The television reporter and his videographer had just wrapped up an hour-long visit with one of our clients. As we shook hands and thanked one another, the reporter noted the value of the news release we had sent relative to their coming out for this story. “Your press release was right to the point and just what we needed,” he told us.
We’ve heard that many times through the years.
Nearly a decade in daily journalism
When it comes to media relations, it helps to have worked as a member of the news media. Nearly a decade of daily journalism experience informs how we interact with reporters and editors, including the way that we develop news releases.
Of course, a news release isn’t the be-all, end-all of media relations. Sometimes a quick email pitch or phone call is a more efficient approach, particularly when the target audience is a narrow one.
Content is king
But for casting a wider net – say, news media in central Pennsylvania – the news release remains invaluable and highly effective. The bottom line for writing press releases is whether the content is compelling and cogent. Quality is the essence, not quantity.
We were on the receiving end of many poorly executed news releases in our reporting days. Maybe we had to plow through paragraphs of copy before finding a nugget of news, or perhaps that nugget lay buried beneath layers of jargon, gasping for breath.
Press releases written the way reporters want them
Writing a good press release is art, not science. To know what reporters are looking for in a news release, it helps immensely to understand what makes a great story.
In fact, our news releases are stories, written the way reporters write stories. We are accurate, quick to the point, and sticklers for the Associated Press Stylebook (journalism’s best guide for grammar, spelling, punctuation, word usage, etc.).
Of course, the ultimate aim of a news release is to generate positive news coverage for our clients. An added bonus is that news releases also can provide a regular source of relevant content for a client’s blog or website, which is essential for drawing new readers and search engines.