10 steps to writing an effective press release

One of the most important ways that we support our clients is through our knowledge of the media and how it works.

1)      Is it newsworthy?
First, consider whether a press release is the right platform to share your story. If it doesn’t have a strong news angle or “hook” then it might be better placed in a newsletter or social media post.

2)      Define your audience
Who are you speaking to? If it’s a potential customer, think about the benefits to them and keep that at the forefront of your messaging. Why should they care?

3)      Language
Identifying who will be reading your story will help inform the level of detail you need to provide. For example, if it’s aimed at a more technical audience, there is an assumed level of knowledge about your industry.

4)      Tell a story – who, what, when, where, why and how
The content should be concise and engaging, without leaving the reader with any obvious questions. For example, if it’s an event, when is it taking place and how can people register?

5)      Media-friendly style – stick to facts and figures
Write in a media-friendly style and avoid sales-speak. This will increase your chances of finding favour with journalists as they won’t need to overly re-write your work.

6)      Avoid jargon
Keep it simple. Don’t assume that everyone reading will know what an FPSO unit is.

7)      Quote
This gives you a chance to inject a bit more personality by including a quote from a relevant person – usually the MD. This can also include certain phrases which might otherwise be considered “too salesy.”

8)      Photo
Always include a decent-quality, professional photograph. A well-executed photo can sometimes make the difference between good coverage and great coverage, especially when it comes to print media where space is limited.

9)      Contacts – send the whole works (pitch, press release and photo) to a named journalist wherever possible. General inboxes receive hundreds of emails each day – you don’t want yours to be lost.

10)  Coverage
Often, you might write a story with a particular newspaper or magazine in mind. In most cases, that same content – perhaps with a few tweaks – will be of interest to other publications and give your business multiple waves of coverage.