June 23, 2016

Write a Press Release Reporters Will Actually Read

Five tips to win this dare

Let’s face it, our inboxes are packed, some 35,000 emails and counting.

Reporters face the same clutter, but amplified to unimaginable volumes. Follow these five tips to craft a press release that catches the eye. I dare you. No wait, I double-dog dare you.

1. Write subject lines packed with emotional punch 
Speak straight to the heart of the story to connect with reporters. Repetitive subject lines are easy to tune out, like “Save 50 percent.” Use verbs to create urgency and adjectives to tell a unique story. 

I dare you to:

  • Ask yourself: Would I open this email? 
  • Find emotional resonance between your message and your audience.
2. Research the reporter before pitching
Backgrounding reporters—reading their articles, knowing what publications they write for and common topics they write about—increases the chances of getting a press release picked up.

I dare you to:

  • Relate the current pitch to a reporter’s previous work.
  • Explain why the pitch is relevant to a reporter’s beat or writing style (and don’t pitch if it’s not a good fit).
3. Hand it over
All the basic information a reporter needs should be in the press release: Who, what, when, where and why the pitch is newsworthy. Bonus points if you can include photos, charts or infographics! 

I dare you to:

  • Make it easy to cover your story.
  • Send a visual worth 1,000 words.
4. Link to additional sources
Some stories are more difficult to explain than others, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be pitched. Avoid the nit-picky details and connect the reporter to the rest.

I dare you to:

  • Use hyperlinks that connect to data sources.
  • Be concise and accurate.
5. Create a call to action 
Do you want to set up an interview or connect the reporter to an outside source? Know the end goal, so the reporter knows the next step. 

I dare you to:

  • Provide contact details for key interviewees.
  • Follow up with the reporter if he or she doesn’t take the next step.
What tips would you add to this list? Tweet us at @JayRayAdsPR.