Press releases can be a controversial topic in the marketing/pr world today. As we’ve shared before, we think the press release has managed to remain a cornerstone for PR professionals in an ever-changing field. There are certain formats and rules to follow when constructing a press release yes, but what you do beyond those formatting quirks can completely change the game for your organization or leave it in the dust with all the other cookie cutter press releases. We’ve come up with five suggestions on how you can help your news win.
- Create a good, targeted press list to send your release out to: This step can be easily overlooked. Doing your research and taking the time to craft a targeted list of journalists, bloggers and publications that cover your topic is definitely worth it. You have a much higher chance of success if you take the time to target interested publications and their readers rather than throwing out your news everywhere and hoping something sticks. Do your work and reap the rewards, don’t take the easy way and then get frustrated when it doesn’t work.
- Try, try and try again: and speaking of when things don’t work, this will happen to you. Don’t take it personally and don’t give up after the first, second, third or even 20th time you try. We know you think your organization is great and want to share every little thing they do with the world, but in a world that won’t stop spinning, your news can be outdated in a matter of seconds. Don’t get discouraged, just keep trying. We know it can be hard, but eventually you will hit that sweet spot where someone picks up your press release and runs with it. The joy is worth the pain, we promise.
- Add pics/video: As we mentioned earlier, there are certain formatting rules that apply when you are writing a press release. But you can do so much within these walls. It’s easy to fall into the trap where the format is a square and you can’t put anything else within the square but guess what, you can! Adding relevant pictures or even embedding a relevant video can help your press release stand out in a sea of squares. But make sure that what you add is relevant. We don’t suggest doing this every time, it may not be appropriate for every release but when it is appropriate, don’t hesitate to throw it in just because it may seem out of the norm.
- Make sure your news is newsworthy- Journalists are busy people and in this constantly moving world, the news never stops. Make it easy for them to use your release. Make sure it really is newsworthy. Include quotes and pictures when appropriate. Ask yourself, is a press release the best tool for this piece of news? Are there better options for this particular piece? If so, use them! Journalists get 1000’s of press releases every day so constantly barraging them with yours when an alternative tool would be just as effective is not the smartest option for you to take. Make sure the release is the best option and make sure it is newsworthy before you even think about sending it.
- Learn from your mistakes: When your press releases are rejected, learn from them! Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” so why would you not try and learn from your old rejected releases? Coming up with a different angle or even sending out a couple of releases with different angles and seeing which one takes off can be very beneficial. Review your old releases and see if they have any patterns and try changing them up. Take what you did before and make it better for the next time. Learn from your mistakes or they may be your downfall.
Press releases are a relevant marketing tool that should not be ignored by companies today. There are plenty of options out there and a press release may not always be the best option — but that doesn’t mean it never is. If press releases aren’t your thing and you’d like help in learning how your company can benefit from them, contact us for more information.