I’ve learned one important thing about press releases. A great press release is not something that prompts a journalist to write an article; rather, a great press release is published as an article. While that may be an abstraction outside of the most time-strapped of reporters, many times the better your press release, the more of it ends up verbatim in the resulting article.
So stop writing press releases, and start writing news stories. Not sure how to start? Let’s role-play a bit.
You are the reporter, and you are writing an article, because that’s your job. What is it about this random company, blog, or event that makes for a great news piece?
What’s the story, the hook, the angle? How can this piece advance your career as a journalist? Why in the world would anyone other than the attention-seeking schlep possibly care?
If you can’t figure those things out, don’t write the article, and don’t send the release. It’s that simple, because an actual reporter will cast an even more jaundiced eye at your pitch.
It’s the New Style
So what’s new with press releases? Well, the modern press release is different because it actually does get published as is. In other words, thanks to online PR services, your press release automatically becomes web content, which means it has a shot at automatically becoming news.
For example, let’s look at the PRWeb Direct service. For a measly $119 you get inclusion in Google News, Yahoo News and MSN News, a page one link on the PRWeb home page, targeted pay per click ads, and RSS distribution. And, oh yeah, journalists get to see it too.
Fantastic, right? No more jaundiced-eyed reporters standing in between you and loads of sweet publicity? Well, perhaps, but now you’re facing another tough crowd.