12 ways to make sure your press release hits the mark

 When you are writing your own press release it can be hard to be sure that you have hit the mark. Here are 12 quick checks you can do to make sure you are writing a press release that will get coverage for your news:

  1. Have you read the publication before writing the release? Make sure you are writing in a similar style to what is on the pages of the magazine or newspaper that you are targeting.
  2. Have you called to find the right person to send the email to? Make sure each email is individually addressed, even if you use a mail merge program to do this. Avoid blind copying large groups of journalists.
  3. Does the headline explain the main idea of your press release? Don’t be too clever, comic or cryptic as the headline is the first thing that will sell your idea to the journalist.
  4. Is there an awareness day or event tied in with your news? Mention this in the sub head to persuade the journalist how timely your news story is.
  5. Have you included the Issue Date of the press release. You can also add an embargo date, but only if it is critical if your news is kept confidential until a certain time.
  6. Is the main idea summed up in the first line or two of the press release? 
  7. Have you covered who, what, where, when, why and how in the first paragraph?
  8. Are you telling the journalist about how the new product or service might benefit their readers? Make sure the press release is relevant to the readers of the journalists receiving it.
  9. Have you used the second paragraph to expand on the story, or add a quote?
  10. Do you have a low resolution image to catch the journalist’s eye integrated into the press release? Make sure you have high res images available too.
  11. Have you included ‘Notes to Editor’ at the end? This should include media contact details, plus information such as opening hours which may be important, but is not part of the news you are sharing in the press release.

If you are unsure about your own press release, compare it to the Press Release Template on PR Basics, which shows you how to do it in a clear and simple way. If you want a professional opinion on the release, Antonia Chitty of ACPR can check your release for you.

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