Top Tips to Give Your Press Releases a Spring Cleaning
By Robyn M. Sachs
President, RMR & Associates, Inc.
Even with the Coronavirus, spring is a time of renewal, and that inevitable drive to clean and refresh. However, spring cleaning isn’t just for closets and rooms around the house. Your business needs it, too – and your outward-facing communications vehicles are a great place to start. Here are a few tried-and-true tips to get your organization’s press releases into top shape this season:
1. Commit to a strategy.
In a press release, focus, approach, and the logical presentation of information isn’t just preferable – it’s crucial to ensure you catch the attention of the editorial teams who are being inundated from all angles with other news at the same time. Additionally, your piece should focus on answering the questions “What’s in it for me?” and “Why should I care?” that Reporters will inevitably be asking. The sheer volume of information and spam that we have to filter through on a daily, even hourly, basis requires a strict emphasis on providing concise, focused data to communicate clearly and prevent the reader from simply scrolling to the next story. Remember that your press release is always just one click away from oblivion.
2. Use a catchy headline.
Your press release’s headline is the first glimpse your reader will have of your news. Now more than ever, press releases are sent directly to Reporters’ email inboxes, and creating a dynamic, snappy headline that will catch their attention from the get-go is a key element to encouraging them to open and read your news. Make it concise and choose your words carefully to bring the greatest impact.
3. Present information dynamically and focus on the relevance.
Think about what you’d be most interested in reading – a long block of text, or dynamic ‘sound bytes’ of information, bulleted out to catch your eye? In a press release, time is of the essence because of the constant competition for Reporters’ attention. Make sure your main points are not just clear to read but boldly presented and targeted to your reader – and present the impacts to them clearly, upfront, so they aren’t left to try to figure that out on their own, causing frustration and confusion.
4. Do what it takes to stand out.
The most impactful press releases put the information first, tone down the hyperbole, and leverage facts, data points, and concise language to make your argument without going ‘overboard.’ Remember reporters are deluged with information throughout the day, and much of their job becomes sifting through the content to determine what is most important to focus on. Keep your language clear and message concise so they know exactly what you’re saying and why it matters to them.
5. Use your quotations wisely.
Quotations in the body of a press release are a great way to expand on the information you are presenting, while giving it an even more relatable, human spin. A quote is also an opportunity to introduce or familiarize the media with your client leadership, and showcase their thoughts and expertise outside of the confines of the factual news in the rest of the press release.
Whatever your topic, taking the time to focus your press release to convey your message clearly, concisely, and in a targeted manner that will appeal to your key audiences is a sure-fire way to ensure it generates maximum results.