What to put in a press release

Writing a press release is just the beginning of getting coverage for your news. But what should you put into your press release? Here are some pointers about what to include. I’ll write up another post soon with the structure of a basic press release. How is a press release used? A press release is pseudo-news story, written in third person that seeks to demonstrate to an editor or reporter the newsworthiness of a particular person, event, service or product. Press releases are often sent by e-mail or via a newswire. They can also be part of a full press kit, or may be accompanied by a pitch letter.  Journalists or bloggers may use it as a standalone story, for reference (file) or as part of a larger article.

What makes news?

Timing

The word news means exactly that – things that are new. Topics that are current are good news. Businesses and consumers are used to receiving the latest updates, and there is so much news about that old news is quickly discarded. A story with only average interest needs to be told quickly if it is to be told at all. If it happened today, it’s news. If the same thing happened last week, it’s no longer interesting.

Subject of news stories

Subjects include new contracts, new products, new services, use of product or service by a well-known brand, new hires, new offices, sponsoring events, speaking at events, major partnerships etc.

Innovation

Is your product or service offering something truly unique?  If not, is it being used a unique way or by a new company?

Significance

The number of people affected by the story is important. A security device which can be used by a government department may be of more interest immediately than one that helps an individual user.

Prominence

Well-known brands get more coverage just because they are well known. If you work with well-known brands, try to persuade them to let you write about your work for them, whether it’s a reference, case study or a press release. This post is one of a number of posts that offer guidance and PR tips for marketing managers in technology companies. If you liked this post, why not take a look at our post about how to catch a journalist’s interest.

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