Press releases go back to the beginning of time for public relations, more than 100 years. In today’s digital age, I’ve often wondered how effective they are in getting the media’s attention. I found the following infographic, What Can 50,000 Press Releases Teach Us?, that appeared in PRNews online created by pr.co of particular interest.
Some of the findings from their research, which included 50,000 press releases that appeared on their site since April 2013:
- Most press releases are published on Tuesdays
- Less than one out of five press releases are published on weekends
- 61% of readers view press releases between Monday and Thursday
No matter when you send out a news release, if you don’t write a quality news release, you will have missed an important opportunity to get your message out. Here are some tips for effective press release writing:
Keep it Simple: Journalists’ time is scarce, and they are inundated with hundreds of news releases every day. Keep it simple, tell them why your product, event, news is relevant to their readers, viewers or listeners and why they should care.
Keep it Concise: The purpose of a press release isn’t to put every single detail into one document with 10 quotes from every person imaginable. The purpose of the press release is to get the reporter’s attention so they call or email you for more information. Keep it to one page, put all of the important information at the top — who, what, where, when, why, how – followed by two to three succinct paragraphs.
Make it SEO-Enhanced: Your news release needs to be SEO-friendly. Know what search terms are popular for your topic, so you can make sure your content is viewed favorably by search engines. Visit GroundFloor Media’s blog for additional information on creating content that is SEO-ready.
Put Contact Information Up Top: Let the reporter know who to contact for more information. Include the contact’s name, best phone number to reach you and email address.
Headlines Matter: The headline is the first thing the reporter will read. Don’t make it the only thing the reporter reads by trying to be cute or mysterious. Make it compelling.
Follow Up and Build Relationships: The press release is just a tool to get a reporter’s attention. Know what the reporter covers. Follow up with the reporter (without being a pest), and if you don’t yet have relationships with key reporters in your industry, there’s no time like the present to make that happen.