5 PR Pro Tips for Crafting a Killer Media Release
A media release is a powerful tool in a PR specialist’s bag of tricks. A truly killer media release is the key to establishing a connection with media and getting the word out to readers. Increase the likelihood of your client announcements making it to print by crafting a media release that is interesting, clear and above all else, informative. Use the following five tips to pump up the power of your next release:
1. A great headline
A great headline is the first step to capturing the attention of the media and readers. Keep in mind that editors, journalists and readers are busy people, so your release’s headline should immediately pique their interest so they’re compelled to read on. I generally aim for ten words or less and write it last, once I’ve finished drafting the release.
2. A tight intro
The essential function of a media release is to convey the who, what, where, why, and when of a happening. The more of those Ws you can articulate in the first couple sentences, the better. Of course, don’t forsake clarity to squeeze them in, but do take a “the more the merrier” approach to the opening lines of your release. Since brevity is the name of the game, aim for 50 words or less.
3. So fresh and so clean
It can be tempting to pump up a fact-based piece like a release with tons adjectives, adverbs and hype in an effort to get it published, but fight the urge; keep it to the point and easy to read. Some tips for streamlining:
- Avoid long sentences
- Keep paragraphs short
- Employ a neutral tone
- Triple check all facts
4. Include contact info
In a perfect world, every time you send a media release it would be followed by hoards of media reps calling you off the hook with follow-up questions and requests for interviews with key players related to the event/announcement. Although this is not a perfect world, pretend like it is and clearly provide your name, title, telephone number and email address in an obvious, easy-to-immediately-see place on the release. This is essential for two reasons:
a) When you call the media outlets to follow up and say your name and reason for calling, it will help jog journalists’ memories and they will be more inclined to entertain a short conversation
b) If the media does want to reach out in response to the release, they know exactly who to ask for and how to get a hold of you, mitigating any potential missed opportunities for expanded coverage
4. Be real
No matter how creative you are or how talented a writer, the release must include at least a kernel of newsworthiness. Without this, editors and journalists won’t give it a second thought. Remember: the point of a media release is to announce, explain or demystify an event or happening. If you are feeling stuck, ask yourself the following questions as a jumping-off point:
- What are the 5 Ws that make up this event/announcement?
- What is the central message that I want to convey?
- Who am I targeting with this release? What am I trying to get them to do? How do they benefit from this event/announcement?
- Why is this important to the community/how will it impact the community?
- What makes this announcement/event interesting/entertaining/useful?
5. Use awesome quotes
It’s easy to describe an event or occurrence, but awesome quotes give the reader special insight from the perspective of something they can actually relate to: an individual. Quotes from people involved with, or impacted by, the happening outlined in the release help add an element of depth and realness otherwise not easily achievable. It is preferable to work with real quotes, but if you’re in a jam you should be able to develop quotes that:
- Do not include jargon or buzzwords – both mean nothing to the average reader
- Sound real – conversational-sounding quotes are more believable and more interesting
- Are purposeful – this is your chance to really drive home the vibe of the occurrence, humanize it, and advance the story
Do you have burning questions on how to develop a media release that makes the media happy? Interkom is all about scoring major public relations wins for clients and helping solve all of your media relations challenges. Contact us today to learn more about how we can partner up for PR greatness!