Good press releases grab attention

ATHENS, Tenn. (Feb. 17, 2010) – This blog will provide you tips on writing a press release to improve your chances of attracting a reporter’s interest.

It’s hard to attract reporters’ and editors’ interest in a story. They are busy people and are often cynical. They receive a lot of pitches for stories, and they have their own ideas for story topics. So, how do you pitch a story?

It helps if you have a newsworthy topic – something that’s new and of interest to the general public. Just because it’s interesting and important to you doesn’t mean the reporter will see it this way. That’s where a well-written press release comes in. Provide quotes by people speaking in a conversational tone – reporters hate jargon. Doing so improves the chance of reporters using the quote. Exact numbers are a help since the reporter can make a graphic or fact box.

Please don’t write an anecdotal press release. Journalists want to get right to the important information. Your press release should quickly convey the who, what, when, where, why and contact information. It should not try to be a miniature novel. Providing information is the reason you’re writing the press release.

If there’s an embargo, prominently mention that. Reporters like to quote someone in charge. If this is a regional or national subject, try to provide a local contact, because local media like to feature locals. And reporters and editors will not let you see the story before it runs – they provide themselves on editorial independence.


About Jason Reynolds
I'm a reporter, blogger, husband and aspiring author. When I'm not working, spending time with the family, or reading (which is quite a bit), I enjoy cooking, traveling, photography and wrangling my family's cats and chickens.

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