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PRESS RELEASES: WHAT ARE THEY AND WHY DO I NEED THEM?

Press Releases. You’ve all heard of them, but have you written one?

Does the thought fill you with dread? Have you found yourself looking at a blank screen and wondering where you start?

Let’s break it down…

WHAT IS A PRESS RELEASE?

PR is all about communication and a press release is simply a form of written communication used to convey news, brand messages, announcements and stories from brands or individuals.

A press release is often a one-two page document sent to journalists to give them the gist of your ‘story’, which, if they’re interested in, they can then follow up with you on.

WHY DO I NEED ONE?

There is a lot of debate in the industry about whether the ‘press release is dead’ but ultimately, many journalists these days rely on email to communicate, so whether you attached a press release or communicate the body of information within an email, the content will be the same.

HOW DO I WRITE ONE?

I go into more depth on this in the April bundle in THE COLLECTIVE, but as a basic outline, you need to consider 3 key things.

Your Content - What do you want to say with your release? What story are you telling? What is the key information? What are the facts and figures? What is the real point of interest to your ‘hook’? What does the journalist need to know in order to make a decision about pursuing a conversation with you?

Your Aims - What do you want to achieve with this press release? Perhaps it’s regional coverage or maybe it’s an interview in a women’s lifestyle magazine. There are so many different types of coverage and coverage opportunities out there that you need to be really clear on what results you want this press release to guide you to.

Your Audience - Your aims will lead you to your audience. Your target media audience is intrinsically linked with the target audience/ideal client that you want to reach with all your communication. You will be led to your target media because it is what is consumed by your target audience.

Get familiar with your target media and build up a knowledge that will help you in your writing. Get to know the language of this media and use these influences in your writing.

See it as ‘selling’ your brand and concept to a journalist.

Be objective though. What you think is interesting, may not be quote so thrilling for a journalist.

You have to be convinced that you are offering value to a journalist and that you are giving them content that their readers will find relevant and valuable.

Press releases don’t need to be scary. They don’t need to be a big hurdle to jump. Keep it simple.

Reach out if you want more info or support with yours. Also, there is a focus on press releases in THE COLLECTIVE which will also give you examples of different types of release, a template to follow and guidance in finding your key PR hooks.

Find out more about THE COLLECTIVE here.

Fiona Minett