How do you write a press release that actually gets noticed and not ignored or sent “trash” or “junk mail?” Here are some simple strategies to keep in mind.
- Consider your audience – Are you sending the release to magazine editors, book reviewers, radio program directors, or television producers? Write your press release so that it focuses on what they are interested in. What your press release audience is interested in is what their audience is interested in. For example, a radio programmer isn’t interested in promoting a book, but he or she is certainly interested in finding potential on-air guests who could be interviewed about a subject that would be interesting to their listeners. Conversely, a magazine book reviewer is specifically looking to review books he or she thinks would be of interest to their reading audience.Tailor your press releases to talk about what is going to be of the most interest to the person receiving the press release. Sending out a mass market press release to a large and diverse group of reporters and agents will make you feel good in that you can report to your boss or your client that you just sent out your press release to over 10,000 people. However, it’s better to send fewer press releases that are more specifically tailored to several unique, smaller and more well-defined market segments.
- Have a great headline – Come up with a headline that is compelling, even provocative – something that draws the reader in. Don’t say “Noted Author Bart Simpson Announces the Release of His New Book.” That’s boring. Nobody really cares. But if you say, “Home Expert Reveals the Secret to Keeping a Family Together in a Scattered World,” or “Noted Economist Reveals Why the Market Will Likely Crash within the Next Six Months,” well, that speaks to a benefit or pain point that listeners, viewers, and readers might be curious to learn about. Come up with several potential headlines and try them out on your co-workers before settling on the headline you will use. Consider varying the headline for the different market segments to whom you will be sending your press release.
- Focus on how your book, product or service will help me – that’s more important than describing it. Don’t tell me all about what topics are covered in the book or what are the clever features of whatever it is you are promoting – OK, you can talk about that a little if you want. But mostly focus on how the book, product, or service will help me as a reader. How is it going to make my life better? What problem is it going to solve for me? What pain point that I am experiencing is it going to address?
- Have a clear call to action – What is it that you want the person receiving the press release to do? Call you to schedule an interview? Go on your website and order the book? Ask for a free review copy? Don’t be vague about what you want the person reading your press release to do.
Armed with these four points, hopefully you will get a much higher rate of engagement with your audience and wind up selling more stuff!