Getting publicity to grab attention and get the word out in your local area, field, or industry is essential for jumping into any marketing or promotional efforts. Ask any editor that most news releases end up in the trash or recycling bin. But how do you prepare and deliver an effective news release so that it will actually achieve results?
Most people have real difficulty writing press releases. Some people even compare writing press releases to working while under the influence of migraine headaches for a week. Ugh!
You don’t need to strain your brain. Relax! Believe it or not, it’s easy to have fun writing news releases. You can minimize the hassle and help yourself to big news releases with something I call “My 3 Techniques”. Here’s how.
Start by using the following basic scoring strategies to determine what to say in a basic press release:
1. Who are my customers?
2. What do they read, watch, or listen to when they get information that motivates them to buy a product I can offer?
3. What media allow me to target these people with news releases in a way they appear to be responding?
4. What types of articles or feature options are presented in the media that you have identified?
5. What can you offer to match the readers and editorial interests you have identified?
The answers to these questions build your writing environment. To make the actual process of creating a news release simple, you then use the “3 I Technique” to see what you can learn about what your main target media sees. This can be a very insightful experience and you can learn how to do it and develop your own great news release.
The specific goal in this is to study and design an approach to get into say, USA Today. Of course, you can use this technique to write news releases for each individual publication or target group of publications.
The 3 I technique is fairly simple and works like this:
1. Identify a successful model.
2. Copy the structure and content of the success model.
3. Innovate with your own information.
Step 1: Select your top media or publication.
Study them carefully and identify successful articles or books or product reviews similar to what you are trying to offer. What you are looking for is the same article as what you want written about you. If you want to be in USA Today, study USA Today. View and analyze five to ten USA Today articles.
In each case plan to evaluate their writing structure and what glean USA Today yields from their contributing reviewers.
Identify and review the word count in each article and know that a one page news release can have between 200 and 400 words and still fit on one page in the 14 point type.
Identify the number of words per paragraph.
Identify the number of sentences per paragraph.
After analyzing five to ten articles, select one or two as your favorites. This is a model for your success to emulate.
Step 2: Copy the structure and content of the success model.
Develop a general outline for the structure and purpose of each sentence and paragraph in your chosen success model article. Do this so that your own article will align with the outline of a successfully published review article.
Then start from the title. Then move on to the first sentence, then the second, then the third, and so on.
Describe what each sentence is about and what the editor wrote, and how he or she communicates with his audience.
Step 3: Innovate with your own information.
Using the success model as a guide, you now write sentences, one at a time, that match the length, tone, and function of the sentences and paragraphs you see in the articles you are using as the model.
When you do this, something really interesting and magical will happen.
You’ll be very close to matching editorial interest, reader interest and USA Today style, or whatever publication you’re aiming for. You put yourself in the writer’s shoes as if someone were writing a news release so editors could use them for articles.
At the top you put “News Release” or “For Immediate Release” and a contact name and phone number.