure that you include all the key facts in your press release. The journalist is much more likely to use it if they have all the information they need to hand.

To make sure you include all the pertinent points, remember 5Ws and an H (there isn’t really a catchy mnemonic, I’m afraid!).

  • Who – who is involved? Give company names and individual names, where relevant to the story.
  • What – what is the story?
  • Where – where is it happening?
  • When – when is it happening? Also give details of any key dates for photo opportunities or interviews, if applicable.
  • Why – why is it happening? Why is it important?
  • How – how did this story or event come to happen?

Other key points to remember are:

  • Planning – consider how and where the press release fits into your marketing plan and the impact on your marketing.
  • Audience – consider your audience before you send it out. There is no point sending it to publications who don’t cover your area/business/type of story. Do some research.
  • Contact details – make sure you include names and telephone numbers for key contacts.
  • Other information – include any information about photo opportunities, live events or any other relevant information which might help promote your story.
  • Keep it concise – Try to keep as short as possible. Your story is much more likely to be used if journalists don’t have to wade through pages of minutiae.

If you’re thinking, “This all seems obvious”, then get in touch and I will relate to you the horror stories I have seen over the years. It’s too easy when you’re in a rush or under pressure to forget the obvious.

So, take your time, follow these tips, and become a useful, journalist-friendly marketer. It’ll pay dividends.

By Morwenna Tudor, Marketing and PR Consultant, KMS Marketing

Not sure if you’ve got it right?
KMS Marketing offers a Review service, where one of our Senior Marketing and PR Managers will spend half a day or a whole day with you, reviewing any area of your marketing and PR you choose,  providing you with expert and professional advice, hints and tips on how to make it hit the mark and achieve the results you need. Contact us for more information.

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