They say if you have a good story to tell in your press release that it will be published. That’s a quaint thought but in the highly busy 21st century, where some editors are responsible for three publications at a time, the reality can be quite different.
Of course, no press release should be issued if the content is not worth sharing. That should go without saying but any editor will tell you that they still receive bucketloads of PR material that is either not relevant or simply unusable.
Here at Changeworks we believe solidly in the basic premise that a story has to be worth telling for it to be offered to the press. And yet there are still occasions when a good story is sent out and hardly gets any coverage while you might see a story appear that, in your opinion, is much less interesting by comparison. So why is that?
Put simply, you need to make it as easy as possible for a journalist to use your release. Journalists are not lazy, of course, but they are exceedingly busy and if they have two stories in front of them and one space to fill, time dictates that they will go with the one that requires less work to knock it into shape.
Many great stories lose out because they have their most interesting points buried in the third or fourth paragraph but the editor is always thinking like the reader: if a story doesn’t grab you by the headline and the intro then move on to the next one. The single biggest mistake that some people make when preparing material for the press is that whoever is reading it will spend time going through it to find that golden nugget of news 300 words into the piece.
The other key point to remember is to keep the language simple. Of course, technical publications and websites want technical content but in terms of the main text you should not be using your thesaurus to find alternative words to the ones you would normally use. So don’t use “imbibe” when you mean “drink”, don’t use “observed” when you mean “saw”, don’t use “purchase” when you mean “buy”, don’t say “footwear” when you mean “shoes” and so on.
If you choose to use bigger words to impress you will almost certainly have the opposite effect and your hard work will come to nothing. As with many things in life, keep your press releases simple and you stand a much greater chance of seeing them appear in print – which really is the whole point of sending them out.
To learn more about press releases, contact Changeworks through this link or call 01785 247588