I recently rewrote and edited my latest Media Motivators article on McEddie “Everywhere” McGuire’s personal brand and turned it into a press release.
It spawned two high-profile radio interviews on ABC and commercial radio and a Google search for the words “Eddie McGuire” landed my story on the front page at number 10 out of 3.2 million possible mentions.
He also had a news editor contact me and ask if I could write a column for his award-winning, high-profile, influential newspaper.
So how did I do it? More importantly, how can you turn your expert knowledge into a press release that earns you tens of thousands of dollars in media coverage for free?
And what are the secrets of writing press releases that get used instead of deleted and rank high on Google?
This is a critical issue for consistent ongoing media coverage for any organization or individual.
How to write a press release that generates free publicity is a great skill to have. The good news is that it is a learned skill!
This article covers press release writing in detail: the 7 secrets to writing a great press release.
1. Strong informational value
Your press release should have high news value and not be a sales pitch or blatant advertisement. The media will see through this.
Conflict, drama, topicality, relevance, proximity, prominence, and topicality are the strongest news values.
Ask: what is new in what we are doing?
2. A well-written headline
A headline should capture the attention of the editor or reporter.
3. A well-written lead paragraph
A lead paragraph should continue to hold the editor’s or reporter’s attention and summarize what the story is about.
4. Quotable Quotes
Quotable quotes add credibility and human interest to a press release. They are the meat that goes over the facts or bare skeletons of history. They must be memorable and well-crafted.
Take this quote from a famous athlete who had just come out of retirement: “I’m bored, I’m broke, and I’m back!”
Enjoyable: simple, memorable and direct. Also, the media loves it for its honesty, structure, and rhyming nature, especially the alliteration with all first words beginning with the letter ‘b’.
5. Clarity in writing style
Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Don’t try to convey the whole story with every detail. Remember, the goal is to get the media interested in the story and then ask for more details.
A press release is not the same as an article, promotional brochure or detailed announcement on the Australian Stock Exchange!
6. Strong call to action
Your press release should end with a call to action. What do you want people to do after reading or hearing your message?
Invest in your stocks, buy your book or vote for yourself!
7. Full contact details
A press release should always contain up-to-date contact details for the media to follow up on.
At a minimum these are fixed, mobile, web and email.