By Rachel Syfargo
A press release is one way for public relations (PR) practitioners to create awareness for their brand. From announcing a new product or service, inviting customers to an event to sharing the news on everything from advocacies to executive appointments, press releases can be one of the most versatile tools in our PR arsenal.
But with editors getting dozens of press releases every day, how can you increase your chances of being published? What do editors look for in a press release? Read on to find out the 5 things you should avoid and increase the chances of your press release making it on to the page!
Don’t forget your audience. Always remember that your press release has a target. Who are you talking to? This should be crystal-clear in your mind when you develop your press release. Next, identify which channels you should send your press release to. Do your research and only share your PR to media channels, publications and sections that cover the beat you are interested in and that are read by your specific audience.
Don’t ramble. With media having limited time, it’s important to lead with the most important details of your story. Like in news writing, answer the 5Ws – Who, What, When, Where and most importantly, Why within the first few paragraphs of your story; otherwise, you may lose your audience. Avoid fluff like using three adjectives when one would suffice; likewise, be careful when you use superlatives unless you can back it up with data or research from a reputable source. Keep your writing tight.
Don’t forget photos and quotes. Studies show that stories with images are more likely to catch people’s attention so don’t forget to add a few photos. Meanwhile, quotes can help provide more personality and color to stories; for example, if you are writing about a show, get a quote from a cast member.
Don’t get too technical. PR practitioners are often asked to become experts in the field or industry that their products play in; but that can sometimes mean that you include technical terms without knowing it. Be on the lookout for industry jargon, slang and acronyms, and if it’s absolutely necessary to include technical terms, be sure to find away to laymanize it so readers can understand.
Don’t forget to include your contact information and website. Press Releases are a great way to introduce your company and brand and if you’ve written a great press release, the media may want to know more. Make it easy for them to get the info they need by including a media contact in your press release. But make sure the assigned media contact is equipped to handle media queries and requests. Leave it with the professional before you end dealing with negative publicity due only to poor media handling. Media are also doing more and more of their research online so don’t forget to add brand’s or organization’s website and social media accounts.
Rachel Syfargo is the Brand Communications and Operations Director of ComCo Southeast Asia, with over 14 years of experience in Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing.
ComCo Southeast Asia is a fast-rising and award-winning communications agency powered by the coalition of premier brand architects and communication trailblazers in the region. Based in the Philippines and dedicated to the Southeast Asia market, ComCo SEA takes the lead in the innovation of premier brands and growth of emerging businesses through the new disciplines of New PR, a strategy based, content driven and channel agnostic way of doing PR, and Smart Social, a holistic and integrated approach in the maximization of digital and social channels, to effectively reach and engage audiences and help influence change.