Are you interested in learning how to create successful press releases? What makes a press release attract proper media attention? How can you work with media outlets to boost conversions?
Mickie Kennedy is an expert at helping small businesses, authors, and startups increase their visibility and credibility. Mickie founded eReleases 22+ years ago after realizing that small businesses desperately need a press release service they can actually afford, giving them access to the media and to a national newswire – all with a personal touch. Mickie lives in Baltimore County, Maryland.
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In This Podcast
- What is a press release and how does it work?
- Mickie’s tips for writing a winning press release
- Why do some press releases fail?
- How can a company use media coverage to get more sales?
- How can you get free local coverage?
What is a press release and how does it work?
If you want to write your own press release, the general structure is:
- Subheading, optional
- You then have your main body of text, the:
- Whereof the announcement that you are writing.
Press releases are written in the third person and may contain a few first-person quotes which Mickie recommends that you put in an about-you or an about-the-practice section as well as a media contact.
Tips for writing a winning press release
- Focus mostly on the headline:
Avoid using puns or click-bait headlines because you want the context of what you are announcing to be in the headline, so you do not want to trick someone into opening your press release.
When something goes over the newswire, it’s just streamed by industries and topics by headline and the journalist will click through to the headline to read more, so you want the headline to be really captivating. (Mickie Kennedy)
- Make sure to write a good opening paragraph that will further entice your reader by providing them with the further context of the press release.
- Provide a captivating quote that cannot easily be paraphrased. If you are a creative spirit or you want to learn how to become better at using your language, writing a good quote is a good place to learn.
The biggest thing to be aware of when it comes to writing a good press release is knowing what the press release is actually about. Try to be strategic with what you are announcing so that it is both applicable and interesting.
Mickie’s strategic tip: media loves data, so use surveys and collect data and publish it as the author of the survey.
The one hack that I do recommend is always throw one or two oddball questions in the survey [because] you never know if those might hit some mileage and often … they really resonate with journalists. (Mickie Kennedy)
Why do some press releases fail?
Many press releases are “safe” releases. They have the appearance of being written by a committee and they have nothing that helps them to stand out, or that captivates a reader.
At the end of the day, a journalist is acting as a gatekeeper, and he’s trying to protect his audience and only shares with them what he feels they would be interested in. (Mickie Kennedy)
The safe press releases often do not get picked up by the bigger media platforms and therefore they do not help to increase conversion rates for your business.
How can a company use media coverage to get more sales?
A smart company will:
- Put video clips on the website of their media,
- They will take links when they get a media pickup: if a particular publication wrote about them, they would post that link on their website and in their newsletters to share it with their audience,
- Try to get a lot of mileage out of the media coverage of their press releases.
How can you get free local coverage?
Local media coverage is often free compared to international news outlets. Work with local TV, radio, and media outlets that can support you and boost your work.
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Meet Sam Carvalho
Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.
She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!
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