We’ve established the press release is far from dead (if you missed it, read the blog here). Done right, it has the potential to generate significant media coverage and the brand credibility that comes with it. But it can be a big blow if your well-crafted copy fails to catch the attention of journalists and goes unnoticed.
What’s to blame? In this blog post we look at 5 common reasons that might stop your press release being picked up by the media - and explore the (often really easy) ways you can overcome them.
1. Your press release looks like spam
Journalists get a lot of emails. Your subject line needs to grab their attention – but you need to be really careful that it doesn’t look like spam. Don’t mark it URGENT and don’t write READ THIS. Using your headline usually does the trick. Keep it punchy and direct.
2. Your press release is attached
Newsrooms are inundated with press releases (and journalists get a lot of emails, we’ll just say that again). If you attach your press release, somebody has to open it before they decide whether they’re interested in the story. And they might not. Pasting the press release into the body of your email is much more effective. (You can always attach it too to cover all bases).
3. Mass mail fail
Sending your press release to a generic distribution list or irrelevant media outlets can significantly reduce its chances of being picked up. It’s so important to spend time researching your contacts so that it reaches the right people. Otherwise it's a waste of everybody's time. You should also avoid mass, impersonal mailouts. Personalise your outreach - address the journalist by name, add a short note explaining why your story is relevant to their audience, start to build a rapport.
4. Lack of imagery
A story needs an image – especially in today’s digital age, and providing one boosts your chances of press release success. If your press release lacks compelling visuals, such as high-resolution images, infographics, or videos, it’s unlikely to capture attention. Make sure those visuals are good to go, so the journalist doesn’t need to do any sourcing or chasing. Insert a link for multiple images and videos so they are easy to view and download.
5. Lack of newsworthiness
One of the biggest reasons for your press release being ignored – it’s not newsworthy enough. To be newsworthy it needs to be timely, relevant and impactful. Press releases that are ready to be copied and pasted, with little editing and all the info, quotes and images provided, make busy journalists happy. But they have to tell a really good story too. If it's not newsworthy, don't expect it to get picked up.
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