A Guide To Producing Press Releases
A press release is a great method to release information about your company, product, service or event to the local media and generate promotion without paying for advertising. However, always remember that a press release must be interesting and newsworthy and you need to understand your local media and make connections with journalists to improve your results. In this day and age where the media are under a lot of pressure to keep afloat, it may also be necessary to support the release with low level advertising to maximise opportunities.
What is a press release?
- Newsworthy information which is sent out to the media as a story for their publication, radio station, TV station or website.
- It is meant to be interesting for their audience and not an advertisement, so the media should run it for free.
- The media have freedom to use this information as they want and will almost never run the piece in its entirety. They can use it as a basis of another piece, or use a very cut-down version. For this reason, the most important information must be at the beginning.
- It is usual practice for international media to run press releases, but the Spanish press we have spoken to are less familiar with the practice and feel that we should pay for the advertising. It’s our job to show them why it is news rather than advertising and tell them why we believe this would be interesting to their audience.
Advice on writing a press release
Press releases are a way of informing the media of newsworthy information. Apart from informing the media, the objective of a press release is to encourage them to publish the release and so it needs to be written in a manner that is appropriate for the media’s readers, listeners or viewers.
So what is interesting news? What makes interesting news depends on the specific medium, its editorial content and format. Editors are inundated with press releases and they do not have time to study each one in depth. It is therefore important to make it easy for the editor and grab his or her attention immediately. The easier you make the editor’s life, the greater the chance of your release being published. The more relevant the style of writing, the greater the chance of it being published in full.
A recognised format for writing press releases is that they should answer the questions who, what, where, when, why and how in that order. Sometimes what was the outcome, further details or background information is added at the end.
When composing the press release, the whole story should be summarised in the opening paragraph. This way, if the story is to be printed, or read, within a limited space or time, all the important facts will be included. Each paragraph should expand the story further so that, from bottom up, the press release would make sense if each paragraph going backwards, was cut.
Shaw Marketing Services has been doing Costa del Sol PR for the last five years and has excellent relationships with the local press. We can support you with producing quality content and placing it with the right press. Please contact us for more information.