How to Guarantee Your Press Release Gets Coverage
Updated February 2024 – Do you ever wonder why no one is picking up your press release? It may not be that big of a mystery. While news about your company may be exciting, the positioning, messaging and real newsworthiness is very important to the media. Media is looking for a new perspective, innovation, and something readable. While the traditional uses of a press release have changed, I don’t think I can boldly claim that the press release is dead just yet. Press releases nowadays serve as key resources for media, so when you’re crafting your announcement remember that it’s not just about your internal excitement, but put it up against what’s happening “out there”. Based on our experience in the public relations industry, we at The Silver Telegram decided to share 5 ways to guarantee your press release gets coverage.
Make crafty headlines…lots of them– A headline is the bait to the rest of your press release, while we all know Buzzfeed sucks you into the abyss of nonsense, their headlines are strong clickbait. You can take an amazing cue from their system. Create at least 8-10 headlines that will get your story across in different ways based on the content of your press release. You probably won’t have 8 winners but 1-3 may shine through as the best of the best.
Have something newsworthy to share – It’s unfortunate to have to explain this but offering a new product color or that you are attending a tradeshow does not classify as news. Even a company or website launch does not warrant as news if there is nothing special about it, to the larger group (not just to you). Make sure you have something newsworthy to share when you put out press releases. Quantity is annoying and quality is appreciated. Highlight the most important facts of the announcement in your first paragraph and state why it is newsworthy, it may not be obvious to everyone.
Include the facts…just the facts – As mentioned earlier, press releases are more and more becoming used as fact sheets and milestones for companies. So fluffy marketing phrases do not belong in press releases. This is one major area where PR and marketing differ. Use your press release to state facts rather than opinions. 3rd party opinions are definitely respected, so inclusion of those helps validate the relevancy of your announcement. Make sure you include all your main facts, provide quotes from your executive team as a resource and always have a contact listed for further comment/questions.
Be timely– It’s probably not the right time to talk about Christmas in Spring. Make sure that your news isn’t something seasonal. If it is, make sure the seasons match. It’s smart timing to launch new school supplies in summer before school starts in August. However, you may want to consider your target market. If you’re thinking about reaching out to print media and magazines, you should be thinking 4-6 months ahead to meet their editorial deadlines.
Researched media outreach – Over the years, I have done pretty much every PR strategy known to man. Spray and pray – which is sending your news to everyone; Offering Exclusives – minimum coverage, maximum impact; Embargoed Press Releases – Offering a preview to media before the actual date to secure interviews and and my personal favorite Targeted Media Outreach – creating a select group of 15-20 media to target for coverage that is best-suited for the PR. Every strategy has its benefits and downfalls, but there is no replacement for personalized media outreach. Research where your PR makes the most sense and target media accordingly. You may not get 500 hits, but the ones you will get will most likely be more rewarding and impactful based on your strategic goals.
I would love to say that’s PR in a nutshell, but it’s a fairly large nut to crack, just as it is difficult to guarantee your press release gets coverage. Understanding the media to make sure they want your news is a whole different topic that will be covered in an upcoming blog. As always if you have any questions about PR or press releases, contact us for a free consultation. You may also find our article with 5 tips to write an effective press release useful as well!