Six more tips on writing a good press release

By Chanda Temple

Image by Search Influence via Flickr/CreativeCommons

Image by Search Influence via Flickr/CreativeCommons

On March 26, 2014, I wrote about six ways to write a good press release. Here are six more tips.

  • Personalize your releases

If you are having an event with a lot of vendors, pick one or two to highlight their special skill, product, etc. If they are selling a product they developed because it helped make life easier for them and their family, push that personal story. Reporters like people stories.

  • Personalize your pitch 

If you know reporters or editors at certain outlets, send them a personal email about your story idea. Be straight and to the point. Cite a unique angle for them to cover. Go the extra mile to make things easier for them to cover it. Provide photos, video, links that promote the person or the product you are pitching.

  • Offer professional-looking headshots 

If your boss or an office associate has won an award, make sure you submit a professional-looking headshot. Photos of your boss holding a red Solo cup or relaxing in his Polo shirt are not the best looks for publication. Well, unless he runs a brewery or boat yard.

Pressed and polished always looks better in print. Selfies, shots with of you in you or your car, etc. will not do. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Don’t throw it away with a bad photo.

  •  Express your thanks

If a reporter picks up your story, thank them. Take a photo of them doing the story and put it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. They like shout outs. Thank them via email or a thank you card.

  • Make sure everything is accurate

Did you double check the addresses, dates, phone numbers, web addresses, links, etc. on the release to make sure everything is correct? Do the links work? If your releases have misspelled words, bad grammar or inoperable links, they are red flags to reporters that you could be careless. Sometimes, carelessness can kill a call back.

  • Offer photos and videos 

Provide photos and videos or video links in your press releases. Reporters like images. Don’t make them hunt for them to put them in a story. Make sure the links work and the photos are the right size for their publication format.

  • Avoid annoying a reporter 

Don’t hound a reporter. If they are interested in the story, they’ll cover it. If they aren’t, your world hasn’t ended. Maybe they’ll be interested next time. Also, don’t ask if a reporter will read your story back to you. They likely won’t. If you are concerned they got your story correct, ask if they’ll read back your quote.

If you continue to do things that annoy a reporter, you reduce your chances that they’ll call you back next time.

Chanda Temple worked as a reporter for 20 years before becoming a public relations professional. She blogs about being better in business, careers and more at http://www.chandatemplewrites.com. Follow her on Twitter at @chandatemple.

 


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