What Makes a Press Release Effective?

Is it Newsworthy?

Did you know that many journalists receive hundreds of press releases
per day? In fact, the most important aspect of creating a press
release is the ability to get a journalist's attention. The best way
to do this is to make sure your press release is newsworthy. Examples
of a newsworthy event would be: Announcing a new product or service
- Announcing a new major customer or business deal
- Announcing major company changes such as mergers or acquisitions
- Announcing executive level new hires, promotions, and other changes

The best question to ask yourself before you start is, "Is this
something I would be interested in if it was not about our

Secondly, your press release should bring as many facts to the
journalist as possible without sacrificing the readability of the
release. If a journalist is not able to answer the basic questions of
who, what, when, where and why within the first paragraph, they are
more likely to discard your release. Journalists often make a decision
on whether or not they will write about your press release by the end
of the first paragraph.

Although ReleaseWire allows journalists to receive press releases
based on their interests, it is important to create your press release
in a manner that is factual and does not use too much industry
specific technical terms. Your release should be easily understood by
a wide variety of audiences.

As you organize your press release, make sure that the importance of
information flows from the top down. Less important information should
always come later in the release. Even the least important details
must still be related to your press release's content and goal.

Other helpful tips:

Include at least one quotation within your press release. The
quotation should come from someone directly involved with the subject
of your press release. This can include an executive with your
company, a customer or a supplier. Always make sure you have the
approval of the person before you publish their quotation.

Always be as accurate as possible. This helps to build credibility
with journalists. Try to stay away from overreaching statements and
marketing hype. If you can not factually back up a claim, it is best
to not include it. This includes statements about your product being
the "best" or "most popular".

Include details about your industry and how your press release subject
will affect the industry. Include tools such as web links to industry
trade groups, which then helps journalists better understand your

Include as much contact information as possible. In many cases, a
journalist working on an article about your press release subject will
want to communicate directly with you or your staff. Always include a
minimum of a contact name, phone number and email address. If your
company has an online press room, include that web address. Your
contact must have knowledge of your press release's content and be
able to quickly answer questions from journalists.

Proofread and Review:
Once you have your content created, it is vital that you spend time
proofreading your press release. Use your computer's spell check
feature but do not solely rely on it. If possible, find other people
within your organization to proofread your press release. You should
also consider asking a 3rd party, who is not directly related to the
subject of your press release, to review your press release.

When proofreading, consider the goals you have for
the press release. The content of your press release should promote
the goals you have set without making the press release sound like an

Keep in mind that many press releases will not generate direct media
attention and articles. They are, however, a necessary part of an
overall public relations process.

It is important that you are consistent with your press release
creation and distribution. Create a press release and distribute it
whenever you have a newsworthy event to announce.

Once an article is written about your organization, use it to your
full advantage. Ask the publisher for the ability to reprint the
article and include them in your press kits. You can also ask to link
the article from your web site and use quotations from the article
whenever possible in your marketing materials.