Media releases are an important piece of your publicity strategy. A media release gives journalists a valuable story to report to their audience that is very unique and intersting to their audience. If you make it relevant and well-written, you are more likely get free publicity.
I have summarised the most important key factors that you need to contemplate when preparing your media release. Remember, you need to plan it well to give you every chance that it will capture journalists’ attention quicly.
The Killer Media Headline
The headline at the top of your media release needs to be compelling so that it makes the reader take notice. News agencies may sift through hundreds of media releases per day. You may be posting yours on a listing site. If it stands out from the rest, it has a better chance of being picked up.
An example of a good headline for a new product launch might be: “Unlikely Business Duo Slashes Consumers’ Power Bills.”
It’s just short enough to tell you clearly what the news is about, yet it should spark curiosity to prompt the journalist to read what your story is all about. What is the product or service and how does it help customers? How does it save money? Journalist reporting on local news, consumer news, or business news, will usually want this information when writing a story.
An Perfect Introduction
The introduction summarizes what the media release is all about. It should answer the what, when, who, where, why, and how of the news you’re conveying. The most important information should come first, and like the headline, it should be short and impactful. All the crucial information should be included here.
The Fast Summary
Journalists are almost always short on time. The first paragraph of your media release should give the reader everything they need to know so they can scan read it and get the gist of the story. The rest of the body of the media release can fill in the details. You might expand on the points covered in the introductory paragraph, adding any extra information a news reporter might want to know.
A Supporting Quote
Media releases are informative, but you should also include a quotation from a figure that is central to your story. Make sure the quote in your media release supports your story and is relevant to the point that you want to make. In the example above, it might be the Unliklely Business Duo’s founders that say “we are on a crusade to hold electricity companies to account and make them beg for consumers’ business”. Journalists may use this specific quote to use in the story. This will usually save the journalist time getting their own quote, which is a real time saver. Remember, you have to make it as easy as possible for the journalist.
Other Important Info to Include
In addition to the important information above, you should also add whatever background might be helpful in reporting your story. This might include the origin of the idea, any related future implications, or other new developments that are relevant. Don’t just add facts and tidbits for the sake of it. Everything should be closely related to the story. If there are any relevant numbers or statistics, add these to the end of your media release as well.
Finally, make sure you have clear contact information that includes links to your website and social media profiles. The journalist may want to contact you for more information. Make sure someone is there to field their questions.
You can practice writing media releases as much as you can and get training in it if necessary. It’s possibly your most important tool when it comes to publicizing your business.
If you want to know more about media releases, then ckeck out my online publicity course that I am realeasing in September 2020, PUBLICITY POWER, I am offering a complementary guide to get you started with your own DIY publicity.
Joanne Rahn is CEO and co-founder of Zanthii Communications, a public relations company based in Australia. Jo’s has generated hundreds of millions of dollars of free publicity for her national and international clients, on TV, radio and leading online publications.