We understand that when you’re an individual looking to spread the word about your exciting new business or project, it can be difficult to know how to grab the attention of the media. You may have heard about media or press releases but never sat down and written one yourself. We’ve drawn up a handy guide with key things to remember when writing a media release to make the task seem a little less daunting, with a template and tweets of advice from industry experts. You can download a PDF version here.
When writing a release, there are 6 segments to consider; timing, headline, introduction, telling the story, polishing off and further info.
To create the biggest impact consider coordinating the release alongside other actions for example, at the same time tickets go on sale. If you have your release ready early, don’t hold back! Sending it out early gives those covering the story time to research and write their articles.
To ensure the story isn’t published early include the line ‘Embargoed until (DATE) at (TIME)’ in bold above the main body of the media release.
Before your story can reach the readers it first has to get past the desk of the journalist or content editor. A strong headline will both clearly reflect the topic of your media release and also let editors know why your story is of interest to their readers.
Include a summary paragraph at the start of the release covering briefly who you or your organisation are, your involvement in the story and any important context that will help the journalist and readers to understand the story.
This is where you can explain your news in a bit more detail but remember to write in plain English and avoid using technical jargon. Sell your story with a quote or 2 from yourself or a partner if applicable to expand upon the information already mentioned.
The final paragraph is where you want to restate the key messages. If you have a call-to-action, e.g ‘Tickets available from…’, this is the place to include it.
Write ‘END’ to conclude.
Under the media release include contact details and any web links where writers can follow up on any queries they might have.
You should also include a boiler plate (a paragraph or two) about the organisations involved in the story to provide further context.
We also got in touch with a few industry experts to ask them their top tips for writing a release or what helps encourage them to feature a story in their publication.
Check out our guide below, available to download for free here: Guide to writing a creative media release.