You’ll find lots of information to help you write a press release, referring to the headline, content and editor’s notes required. But rarely do they tell you why you’re bothering to write a press release – where has this infamous document come from and why is it useful?
We have a proven media relations process at Rev. Our publicists follow this process to ensure our clients’ news is shared with their preferred media, at the appropriate time, giving it the best possibility of resulting in coverage. So, where does the press release fit in this process?
Chicken and egg
How can you write a press release if you don’t know whether your news is wanted by the media? How can you tell if your news is wanted by the media if you don’t write a press release? Do you write the release before you pitch the angles, or do you wait until you know that a story is wanted?
The risk of losing momentum
If you’ve pitched a news item to a journalist and they want more details sent to them, you risk losing the momentum you have built by then writing a press release and waiting for its contents to be approved – possibly by more than one person in your business with a busy life). Drafting a pitch and press release with all components approved prior to pitching means you are primed and ready to respond to a request for more information.
Tailoring the press release
When your pitching is successful, you can then edit the focus of your draft press release to fit that journalist’s need – a specific word count is a common request. And, if you want to get extra brownie points, write the press release in the style of articles previously published by that journalist.
What about broadcast media?
When a press release is words on a paper, why would you create one for broadcast media? After pitching, the team planning a radio or TV show will need full details to take the story to their planning meetings. A press release will remind them of the flow of the story and how it could fit into their programme. And don’t forget, most broadcast media have comprehensive websites sharing news to be aired that day or the news that they weren’t able to give air time.
If we’ve managed to convince you to create a press release for your next media relations campaign, then please keep an eye out for our blogs to follow on how to pitch effectively to the media. Or you can follow us on Instagram and Twitter.