If you are following the publicity tips from yesterday, then you are ready to develop the press release, or story.
The headline you create for these should grab the attention of the editor, but not mislead them. Keep it short, to 12 words or less. Sometimes you might need to include a sub-head to help further make your point about the uniqueness of your product or service.
The format should also be easy to read. For example, if the release has urgency, put the words “for immediate release” on it. Have the contact information for the writer to call if he or she needs more information, at the top right side of the first page.
All body text should be double-spaced. Don’t type in all caps; this is annoying and difficult to read. Don’t use a lot of bold type either. Whenever possible have quotes from a senior level person of the company, or a third party who is endorsing the product.
It is best to have the release or story presented on company letterhead; this adds credibility to your presentation. For press releases, keep it to a maximum of two pages. Unless you are providing a chart or other visual aid. Articles and stories should be limited to 5 – 8 pages with support materials like photos, graphs, or charts. Always include any references to support your claims of the products uniqueness.
In all, keep the information you write factual, not sales copy. If you reviewed your media list, consider re-writing some of the body copy, or modifying the titles to fit the publication’s target audience. Send those re-written pieces to specific publications. For example, if your product has two market applications, the “consumer” editor will want to see something that is directed to their readers. Unlike a trade publication, they would want to see a product that not only fits a consumer demand, but shows retailers how it can increase sales.
Preparing your release or story like I mentioned will get you further into an editor’s or writer’s hand than someone who types a wordy letter and includes a “sales pitch style” release with dinner tickets to get their attention.
Now you’re ready to mail these out, right? Yes, go ahead. When a reporter calls and asks for additional information or a media kit what will you send them? You don’t know? You don’t have a press kit? For those who need to know what to say, and how to prepare a press kit, watch tomorrow’s article. I’ll explain that process.