Every day, reporters are bombarded with press releases. Some are immediately deleted, others may end up in a reporter’s “tickler file” for future reference, and some are acted upon right away.
Because reporters are busy, one way to get them to follow up on your press release is to do their job for them. Press releases should be written with not just the reporter in mind, but also the reporter’s audience.
Many of the press releases I write often end up being published without being edited on various news websites, so when feasible I write them in a way that tells a story.
For example: When John Smith needed to take time off from his job to recover from surgery for a hernia, he was worried about how he would keep up with mounting bills. He heard about ABC nonprofit through his local church and contacted them. After going through the interview process, Smith received a $5,000 interest-free loan, which allowed him to focus on his recovery.
It reads like the lead to a story and makes it easier for a news outlet to publish as is, or for a reporter to pick up the ball and run with it from there. I am not saying every news outlet will use your exact lead, or even publish the release in full, but it does give them a good idea of how they might approach your story.
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.