Meera Majithia, Director of PR and Communications Agency Media TwentyFour graduated from DMU with a MA in Journalism in 2010 and was awarded a place on our Enterprise Inc. project in 2013. Enterprise Inc. provided Meera with a cash bursary and start-up support to help her launch her business. In this guest blog post, Meera shares her 5 top tips for writing a press release!
Both Zeenat and I are ex-journalists, which means we know what sort of things to include and possibly avoid, when writing a press release. We’ve received many great (and not so great) releases in our inboxes over the years, and have also written a fair few in our time too (we like to think ours are all amazing of course).
While there’s really no substitute for hiring a professional PR person, we understand that some of you may not have the time or resources to invest in getting professional help. The fact remains, one of the most common things we get asked is ‘how do you write a press release?’.
So, here’s presenting Media TwentyFour’s five top tips for writing a press release:
1) Find your angle: There has to be some sort of hook or news angle to your story, or else the media will just not be interested. They are inundated with press releases every day, so when sending yours across, think ‘would this be something I would want to read in a newspaper or magazine?’.
2) Get quoting: Journalists will always need a quote for their story, so try and get a relevant person from your company to provide one in advance. This helps save time for both you and the journalist. They may request an additional quote, or they may simply run the story with the one you’ve already provided.
3) Include a telephone number: A journalist might read your release and be interested, but what if the only contact details included are your email address and you forget to check your inbox? Chances are the journalist will have moved on to someone else. Make sure you include your telephone number (preferably mobile) so even if they can’t get through to you, they can at least leave you a message, meaning you can get back to them straight away.
4) Be personal: Don’t be afraid to ring up the newsdesk before you send your press release to get the contact name of the person you should be sending it to. Regardless of whether it’s radio, television, or print, an email outlined ‘Dear Tom’, is always nicer than ‘To whom it may concern’.
5) Picture perfect: This one applies to print publications but can be a bit of a deal breaker if not included. If a story has a picture, there’s more chance of it being made into a bigger feature, as oppose to being listed in the ‘news in brief’ section. Send across at least one high resolution image with your press release, with another two to three ready to send if requested. It will make all the difference.