According to a recent study, 50% of all press releases end up unread in the waste bin. We list 10 elements to consider for a perfect press release.
Ideally you should visualize the journalists you want to reach with your press release and persuade to report on it. Imagine how they sit at their computer receiving emails and trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. Imagine how they try to filter out interesting news for the next edition of their medium, to research additional information for an article and find only the most interesting news for their readers in the most efficient way possible.
If you think of your recipients in this way, many of the 10 key elements for a successful press release are self-evident:
- The time that the press release is sent plays a significant role as to whether it will be published or at least considered. If, for example, the journalist is in the process of preparing a preview of the next trade fair, information about a product innovation to be presented at this exhibition might be just the thing they are looking for. Only a week before or after the trade fair, the information may have may be of no relevance to them because they simply no longer have a use for it and its hard to “keep it in mind”.
- Sending should be carried out in the morning between 10 and 11 am. Statistically speaking, this is the best time for emails from unknown senders. For trade journals and journalists, the information should be provided 6-8 weeks before the release date to be considered for publication.
- The news content plays an equally important role. The fact that your company will be presenting its products at the XYZ trade fair alone is hardly enough cause for inclusion, but the world premier of a new product, for which readers have been waiting, could well be.
If you have nothing (new) to say, you shouldn’t send any information at all or you should create newsworthy events.
- A meaningful subject line/headline, a short teaser (1-2 sentences) and a more comprehensive, well-structured and detailed text must convey this message content in a focused and persuasive way. With a little effort, even complex matters and industry-specific solutions can be conveyed in such a way as to make them comprehensible and easily communicable without requiring in-depth specialized knowledge. Too much jargon doesn’t impress anybody and makes it unnecessarily complicated for journalists to generate an understandable text for general readers.
- The form and style should also convey professionalism and reliability. In addition to the news style, factual correctness, credibility and plausibility, this includes formalities such as company and contact information as well a link to more detailed information if possible. Short paragraphs with subheadings make it easier to read and provide a clear structure. Always answer the W questions: Who did what where when, and why?
- Objectivity is essential to achieving credibility. Avoid all statements and phrases that sound like advertising. If you call your product “the best” or “most innovative”, journalists will naturally be suspicious. Allow facts, studies or opinions of third-parties to speak for themselves.
- Additional image material helps journalists visualize the subject, but also comes in handy when it comes to page layout. It should be suitable for printing (150-300 dpi), legally sound and without glaring branding or labels, but include a caption.
- Only plain text files or RTF files are suitable for sending as email attachments, because these are the most common formats that can be easily opened and processed using copy & paste on all platforms.
- The right keywords and links to your website non only serve to improve your site’s ranking, but can also attract visitors without even requiring a search engine.
- Also write for potential customers, who may visit the press area after clicking in a search engine link and then browse through the text. This target group also expects high-quality content with added value.