For the last 10 years, PR and other sympathetic people from the media industry have been burying press releases together. They say the press release is dead and now give all the media unique information.
But there are cases when a company’s press release is simply necessary – for example, when you have a PJSC and you need to inform the public about the financial results of the company or to report on changes in the top management.
Or when the welfare of the whole city depends on the activities of your organization (for example, you are responsible for electricity, water or heat supply), and an accident has occurred on the line. Or when you organize a major event and want to invite as many people as possible to it.
In all of these cases, a type of press release is vital. But, despite the fact that the press release is the most basic PR-text, from journalists with suspicious frequency receive complaints that professional (like) public relations workers are not able to write releases. We decided to write a small text with recommendations on how to make the release as convenient as possible for a journalist.
Stick to the rules of the inverted pyramid
The rule of the “inverted pyramid” emerged in the heyday of the print media in America.
Then journalists invented a very convenient system of news writing that would reduce the time spent on editing: the main information of the news is contained in the first paragraph (leader), and then paragraphs contain details of the news in descending order of importance. This structure of the text allowed for the lack of space on the page without having to cut off the paragraphs from the very last one.
Later, PR workers also learned about this rule, and in order to increase the chances of their news to get into the newspaper, began to write press releases under the rule of “inverted pyramid”.
The most important thing to remember here is that the first paragraph should contain all the key information about the event. Very briefly, this information can be placed in the 5W1H formula: what, who, where, when, why, how, i.e. the leader should have answers to the questions “what happened?”, “who participated/organized?”, “where did/will happen the event?”, “when did the event happen?”, “why did it happen?” and “how did it happen?
Remember – the lead should be news by itself. It is not necessary to put all the information in one sentence, but it is advisable to place a couple of sentences with answers to key questions in one short paragraph.
Choose an informative title
Some companies still prefer to send press releases without headlines (or with a headline “Press Release”). This makes it very difficult for a journalist who receives several dozen, if not hundreds, of letters a day. If a journalist is interested in the headline, he or she will read the lead, and if he or she is interested in the lead, he or she will read the news to the end.
There are three basic approaches to news headlines.
The first approach is that you simply squeeze the main idea of the press release into the headline. For example, “Company N did something” or “CEO of Company N said something”.
The second approach is to imagine how it would look in the media in the form of news, i.e. cling to an interesting and socially significant detail.
For example: “On June 17, there may be interruptions in hot water supply in the X, Y and Z districts” or “Due to the X event, the streets in the city center will be closed down”.
The third approach is to put an interesting quotation of your company’s speaker in the headline, who comments on the news. For example, “Ivan Ivanov, CEO of N: “The situation with X is a situation of competitors” or “Ivan Ivanov, N: “Employees who made a mistake have already been fired. All three types of headlines can be informative and interesting, but in each case it is necessary to choose the most appropriate strategy.
Rule #3: Quote an Expert Advisor
The quote brings the news to life very well and allows you to write in it what is impossible to write in the official text of the news. But there are also a few rules.
Firstly, the quote should be from a competent person in the matter and/or a high-ranking official in the organization. By the way, it doesn’t have to be the CEO at all.
For example, a technical director can comment on the security of Internet users, who will explain why your service is so hard to crack, and comment on the news about new opportunities for internship in your company can HR-director. Please visit website redesign for more info.