Press Release Tip 5
Decide what you want the release to accomplish
In the old days, we measured good publicity by the number of newspaper and magazine articles that journalists wrote after we sent them our press releases. Or how many radio and TV shows invited us for interviews.
Today, measuring successful PR campaigns is much more sophisticated than that. It’s all about changing people’s behavior and prompting them to do something they wouldn’t do otherwise. The more people who read your press release and take the action you want them to take (visit your website, buy your products, make a donation, attend your Sunday church services, call for a free brochure etc.), the more successful the press release.
Before you start writing, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why am I writing the press release?
- What do readers need to know about my topic?
- What do I want people to do after they read it? This is the call to action. For example, if you want them to see a specific product at your website, you must be sure that the body of the press release includes a link to the exact page where you feature it so they don’t have to hunt for it. This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed how many people leave out this critical detail.
- How much do they already know about our product, service, cause or issue? If they don’t know a lot, you’ll have to provide a little background.
If you can’t answer these questions, don’t start writing.
Opportunity #5 to write a press release: Appointment to a board or committee
Don’t forget to include your photo! You’ll learn more about how to use photos later in the course. You can send this release to local newspapers, your trade industry publication, your alumni publication, etc. But don’t forget to post it at your website and other places online. (You’ll learn more about this, too, later.)
Always include your professional photo. But you don’t have to spend a fortune on a good-quality photo. Go to a local photo studio and have a head shot taken.