What Does the Media Look for in a Press Release?<
Writing a press release isn’t a “one and done” thing. PR agents and business owners go through endless drafts and revisions before coming to terms with “the one”. All that hard work, and what do people expect? Pick-ups, attention, an in increase sales, etc. The information that businesses convey in their releases are newsworthy to them, but are they newsworthy enough for the media?
What if there’s missing content? A missing link, or even a lack of media content, would a journalist or blogger be willing enough to use the given content? What if that deters them from writing about the release?
In this blog post, we will go over the needs and wants the media looks for in order to cover your release. Before sending out your next release, keep the media in mind. Think about what journalists, bloggers, or influencers are looking for in your story and try creating a release that best suits their needs and yours.
“Extra! Extra!” Your Headlines Matter:
Everyone is busy constantly trying to find the next best story. The way your headline and subheadlines are written greatly impacts whether or not your story gets picked-up.
It’s difficult to write a headline that is informative, captivating, but does not give too much away. Time, practice, trial and error are all factors in getting copywriting headlines down. The media takes a quick glance at a headline and subheadline to understand what the story is about and if it’s worth writing. If they have determined they want to write about your release, they will continue reading for more information. But, without a powerful headline and subheadline, the possibility of the release being picked-up would have been slim.
The 5 W’s are a MUST:
In school, when a professor assigns a term paper, wouldn’t you like to know what the subject is about? How long it should be? What information you need in order to correctly write the paper? Yes. The same goes with the media. In order for them to determine whether or not your release/story is worthy enough to write about, they will need additional information. Hence, where the 5 W’s come in: Who, What, When, Where, Why.
The information given in the release should be enough for a journalist, blogger, or any other media contact to use and create a story. They should be able to fully understand the reason for announcing your news and convey that to an audience, with or without contacting you.
The 5 W’s are:
- Who: What’s your company’s full name, including any Co., Ltd., or an LLC?
- What: Is it a product? Is it a trade show? What industry is it for?
- Where: What is the location, both physically and online of your company or where the news is happening?
- When: The time and date that this event or piece of news takes place.
- Why: What is the reason for this event or news? Why is it happening?
Got Supporting Information?:
If the media has any further questions regarding your release, how do you expect them to find that information?
Inserting supporting links to your company website, social media accounts, or FAQs page, will help answer their questions. Make their job easier. You have the opportunity for a journalist, blogger, or influencer to get the right information straight from the source: YOU. Don’t miss out. Give them everything they would need without having to contact your business directly. Be as informative as you can by linking additional information in your release, without going overboard.
Where’s Your Contact Information:
If there is a specific question a media contact may have, or if they need to get in contact with you in general, someone’s contact information should be displayed at the end of the release. Usually, the contact person displayed is a company’s PR agent, marketing director, or a business owner.
It is important to include a person of contact (POC) for the media. If a producer reads your release and would like to do a segment on your business, he/she must be able to contact you to schedule the interview for the segment. Without a POC in your release, you might miss out on a media opportunity.
This list of what a journalist wants and needs to write their article may seem simple but they are essential elements. They must be included in your press release if you want your news to get covered. Write a good press release and make it as easy as possible for the journalist to write their article.