A good press release is one of the most effective ways to generate positive attention for your company or cause, but too often people fail to put the necessary effort into their utilization. The result? A boring, information packed diatribe that doesn’t necessarily appeal to any one audience, and only serves to bring the subject to light before it quickly fades back into the dark. A good press release will generate positive conversation and community, at the very least. The best part? If you do it well, you’ve boosted the number of eyes on you in an extremely cheap way. Using the media as your megaphone is one of the wisest ways to conduct business, you just have to do it thoughtfully and strategically. So, keep the following in mind if you’d like to write an effective press release.
Know Your Target Audience
If you’re launching a press release, there’s obviously something that you want people to know. But, why? At the end of the day, if you’re conducting a business, it’s usually all about sales, money and marketing. Just like advertising and other more expensive methods of selling, you must know your audience. Who are you selling to? What’s the message that you want to convey? What’s the point? Don’t just spew information, convince your target audience as to why it’s important, why they should care, and how it effects them. If all goes well, the avenue in which your press release is relayed – whether a publication or a media correspondent – will be a supportive vehicle in the cause.
Use a Vehicle for the Release that Appeals to Your Target Audience
You’ll want to release the information in a relevant way in order to make headlines out of the information. For example, if you’re a software company launching a press release about a new gaming console that’s in the works, you wouldn’t contact FOX News or CNN, as it’s likely not going to make headlines in world news or be a news story worth telling. Rather, you might reach out to a relevant online content publication, like CNET or Yahoo, for a hopeful feature that appeals to their audience as well as yours.
Don’t Talk Over People’s Heads
It’s a given that you know more about the situation than you should actually tell people – don’t flaunt that or lose people in the statement. Craft the press release to relay completely relevant information suitable for your audience without going into too much detail, and without losing them out of their sheer inability to keep up with what you’re saying. It sounds simple, but this can often be a problem in press releases surrounding IT and technology development, even sports. Give people the meat of the issue in a simple and easy to understand way for the most positive results.
Make it Conversational and Inviting to Listeners
You might wonder how you can make it conversational if it’s just a one-way talk, and the answer is – by engaging your audience. Nobody wants to listen to a stiff, monotone or rigid spokesman, no matter what the content is. Show passion, show mastery over the content. When people see that you’re excited and upbeat, they’ll be excited and upbeat. A simple conversational tone will work wonders to draw the ear in. Another way to engage people? By including some eloquently appropriate quotes. Don’t overdo it, but make each one count. You want people’s reactions to be, “Wow! Great use of that quote there”, not, “Cheesy!”
Plan for Questions
A great press release will stir up interest amongst the audience. Any good press release will generate a good number of questions, and you should always be prepared for that. Do your best to anticipate the questions that will follow the release, and plan what you will and will not say in advance. Whatever you do, never answer a question that’s of a sensitive nature that you haven’t thought about or discussed with the other participants involved. Instead, gather your thoughts and broach the subject in a more collected way at a later date.
Writing a press release isn’t rocket science, but there are ways that you can write one much more effectively than just spewing loads of irrelevant information to the first person who will relay it publicly. Pay attention to your audience, aim for a publication vehicle that appeals to them, talk in a way that people will understand, make it conversational and plan for questions – you’ll see that a well written press release generates plenty of positive publicity.
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