How to Write a Media Release: Publicity Veteran Reveals How to Contact Journalists and Achieve Media Success
Publicity guru, Kate Engler shares the secrets of writing a media release that journalists actually want to receive and read.
For those who are nervous about their writing skills, just know that the more your media release looks and sounds like the finished article, the less likely it will be to get a run. You don’t need to be a good writer – that’s the journalist’s job. You just need to know how to convey your message in a succinct and sharp way.
It’s not often that small business owners and sole traders consider including a plan for publicity in business goals due to many different reasons. These can include a fear of competing with larger companies and multinationals who they feel may have more experience and expertise, and a myth that media exposure can only be achieved through an agency charging exorbitant fees.*
But according to public relations veteran Kate Engler, any business can enjoy the advantages of publicity if they have the correct knowledge around writing a media release. She says the biggest trap that most businesses fall into when appealing to the media is using language that “sounds very ‘ad-like’” because business owners are used to writing and paying for ads. “That’s not to say you should ditch your advertising, but it’s worth considering how to be smarter about promoting your business,” says Kate. www.freemediafortune.com
For businesses currently trying to learn how to get PR in Australia, Kate recommends focusing on these three things:
- The headline and angle. “The headline’s job is to grab the attention of the journalist; I’ve never seen a media release’s headline on the final published version in my 27 years in the industry,” says Kate. “The angle sets the tone of the media release. To nail the angle, ask yourself what the most important thing is to the audience.”
- Opening paragraph. “The opening paragraph convinces the journalist to continue reading down the page and on to your statistics and research, and more importantly your contact details. If you get this right, you won’t need to worry about how to contact the journalist – the journalist will be contacting you!” says Kate. “It needs to be attention-grabbing, neat and juicy, and needs to sell the story and not your business.”
- Statistics. “Journalists LOVE current industry facts, figures and research, so if you have any hard evidence, this is the time to use it.”
“Learning how to write a media release can be a bit of a process, but once business owners have those tools and knowledge, they’re unstoppable!” says Kate. “For those who are nervous about their writing skills, just know that the more your media release looks and sounds like the finished article, the less likely it will be to get a run. You don’t need to be a good writer – that’s the journalist’s job. You just need to know how to convey your message in a succinct and sharp way.” www.freemediafortune.com
To learn more about writing a media release, visit www.freemediafortune.com.
About Kate Engler
Appropriately dubbed the “PR antichrist’ for her passion to share vaulted publicity tips with businesses, Kate Engler has revolutionised the way publicity is harnessed by small to medium organisations, giving them access to thousands of dollars of free media exposure without using the traditional PR agency model.
For many years, Kate was a corporate high-flyer with a hugely successful career as a highly sought after communications and PR specialist. During this time, she worked with internationally recognised brands including World Vision, P&O Cruises, Dilmah Tea, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Australand, the Starlight Children’s Foundation and BedShed.
Over a decade ago, Kate turned her back on the corporate world to help small and medium sized businesses gain media exposure in print, and on the radio and television. She knows the media world inside out, and uses her knowledge, experience and contacts to help her clients gain sudden and massive media exposure.
Kate now thrives in her role as a public speaker, coach and media mentor, sharing her ‘insider’ knowledge of PR and the media with businesses around Australia and New Zealand.
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