We learn about it from day one in our study of public relations… some would argue it’s a traditional tool that’s seen better days… but I still think there’s relevance for a media release to help you gain coverage and traction.
However, there is a certain way to master your media release for the best possible results.
I love to work, and re-work, media release format and best practice regularly. You should always be on the look-out for releases from your competitors, and constantly upping your game.
Here’s my top five ways to master the most common tool we public relations specialists have at our fingertips:
1. Nail the one-pager.
Unless it’s absolutely, undoubtedly, outrageously essential - keep your media release to one page. If I’m pitching breaking news or new research, I might stretch the media release to page and a half - but it’s a very rare occasion. Journalists are time-poor and need to know why your story is relevant before they reach the end of your page. Very few will read further than that. If you have extra info, add links that readers can access easily.
2. Perfect the first three pars.
All paragraphs in your media release should be short, succinct and easy to read - but take time to perfect the first three paragraphs. The most important information should lead your release, and everything the journalist needs to know should be contained in those first three pars. If you can’t get it all in that quick, re-think your angle!
3. Quality, quality, quality.
If it’s not your best, it’s not worth sending. In fact, a sloppy media release can sometimes harm your reputation. Great media releases lead to getting noticed and getting pick-up, which raises your profile. Write, then re-write, and re-write and re-write… and proof, proof, proof!
4. Template it!
Yes, there’s nothing wrong with designing and sticking to a template! In fact, it’s a way that can help you cut-through the clutter and deliver. When journalists see your media release send, set up in the same way every time, it will build anticipation and expectation - consistency is key to cut-through.
5. Master Media Release Speak.
A media release is not a novel. It’s not a feature article or a media statement or opinion piece. It is its own entity, and has its own rules. Stick to ‘Media Release Speak’ - avoid long, explanatory paragraphs that sound more like a short story. The purpose is to catch the media’s attention quickly, in an engaging way.
I have journalists who tell me they filter media releases by topic, and the PR specialist who sent them. My goal is to always be the person whose media releases the media want to read!
*If this blog post helped, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to say hi! You can also grab a free copy of my Personal PR Planner, tried and tested internationally for over a decade. It will upscale your media coverage: guaranteed!
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