So you have some exciting news to share. Perfect! It’s time to get some publicity!
But how, you might ask? How do I tell my story in today’s fragmented, social media-driven media landscape? How do I get journalists, investors, potential partners and customers to pay attention?
Believe it or not, the simplest place to start is with the good old press release.
A well-crafted press release can tell a compelling story, connect you to relevant journalists, and get your story directly in front of customers and into search results. According to a study by Muck Rack, 47 percent of journalists still rely on press releases on some level to do their work.
But all press releases are not created equal. Fortunately, our PR experts have distilled what sets a compelling, impactful press release apart into 6 key ingredients:
- Headline. This may seem obvious, but a headline is the first thing the reader will see. It can make someone keep reading or push them to move on. When writing your headline, ask yourself: Does it accurately convey what you’re trying to say/announce? Does it build interest? Does it provide information? And remember, you don’t always need a lot of words. It pays to be concise. Bonus: Think about adding a subhead with more details or to put your news in context.
- Dateline. This might seem like a small detail, but it tells the reader where the press release is coming from and when it was written. This is important for two reasons: 1) Your announcement or information is more appealing to a journalist if you’re a local company or writing about something that would affect their community and 2) it shows your news is timely.
- A strong first sentence. The second thing the reader scans when looking at your press release is the first sentence of your first paragraph. That means one more opportunity to hook them and convince them to keep reading. This first sentence is the place to explain succinctly what your news is, whom it impacts, why it matters and where and when it’s all happening. It’s NOT the place for your jargon or your sugary language about why you’re the best, most, fastest or prettiest. Put yourself through a filter of fact vs. opinion to have the biggest chance at getting picked up.
- Data. Words are just words, but data matters. Whether it’s your original data or data from a reputable, third-party source, layer it in right from the start to put your news in context. Also, think about adding a simple infographic with the data – infographics not only tell a visual story, they can also gather a life of their own.
- Quotes. Quotes are an essential way to add voice to your message. Hearing from an executive or a customer shows the reader another perspective and adds color to your story. Not to mention, many journalists pull verbatim quotes directly from press releases into their articles.
- Boilerplate/ contact information. Lastly, simply explain who you are. The bottom of your press release can be reserved for a simple paragraph or two of information about your startup, what you do and what your mission is. This should be largely consistent from press release to press release. Make sure to also include your contact information so journalists can reach out for more information.
These are the basic starting points to think through as you prepare a press release. But, it all starts with your story: what are you trying to communicate? That needs to come through clearly in each of the ingredients in order for your press release to get you the attention you deserve.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to do it all yourself! Spry’s PR and journalism experts can help, on-demand.
No contracts, no paperwork, just an algorithm that instantly matches your need to a vetted, qualified expert in your field. They’ll write a compelling press release that captures the essence of your story and inspires action.
It’s all on the Spry app. Download it today!