Height of DD Header is determined by the amount of content you have. To create a taller header, insert more content or SPACE
Back to the Basics: The Importance of a Strong Press Release
PR legend has it that Ivy Ledbetter Lee wrote the first press release in 1906. What was it? Lee responded to a Pennsylvania Railroad train-wreck that took the lives of more than 50 people. He then convinced the railroad to issue a statement about the tragedy. When the New York Times received his release on the train wreck, the newspaper printed it exactly as Lee had written it!
Fast forward more than 100 years to today, press releases serve as one of the most important tools to gain media attention for your newsworthy information. While the media is flooded with everyone wanting their news shared, journalists have a tough choice. Here are five tips to not only make the journalists’ job easier, but your reporting stronger as you write an effective press release the way Lee intended.
This is the most important step to writing a strong press release. Answer the question, “What happened?” or “What is happening?” in one line. When your press release is being distributed to different media outlets, you want your newsworthy information to be as easy to find as possible, especially for it to be featured.
Once you have released the news, explain why it matters. Readers want to know what affects their daily lives. Tell them why they should care. Sometimes explaining why the news is important will help people understand it. If your announcement would be best credited coming from an executive in your company, this is a good place to address the news’ impact through their voice with a quote.
Provide enough background and detail to provide a basic understanding for those readers unfamiliar with the subject or to jog other readers’ memories. Including past or related information will also give your news more credibility.
What is the magnitude of your news? Inform your audience about the logistical details such as how many people are affected, if the news is local or part of a larger, national event or trend and a related timeline. The scope is the best place to include concrete numbers about your news.
By now, you have covered all the important elements of your news that any journalist or reader would need to know. So, what happens next? Tell your audience where the news is leading its next development.
Strong press release writing starts with knowing the right questions to ask and answer. Do your research and know your story inside and out. These five steps will ensure you have covered the key elements to any newsworthy topic.