Who has time to write a press release and manage media distribution? Many business owners find themselves struggling in our current economy and, as purse strings tighten, advertising and PR budgets are often the first thing on the chopping block. So, what’s a struggling business to do?
Take advantage of FREE press! Yes, the good old-fashioned news release is still as good as gold in any economy. Building a rapport with local news agencies—print, television, radio, and online media outlets—is a great place to start. But then what?
Having press releases and press kit templates ready to go for reporters is a gamechanger. In this post, we’ll share all of the essential ingredients you need, along with tips and tricks that will help you garner more PR and media coverage. To start, let’s talk about the difference between a press release and a press kit.
Press Release vs. Press Kit
What’s a press release, what’s a press kit, and what’s the difference? Here are two simple definitions:
- Press Kit – According to Prezly’s information, “press kits (also known as media kits) help explain the core facts of your company to journalists, reporters, and the media in general in a neat, digestible package.”
- Press Release – A press release, on the other hand, is an official written statement sent to the reporters and the media. A release offers an objective way to share an announcement or something newsworthy.
So, what are the key components and details to include in each? From our experience, there are a few winning ingredients that add up to a recipe for PR success. Here’s an overview…
The Best Press Ingredients
As you’re developing a template for news release writing and building your media press kit, following best practices will increase your odds of securing media and PR coverage. Keep these essential ingredients in mind before you put pen to paper or start revising your current templates. First, here are our tips for news release writing and formatting.
6 Essential Ingredients, Plus Distribution Tips
Start your release with a fantastic headline / announcement.
The headline should illustrate your main point using action verbs. Eliminate extraneous prepositions and make the headline pop with tight language or a fun turn of phrase.
Pro Tip: Don’t always make your headline or announcement all about your company. Look at the bigger picture. If you can tie your announcement into a local or national event or headline, go for it! It shows that you’re community minded.
Follow up with a great subheading.
Here’s your chance to highlight crucial secondary information. Think of your subheading as a second way to solidify your headline and get a news outlet’s attention.
Pro Tip: As you’re writing your news release subheading, think about cause and effect. What is happening as a result of your headline?
Begin with a solid introductory paragraph and overview.
The format for press release writing is very formulaic. Be sure to include your dateline (City, State, Date) and the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your story.
Pro Tip: Include the information that affects the most people first.
Include a few relevant business quotes.
Quotes always add an underline to your main statement. Use industry experts, partners, your president/owner, a key manager/VP, or even yourself. Reporters love it when you do the work for them!
Pro Tip: Be sure the quotes are relevant to your company, industry, and your topic.
Close with final background information and a company bio.
Complete your news release with a closing paragraph and additional details—maybe dates, times, event information, sale, services, etc. This is your last chance to add any final details about your business. Finally, close by adding your bio and basic boilerplate information at the bottom of any marketing press release for distribution.
Pro Tip: Be sure to add a line with only ### centered above your company bio and below the press release text. This is a standard separator between your article and bio/boilerplate.
Include multimedia resources when you can.
Adding your company logo to the top gives your press release a finished, professional look. When possible, be sure to include other relevant images or videos too. According to Prezly, press releases and PR with text, photo, video, and downloadable files received up to 9.7 times the views as plain text releases.
One last piece of advice? Don’t forget to proofread your press release before you hit “send.” Here at Precise Creative, we offer professional proofreading and marketing services in addition to news release writing, branding, strategy, PR, and more.
Your press release & press kit are just a few of the many services we can offer your business.
Contact us today for your FREE overview & consultation!
Three Tips for Sending Press Releases to Reporters
“I get roughly 300 emails a day. Most of the time, I read a subject line, and that’s it.”
–David Mack, deputy director for breaking news at BuzzFeed News
Before you hit send, make sure to follow this press release distribution checklist:
- Craft the Perfect Subject Line—According to score.org, typical reporters receive 100 business emails and press releases per day. Cut through the noise with a concise, compelling subject line. Coschedule’s email subject line tester is a great free tool.
- Avoid Attachments—Reporters are leery of opening unrequested items, and most news agencies have policies against such practices. If you have a headshot, product shot, etc. that you’d like to include, keep it on hand. If the news agency needs a photo, they’ll call and request it.
- Send at the Right Time—Early mornings on Tuesday or Thursday are usually the best time to send a release, with 9:00 am being the gold standard. Generally, Fridays are the worst day to send a news release.
Following these three tips will increase the odds of reporters reading your press release and, hopefully, covering it.
Pro Resources: If you want to send a national, regional, or statewide press release, check out PR Newswire or Cision. You can also use Hubspot’s free CRM as a way to keep track of your press releases and responses.
Source: When to Send Press Releases, from Prowly
Tips for Developing a Marketing Press Kit
Now, let’s talk about how to make a press kit. While there are no hard-and-fast rules about how to create a press kit, we do have one quick tip to share: keep it simple. Too much is overwhelming. Pick a handful of the most supportive materials about your company to include. If a reporter wants something else, they’ll call and ask for it. As you’re creating a press kit, here a few key press release and PR details to consider.
15 Essential Media & Press Kit Ingredients for Your Company
What’s right for your business might be different for another, so choose wisely. For most brands today, digital PR, press releases, and press kits are the most cost-effective options. As you’re deciding what to include in a press kit and what to keep out, consider these essential resources:
- News release/letter of introduction, including company background information
- Company bio
- Recent press or PR
- Link to media gallery
- Company FAQs
- Business contact information
- Nonprofit and community service involvement
- Recent awards
- Sales and services milestones
- Specific information and schedules of upcoming promotions and events
- Significant statistics specific to your industry, demographics, and target audiences
- Feature article material, such as articles authored by company officers or senior management
- Company missions, goals, objectives
- Sample company products or examples
- Camera-ready logo art
- Free giveaway information
- Other business resources
Be sure to label items as needed. And post your news release or media/press kit on your company website and on business social media. After all, it’s free advertising. So, you should take advantage of all resources.
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Do You Need Help with Your Marketing?
Wish you had an extra team member or two to help you tackle PR? We have the resources to help you! Precise Creative authors have a journalism background. So, we know what reporters are looking for. We write a turnkey press release that gets attention for your business—and can even get you a follow-up, personal interview.
Creating press kits and writing news releases are worth the investment. News release distribution and media following-up takes even more time. Securing coverage for your business? That requires skills and relationships. The Precise Creative team has all of the expertise and resources you need. So, let us do it for you.
We’ll worry about your PR while you focus on running your business. It’s time for marketing that makes a difference!
Please write us a quick note, so we can put together a custom PR & Branding plan for you.
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