Writing a media release is like making a tasty dish – there is a recipe to follow and you have to have all the best and right ingredients for it to work well.
The best ones are born from tried and tested skills and experience of what a journalist is looking for.
All require flair and creativity as well as acute attention to detail.
More than 100 media releases pop into the inbox of a journalist on a regional daily newspaper per hour at peak times, more for those on national dailies and in TV and radio.
Your media release and story has to be attention grabbing and professionally put together. Journalists react well to having all they need at their finger tips, provided by someone who they know has a good working knowledge of their profession.
We advocate employing a professional to ensure you get your story covered and the right results are achieved. But if you feel you would like to go it alone, then here are some free tips to be going on with.
Here are some of the basic things to include:
Using plain English is vital – be clear, be concise and be accurate.
Don’t send reams of information.
Have a clear or bold and quirky header to ensure it is easy to understand and to grab attention from the start. Make sure it tells or relates to the story and keep it to a few key words.
The introductory paragraph needs to give a taster of the story and include the key aspects such as who, what and when. This is the single most important paragraph and it must be clear and concise. More experienced writers will be able to do more with the words to grab even greater attention. People are too busy to read waffle and a badly written release will be ditched if the header/first paragraph isn’t appealing.
Ensure more detail is in the second paragraph.
Include a relevant quote.
Include contact details at the end of the quote and ensure someone is available and happy to do interviews once the release has been issued.
Send the release with a good quality, well-posed and framed press photograph.
Always check spelling and grammar.
Avoid industry jargon – if your Mum wouldn’t understand it, a journalist won’t either. Explain and simplify all.
Don’t over-do capital letters, or use them incorrectly, and get over excited with exclamation marks – using these is viewed as having sloppy writing skills and both are hated by journalists.