10 Secrets to Get Your Press Release Noticed

by : Shannon Cherry, APR, MA

It’s difficult enough running the day-to-day aspects of a business, let alone trying to drum up new business as you go. But according to Shannon Cherry, APR, even if you have additional staff helping to get the word out about your products and services, location and prices, delivery and sales support, news releases can make your company grow faster.

“A news release is sent to editors and journalists in order to generate a news story in the media," says Cherry, president of Cherry Communications which helps businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations to be heard through marketing communications. “It’s one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to get your message out there. If a reporter decides to run your release, your business receives space for free - and more credibility than just running an ad."

Cherry explains that it’s critical in today’s business world to be seen, a key element in any business plan. She shares her top ten secrets to getting a news release noticed:

  1. Your press release should sound like news, not an ad. You need to make sure your news is newsworthy, so start thinking like a reporter.

  2. You should only send your press release to the media related to the topic of your press release. Don’t just send the press release to every reporter you can find.

  3. Keep your press release one page in length. Truth is, most editors will only read the headline and the first line or two of your release.

  4. Your header, contact information and release date should be at the top of your press release.

  5. Use short sentences and double space your lines.

  6. Your headline and first few sentences should grab the reader’s attention. Write like the news organizations you are targeting.

  7. You should tell a story and mention your business, product or service in the body of the release.

  8. Proofread your release many times. Look for grammar and spelling mistakes.

  9. Follow up is not only recommended, it is vital. But don’t call every other day asking if your release will run. Call once to see if there is any interest, but don’t nag.

  10. Stick to the facts. Tell the truth. Avoid fluff, embellishments and exaggerations. tone it down a bit.

And a bonus:

Use active, not passive, voice. Verbs in the active voice bring your press release to life. Writing in this manner helps guarantee that your press release will be read.