Despite the rise of consumer generated contents, old-school publication tools like press release are still very useful for organizations trying to get their messages out. With well-prepared strategy and proper execution, a press release can still be used successfully as a good way to stimulate engagement.
There are several things to consider when preparing a press release as a news pitch:
- Press releases are not usually a high priority for media organizations. As a result, you need to frame your story in way that your targeted media titles would consider newsworthy. Different media have different criteria to decide whether a story is newsworthy. Observe the stories covered by your targeted media and think about how you could highlight the newsworthy elements of your story.
- Write in a clear, concise and contextual way. The journalist will thank you for making his job easier by giving him a good story that is written well. Do not confuse a press release with a management report. A press release does not need to have details that are not relevant or contextual and that the reader cannot relate to.
- Avoid promotional puffery and hyperbole. Press releases are not intended to entice hard-sell engagement for the simple reason that news media would rather have you pay for advertising space for this objective.
The bottom line is you should try to approach a press release from the perspective of a news organization. No doubt, the story that you are trying to sell is important to you. The harder part is to figure out how to make other people feel the same way about the topic.