The objective of a press release is to gain the attention of the public. And journalists are the primary target audience as they serve as agents to reach the masses. As a result, the topic must be editorially important to gain news coverage.
- A press release provides detailed information about an organization, event, or campaign
- You should define the people you intend to reach as well as your target audiences in the media and general public.
- You need to know the reason for the editorial and what is the focal point
The goal of a press release
A nonprofit organization can leverage a press release to create awareness about a fundraising event, community outreach program, or service. Hence, the goal is to pique the curiosity of media professionals. This in turn prompts news houses to investigate the subject and do a report on it. Also, obtaining editorial coverage is one great way to positively influence the perception of the public about your organization. To achieve this, a press release must address two target audiences. Firstly, it must gain the attention of journalists who are the primary target. Secondly, it must attract media consumers.
How to write a press release
A press release provides highly detailed information about an organization, event, or campaign. As a result, the content must be newsworthy. In this article, we will provide an effective guide to writing a press release.
1. Define your reason
Before writing a press release, you need to know the reason for the editorial and what is the focal point. Also, you should define the people you intend to reach as well as your target audiences in the media and general public.
2. Develop a structure
A press release has its defined structure regardless of the subject matter. This includes a headline or caption, a teaser, a lead or first paragraph, more content, and press contact. Only press releases with identifiable news value and thus additional value for the target audience gain the attention of the media. Not to mention, journalists choose topics for editorial reporting based on “news values.”
3. Use the five wh-questions
After the headline, the most significant component of a press release is the first paragraph. It is also known as the lead or teaser. Clearly outline the message’s main points. To do this, provide answers to the most important Wh-questions (who, what, when, where, how, and why).
The introduction must immediately deliver the essential idea to readers in a clear manner. This is one great way to pique their interest and spur readers to learn more. The ideal length is between 3 and 5 phrases.
4. Write concise statements
Keep your communication neutral and as brief as can be. Likewise, avoid the use of jargon, acronyms, and language that others outside your sector may not understand. Remember, your readers have limited time. Hence, your topic must be easy to understand. For comprehensible language, use verbs instead of nouns and noun phrases. Also, avoid borrowed words and technical terms.
5. Use infographics or images
Multimedia formats are more likely to be noticed than plain text. Also, press releases that include them have a far higher reach. Multimedia content tends to grab even more attention. Hence, you should incorporate photographs, videos, audio, and infographics in your press release. However, be sure to confirm that your content adheres to journalistic standards.
6. Consider timing
According to statistics, most news releases are distributed between Tuesday and Thursday. This is because many editorial offices are preoccupied with organizational concerns on Mondays, and they may already be halfway through the weekend on Fridays. Concerning the timing, there is no optimum moment. Although, it is rather preferable to send out press releases early (around 8 a.m.).
Also, special dates, such as important events, or even holiday periods, must be considered, as these can influence editorial offices’ engagement.
7. Share and distribute
It is critical that your press release is simple to distribute and that people desire to distribute it. Be sure to include your social media accounts in your contact information so that readers may easily find and follow your organization. It is also critical that your press release is smartphone friendly.
Organizations can use press releases to create, improve, or change their public image. If your organization recently had an extraordinarily successful fundraising event or service initiative, a press release is the perfect way to publicize it! It is also one great way to strengthen relationships between organizations and stakeholders.
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