What makes a press release more compelling and attractive to journalists?
In part 2 of our blog series covering our recent survey of journalists’ opinions about press releases, we go beyond the logistics of when and how to share releases. In this blog, we will share our top 3 tips on how we turn press releases into compelling and attractive stories that get picked up by the media. Continue reading and discover what we can do to increase coverage of your company’s story!
1. Compelling headline
One of the most important aspects of a press release is the headline. It’s the first thing the journalist sees. Therefore, the headline must instantly convince the reader to open and read the release. Always keep in mind that a journalist on average receives more than a 100 press releases per day.
Over 70% of our respondents indicate they are likely or very likely to base their decision on reading an incoming press release on the subject line of the email. Additionally, more than 90% of the respondents find it essential that the name of the issuing company is included in the title of the press release.
Thus, we pay close attention to the headline, email subject line, and include of the company name in the headline. These are substantial factors to persuade journalists or editors into reading press releases. It gives them an immediate indication of how interesting or relevant the article is to them and their publication.
2. Engaging content
The content of a press release needs to be appealing and convince the journalist that it’s newsworthy. Now here comes the tricky part: how much detail needs to be included? It is important to get the full story out there, but it’s not favorable if the release is too long because…no one will read it.
According to our survey, the shorter the press release, the better. Remember that journalists can get a 100 or more press releases in their inbox per day! About 60% of our respondents prefer press releases that are shorter than 1,000 words. So it’s important to be as concise as possible while at the same time covering the most important aspects of the story. A reference journalists can contact for more information or for an exclusive interview can also be included.
3. Up-front summary
The inclusion of a brief summary of the content of the press release at the top of the email and at the beginning of the article can capture the journalists’ attention. This summary gives them a quick insight into the essence of the article. It can help draw them in, according to more than 80% of respondents. The summary can also suggest why the topic is important for journalists to cover.
Additionally, many of our correspondents also mentioned they like companies that reach out to them in advance with an opportunity to be briefed under embargo. A carefully worded summary can help attract journalists to those briefings as well. Plus, journalists are always looking for exclusive content, even if they only get a few days’ jump on their competitors.
Now that we have disclosed our top 3 tips of how to write a compelling press release, we will wrap this blog up with 2 additional questions and answers.
4. What kind of topics are most interesting?
According to our PR survey, product launches were the top choice with a score of 6.14 on a scale of 7. In second and third place come press releases on event news and customer stories or testimonials, with scores of 4.58 and 4.38, respectively. Of slightly less interest are corporate news, news about new partnerships and distributors, and financial statements.
At duomedia, we recommend that our clients send out press releases on product launches and event news. We also see the added value in sending customer stories to journalists, and encourage our clients to push those out as well.
5. Should quotes be included?
Absolutely! In fact, more than 65% of respondents said a quote is an essential element of a press release. We strongly believe quotes give releases more authenticity, and our survey participants agree.
6. The bottom line
A press release will attract the most attention of the journalist when it
- contains a convincing headline
- has compelling content and convinces the journalist that the story is newsworthy
- includes a brief summary that covers the essence of the press release
At duomedia, we are happy to share our industry knowledge and expertise in order to help you make your press releases as compelling and convincing as possible. Are you curious about the results of our PR survey? Download the full report here for free. You are only a few clicks away to uncover the important insights of PR!
Want to see the other parts?
- In part 1, we looked at methods, best days and times for distribution, and preferred formats.
- In part 2, we discussed how we make the content of press releases more compelling.
- In part 3, we covered the value of visuals in press releases.
- In part 4, we took a look at the importance and added value of advertisements.