Press Release

How to cut the waste from your press release

By Cathal McCabe

People are becoming both more ecological and economical. We are becoming more aware of our impact on the world around us and as a result we make economies in our everyday lives. This motivation is encapsulated by events such as International Plastic Bag Free Day on July 3.

Here at MediaHQ, we believe that we can help contribute to this spirit of economy by outlining how you can cut the waste from your press release.

Journalists will do their own research

A fatal flaw of many press releases is that people try to include every piece of information relevant to their story, so that a journalist will get the full picture. Not only will this lead to waste, but it is also an underestimation of journalists. Any journalist worth their salt will easily be able to develop an idea of the full picture of a story through research, especially through further communications with you, their source. The main thing you should be giving a journalist in a press release is a reason to pick up your story: give them a trailer, not the full film.

Attention-grabbing headline

In the digital age, journalists are bombarded with emails from people wanting to attract their attention. Marketing experts spend their entire careers trying and failing to craft the perfect headline, but there are two general rules. Keep it short enough to be spoken in one breath, and use the active form of the verb rather than the passive (e.g. The man drove the car, rather than the car was driven by the man).

Stats and facts

The right statistics can say so much with such little space. For example, around 50% of pilots have confessed to falling asleep while flying. That one fact alone has a whole story behind it, one that you want to learn. This type of information is perfect for a press release, as it is accessible enough on its own to be intriguing, yet has enough depth behind it to warrant a whole article.

Make it visually appealing

Whenever people talk about how appealing a piece of writing is, they almost always mean the actual content. However, writing can also be visually appealing, i.e. the size and shape of the paragraphs, font, usage of bold and italics, etc. In a book or a newspaper, the impact of this aspect is negligible, but when your aim is to instantly grab a reader’s attention, like in a press release, it is crucial. As this is a factor which many people don’t consider, if you keep this in mind, it will give you a massive edge over the hundreds of bland-looking press releases sent out to journalists every day.

Check your Flesch readability score

On a negatively-correlating scale of 0-100, the Flesch reading-ease test is a measurement of how easy it is to read a piece of writing, ranging from the reading ability of an 11-year-old to that of a college graduate. It uses elements such as the amount of words in a sentence and the amount of syllables in a word to arrive at its score. While it is clear that journalists will have the capacity to read something with a low readability score, whether they will want to is another matter. Before sending off your press release, make sure to determine its Flesch score to ensure that your story does not have any waste.
Now that you know how to keep your press release waste free, would you like access Ireland’s largest online contacts database? Click here or call Gaye on (01) 254 1845. 

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Author

Cathal McCabe

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