Press release tips and tactics for effectively getting noticed

Only approach journalists who will find it interesting

To build up initial interest, it’s useful to find the small handful of reporters who are the most on point with industry news and love to keep up with the latest goings on. Reporters who have a laissez faire attitude towards your industry aren’t really doing your company any favors. Look to develop a relationship[5] with the best reporters and provide them with small exclusive bits of additional information to make them feel special and in the loop.

Once the smaller group of journalists publish their stories, other news publications and industry periodicals will likely pick it up as a story of interest and run their own version of it. They’re more likely to call for additional information to avoid simply regurgitating the same information in different words too. In this way, you can develop multiple tiers of press contacts and treat them accordingly to leverage the business relationship more carefully. Doing so may also lead to a cascade effect on new press stories with reporters going on the offensive to get the next inside scoop.

Put extra time into the headline

Just like with a good news story, getting the attention of the reader with the headline at the top of the press release is crucial. When it’s a humdrum headline that doesn’t even raise an eyebrow of initial interest from a media outlet[6], any heat in the story is lost for good.

You only have a few seconds once the press release has reached a reporter’s desk to grab their attention and make them want to read the actual release. Be clear, concise and factual with your information. Ensure that busy journalists can grab the point of your press release having read its headline without needing to read on to understand it. If they’re already confused, they’re unlikely to read more unless you represent a major corporation where it’s incumbent on them to follow what’s going on with the company.

Avoid the crowd by sending press releases in the mail

Just like how the penned letter has been largely replaced by email, press releases are often sent electronically now. This leads to an opportunity to make an impression by sending your press releases out by mail. Keep it looking professional with a custom printed business envelope, like these from Company Folders[7]. Envelopes come in many different styles and sending your news in one that is made-to-order will make you look more official. Your releases are likely to get opened as a bit of a novelty item which gets them more attention than they otherwise would receive. Bear in mind that in the sea of press releases that journalists receive on a daily basis, delivering one in a different manner helps to stand out from the crowd in the same way that Apple does with their staged product expos each time a new iPhone, iPad or Macbook Pro is released.

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