How to Write a Press Release Worth Reading
By Maggie Parker
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Journalists may seem like strange and elusive creatures, obsessed with finding a good story and ignoring your pitch emails. But in reality, they are only human.
Which means, like the rest of us, they like it when you can help make their job easier. Here’s how:
Know who you’re pitching. Nothing annoys journalists more than getting a press release about a topic they’ve never covered. Even worse: if it opens with a vague “hello.” Before sending, research your recipients so you can tailor your press release to them specifically.
If you don’t know the journalist personally (meaning you’ve met them and had at least one face-to-face conversation), don’t pretend you do. And always start by addressing them by their name.
Get straight to the point. Your subject line should say it all in a quick and catchy way. If your subject is good enough, journalists open the email and read the first sentence. If the first sentence doesn’t grab them, you’ve failed. Even the most mundane information can be spiced up. And unless you’re trolling for press in an AOL chat room, never resort to using all caps.
Have proof. Journalists love seeing quotes and stats proving that your information is accurate. If they don’t have to follow up asking for supportive materials (or worse, find it themselves), you’ve officially made their job easier. The easier the write-up, the more likely it happens.
Format for ease. Don’t make the writer search the email to find the specifics they need. Format the email with bold fonts, short paragraphs, and/or bullet points so that everything is organized and easy to find.