No PR campaign is complete without a well-written media release. Don’t panic – even if writing isn’t your thing, it doesn’t need to be a difficult or time-consuming endeavour. Here’s some simple advice to use when writing your next release.
Okay so you’ve done your homework. You know what you want to achieve and who you want to target, you’ve got some great photography to give to the media, you’ve set aside some media samples, your website is up to date and you have someone willing to speak to the media (most likely you). You’ve even got your media list ready to go.
The next step is writing a good media release. Don’t panic! It’s not as hard as you might think. There are a few things you need to include:
1. What’s your angle? The best way to think about this is in terms of the benefit to the end user. What problem does it solve? Does your product or service save people time or money? Does it reduce guilt or inspire confidence? Does it improve body image or facilitate growth and learning? Determine the angle you’d like to pitch first off.
2. Write the words “For Immediate Release July 2012” (or current date) in bold at the top of your release. Insert the image you are going to lead with. This will either be an image of your amazing product or service or a lifestyle shot relevant to it.
3. Write a killer headline. It needs to stand out from the sea of releases that flow through a journo’s inbox every day. It should be clear, clever and enticing enough to make the journalist read your first paragraph.
Here are a few we’ve gone out with:
- Well Hung! (A release for a picture framer about the best way to hang art in the home)
- Aussie mum creating champagne means on a beer budget (A release for www.120dollarsfoodchallenge.com)
- New jeans save flesh and blood! (A release for jeans lined with Kevlar and Vectran)
- Carry your own interior designer in your handbag! (A release about an interior designer’s Ideas Book)
- Tantrums lead to new business for clever Aussie dad. (A release about a dad’s visor invention, designed to keep shampoo out of kids’ eyes.)
Sometimes the headline will come to you after you’ve written the body of the release so don’t stress if you can’t think of one straight away.
3. Get to the point in your first paragraph. This is the make or break section. If you ramble you’ll lose the attention of the journalist and they won’t bother reading the rest of the release.
4. Use the next two or three paragraphs to cover off the other important points.
5. Include a quote by someone relevant. It could be about why the business or product was established, or about the consumer response to it so far, or even a quote from an independent person.
- “Hair washing was always a drama in my house,” says inventor, Rod Cassar of his product Drieyes “and I detested that this part of the day was supposed to relax our kids. Instead it would constantly end up in tears and a lot of frustration for all of us. That problem has now gone.”
6. Bold the product/service/business name throughout the release.
7. Include where people can buy it and how much it costs and any other details such as different colours available at the end of the release.
8. At the end of the release write the words COPY ENDS on a new line.
9. Then write your contact details for the media. Something like this: For further media information, to request a sample, interview or images please contact:
- Your name.
- Your email address.
- Your phone numbers (try to include landline and mobile).
10. Make sure you use lo-res images in your email so you do not clog up your journalist’s inbox with big files.