News Releases – Writing to Get Noticed
Reduce me for starting with a not-very-clever rewording of an old saying, but today “almost all information is good news” if you are trying to generate presence for your company or organization. I’ll tell you how to create valuable news releases from information that you might not think has value and get it published. media
What do I mean by “almost all news is good news”? That just about any news can be turned into content for offline and online publications, gaining valuable presence for your business or organization.
Traditional news lets out — or press produces as they used to be called back when real presses were employed by real news organizations to print news – acquired to vie for limited space on a branded page. Typically, that limited newsworthiness to stories about new products or services, new technologies, or major organizational news.
Today, however, the idea of “news” has changed dramatically. Posting space is almost infinite and publishers hungry for content. The lines have blurred between so-called “real” news organizations such as newspapers, magazines, and send out news outlets and “new media” such as online citizen-journalism sites, blogs, e-letters, and news aggregator services. Today, many of the stumbling blocks have vanished that were once between people making news and the outlets that printed it. It’s incredibly easy now to get your news published in a variety of places. The trick is writing something that will be of enough interest for someone to select it up and publish it.
Picking a topic
There are more and more to write a news release about than you might think, beginning with the clear: a new product or service, openings and closings, restructurings (partnerships, mergers and acquisitions), and employee/staff information. These subject areas generally can be considered “hard” reports and worthy of wide-ranging distribution, when possible.
Presently there are a host of other topics, nevertheless , that many people don’t think to advertise with an information release, but that make ideal “soft” news emits. These issues include investment show and conference performances, awards, business anniversaries, new client wins, capital equipment purchases, and new features. While a business distribution editor may consider these subject areas too self-serving to warrant publication, there are still good reasons to write down a release on them, as you will soon see.
Creating your own news.
Don’t think you have enough news, hard or soft, to publish about? Then think about creating your own news. Develop a simple industry or customer survey, publish the results on your website, and write an information release about this.
Write a report. Interview key staff in your organization plus your industry trade association with regards to your market or industry and distribute their insights. Then write a release about the real key findings, announcing the availableness of the report for download on your website. After some thought, you should be able to produce several ways to create your own information.
Writing a news release
Now you need to create about your topic. Keep in mind that this is reports, not advertising, and an editor is likely to judge whether it’s worth publishing. Steer clear of jargon and using terms such as “industry leading”, “number one”, “unique”, and any other conditions that smack of self-serving advertising.
Lead with all the important information in the first paragraph, beginning with the topic, the company, and why your information is important. Traditionally, this is known as the “five W’s and the H” – who, what, where, when, why, and exactly how. Keep sentences simple and paragraphs short.
Add the details to the middle section portion, or body, of your release and complete with what’s called the “boilerplate” – the standard information about your company or organization, including basic explanation, locations, and web addresses. If your company is big enough it may even include the number of employees, subsidiary information, and stock ticker symbol if it’s publicly traded.
Circulating a news release
Right here comes the fun part – getting the phrase out so the right kind of traffic see it. If your market is fairly small, you might be able to come up with your own distribution list based on trade publications and industry organizations (here’s a suggestion for finding the right kind of traffic on their websites: routine right down to the Contact Us section, normally a button in the footer at the very bottom of the page – key personnel and their email addresses in many cases are listed there). It takes slightly work, but it’s worth every penny because you will have a concise, up-to-date set of exactly the people you require to reach. Just remember to update it periodically.