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.
We work as strategic partners with clients, learning about their business, creating a PR plan and develop key messages. If there is a product or service involved, our job is to create and build awareness. If there is the possibility of something bad happening, we work with clients to mitigate the damage. This doesn’t mean we try to whitewash a problem, rather we help them to find ways to respond in the best way.
I have been fortunate to work with Expert Beacon for a while and provide the website with informative articles from many of my clients. Recently, I was asked to write one for myself on a subject near and dear to my heart -- public relations. The format provides a list of do's and don'ts. And while relatively simple, it's a good starting point for those who have never considered publicizing their company. Click here to read more.
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.