PR pros are well aware that reporters, our target audience, sometimes don’t read the press releases that arrive in their inboxes. On the other hand, every day some press releases are read and used for news stories.
What can you do to increase the likelihood that your release will grab a reporter’s attention? In brief, don’t give the reporter reasons not to read it.
Here are 11 things to double-check before sending your next release to a reporter:
1. Spelling matters. You’d be surprised at the number of releases that end up in the garbage because the reporter saw a typo and simply tuned out. Proofing involves more than just running the spellchecker (it doesn’t catch everything). You should read and reread your release or pitch, and even ask a co-worker to read it if possible.
2. Don’t bury the lead. The first paragraph of a release should focus on the announcement you’re making Say your release is about a new product you’re launching. You don’t want to start the release with a bunch of mumbo jumbo that doesn’t mention the product. Make sure you include the who, what, when, where, why and how in the first paragraph or two. Then include supporting details down lower in the release.