We receive hundreds of press releases each week in the Bytestart email box. Many relate to small business issues, and plenty of others do not.
Out of one hundred press releases received, we typically might use just five. So, why do some releases hit the mark, and others don’t?
Publishers, who are used to browsing material all day long, can establish relevancy almost immediately. They will typically make a decision on a press release within a few seconds (rather like a recruiter looking at CVs).
A good story has to be relevant to the publication in question, well written, and have something of genuine interest to say.
Ten press release tips
Here are some tips on how to increase your chances of getting a press release noticed.
1. Make sure you email the release to the correct person. Look at the publication’s website, or call the news team to make sure.
2. Ensure that the subject line contains a concise pointer to the contents of the release.
3. Although not always practical, paste the release within the body of the email, rather than expecting the recipient to open a Word or PDF document.
4. Don’t attach photos unless they are relevant to the release – high resolution images can take an age to download.
5. Make sure you spell check the release before sending it. You might consider using a copywriter to improve the flow of the release.
6. Use a press release distribution service if necessary – a Google search will find hundreds of providers.
7. Don’t use elaborate fonts, colours, or styles. Simply use a standard, normal sized business font.
8. Don’t be surprised if you don’t receive a reply – most publishers simply don’t have time to respond to releases (especially poorly targeted ones)!
9. Don’t be afraid to follow up the press release with a phone call, but give the recipient time to have read the email first.
10. Above all – remember that the publisher is looking for relevant, interesting stories. Who really cares if you’ve upgraded your phone systems, or have recruited a new sales person? The subject must be newsworthy, and relevant to the publication.