A well-written media release that’s IRRESISTIBLE to journos is such a fantastic communications tool to build your brand awareness, and enhance your credibility as as expert in your field. Free publicity, people!
There’s some key elements in writing a killer media release:
Why would a journalist be interested in promoting your business? Journos aren’t usually in the business of advertising, so in order to pique their interest, your story needs to:
- Elicit an emotional response
- Address a current social or economic issue; or
- Be of benefit or harm to others.
It needs to be short and sharp, and convey the content within the body of the release itself. Here’s where I deviate from many copywriters- I can’t write a headline until I’ve written the copy. For me, the headline will be unearthed from the process of writing out the release.
Keep your release to one page if possible, not including your bio. If you have a ton of information to support the claims in your release, or it’s part of a bigger project, write a fact or briefing sheet that gives an overview of the background and status of your project.
We’ve all seen the editor in a million movies shouting ‘Just gimme the facts, ma’am,’ and the introductory paragraphs of your media release should include the relevant Who, What, Where, How and Why information. Lead strong, my warrior, and structure your release so the main juicy content is at the start of your release, so the journalist reading it thinks ‘Oh my goodness, I HAVE to give this story my full and absolute consideration!’ Do this, then back up your introductory statement and claims with detail throughout the rest of the body of your release. Finish with your contact details.
If you have access to images to support your story (and good images, professionally shot), mention that in your pitch. A paper may be willing to send a journalist to meet with you, but if they don’t need a photographer that can sway in your favour.
That’s it- five essential elements to consider when writing a killer media release. Of course, I write releases every day as part of my core business- if it’s not yours, and the thought of turning your work into fodder for the media machine makes your palms clammy, give me a buzz. No need to be clammy.
This is a post in my blog series about My Communications Toolkit. Each month, I share insights, hints and tips from my communications and copywriting bag of tricks. I’ll show you how to rock copywriting a range of products, tactics to communications glory and how to use communications and PR to solve your business marketing problems. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms.