Rethink the release
Focus on the reader, not on PR 101 approaches
When Rachel McGrew, manager at Osborn Barr PR, wrote a press release about a client product, she didn’t rely on the PR 101 approaches she learned in college. Instead, she reimagined her release to write for the reader, not for fill-in-the-blanks PR conventions.
“We received way more coverage than we expected,” McGrew said. “We targeted several major national agriculture publications, and the release was picked up by all of them.”
Here’s how to write a press release that focuses on the reader:
Develop stories that media outlets want to run
Consider the numbers:
Two-thirds of business-to-business editors said that fewer than half of the releases they receive are relevant to their publication, according to a survey conducted by Thomas Rankin Associates.
Some 65% to 75% of city editors believed media relations pieces promote “products, services and other activities that don’t legitimately deserve promotion,” writes Dennis L. Wilcox and Lawrence W. Nolte in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques.
No wonder some studies estimate that 55% to 97% of all releases sent to media outlets are never used, according to Wilcox and Nolte.
So how can you create PR pieces that are among the 3% to 45% of those that actually get the word out?
So, in this environment, how do we reach readers online?
At NOT Your Father’s News Release — our two-day PR-writing master class on May 18-19 in Chicago, and on Nov. 16-17 in Kansas — you’ll learn how to think like a reporter to develop story angles that readers want to read (and that journalists and bloggers want to run).
Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Fill in the blanks to a great benefits lead: You’ll leave with formulas and recipes for crafting leads that sell the story and stand out from the crowd.
- Move from event to impact: Learn simple steps for transforming your event, speech or meeting coverage into news readers can use to live their lives better.
- Create two types of stories media outlets want more of (and avoid one they wish they’d never see again!)
- Go beyond “new and improved” to information readers really want to know about your product.
- Steal secrets from Silver Anvil winners: What do nationally award-winning PR writers do that you don’t do?
Our early access tickets with $100 discount are long gone. You can save $50 if you register by 5 p.m. PDT on April 18. Then — poof! — our advanced admission discount disappears. Register now.
Learn to Master the Art of the Storyteller, Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more
Rather bring Ann in to train your whole team?
Ask about piggybacking on my upcoming engagements in: