Press releases – the most common staple in any great PR toolkit.
If you’re a startup or new business in Israel looking to maximise your PR and gain great media traction for your company locally or internationally – perfecting the art of writing a press release is a necessity.
Throughout my career I have seen remarkably sloppy press releases and extremely well-executed ones. And yes, it is absolutely true – the quality of your press release can make or break whether a journalist takes even five minutes to read it before considering giving it coverage.
But the art of perfecting a press release is actually relatively simple. In my experience, companies tend to over-complicate the process and sadly miss out on great media pick-up simply because they haven’t taken the time to learn how to write a release properly.
Today I’m sharing my top four tips to perfecting a press release. These are tips any company can employ (whether you have written a press release before, or not!) to catch the media’s attention quickly:
- Simple, simple, simple.
It can be tempting to put all the ideas and key points you ever wanted the media to know about your company into one press release. But the most important tip I can give you is to keep your copy and your press release super simple. Avoid business or industry jargon that the everyday layperson reading your release may not understand – and try to get your message across in as few words as possible. Which brings me to my next tip…
- Aim for one page.
Sure, there are instances where it’s crucial for your press release to cover two pages – but for every client I try to refine the copy and keep the message simple and on a maximum of one page. Journalists are time-poor and don’t have the resources to sift through pages of press releases or media announcements. Give the crucial info in a simple way and as concisely as possible. If you can’t communicate what you want to say in one page – I would question whether your intent and message is clear enough.
- Focus on the headline.
Writing a great headline is crucial to getting the media’s attention. The headline is your opportunity to appeal to readers and showcase the quality of your entire press release in a few leading words. I spend significant time on the headlines I write – to give a clear summary of the message, to leave the reader wanting more and to represent the company’s look and feel through the language and tone of the words. I try to keep headlines to one line only (six to 10 words) – and I have fun with creating new ways of communicating key messages.
- Keep your paragraphs short.
One of the biggest mistakes I see with company press releases is information presented in lengthy paragraphs – not broken up into easy-to-read copy that is understandable and clear. Line breaks can be your new best friend. Remember, you are writing a press release – a media announcement – an official statement from your company to the public. You are not writing a feature article or short story – so ensure your copy is formatted into easy to read paragraphs with one thought per par.
These are four simple tips that will propel you to perfecting the press release, increasing your chances of quality media coverage. Experiment, refine, and re-work these tips until you see consistent success with pick-up from your media pitches and most importantly: have fun conveying and communicating the story of your company for the media.
Katie Clift is Director of Katie Clift Consulting Pty Ltd – International PR, All Industries.
Katie specialises in International PR for Israeli Startups in the English language, delivering media campaigns in Australia, Europe, the US & Israel. Katie is based in Greece to execute campaigns for maximum global effectiveness. Follow her at katieclift.com or @katieclift.