When I started my business, I specialised in writing press releases. But as the world moved more online, that side of my business waned, and in the last two years, I have probably written only two. So it was a real blast from the past when I received a call from the owner of a well-known company, asking me to write a press release.
The owner had recently launched herself in the UK market, and is planning to use her press release to introduce herself. Journalists love juicy newsworthy angles, and the owner had been on a well-known TV programme which would be familiar to UK audiences. She felt that this would attract the interest of the UK media.
Creating the Press Release
As a former journalist, I’m used to writing news articles, so I write press releases in that style. This means the main message of the press release will come through clearly in any coverage the business receives. It also means the coverage will be more factually accurate.
So I focused on the five Ws of journalism: what, when, where, who and why. I start with what, to get straight to the point about what makes the business newsworthy. When and where also covers practical information that people need to know.
I then elaborate on who is involved in the story: a well-known business owner or customer, or a person who may have benefited from the business. And I finish with why, because the reason why business people do what they do can be compelling, and makes for a memorable quote to finish.
Newsworthy Press Release
The service the company offers is quite feelgood and lifestyle oriented, but her style of speaking is quite crisp and matter of fact. So I aimed to create a press release that reflected her style, even though many of the outlets she’d be approaching would be more soft-focused.
Journalists really want to know if you’re media friendly, and this business owner certainly had that quality. So I hope that journalists will see that quality in the press release, even though it doesn’t have a current news angle. It’s more about introducing the company to the UK media. Certainly, the client was happy with it, and that’s my main priority.
Do you still send press releases? Do you still feel they’re relevant in an online world? If you’re a journalist, do you still rely on them as a source of news?