Taking the time to write a press release and then never seeing it printed can be frustrating. When it happens several times in a row, your tendency may be to devote your time to something else and forget press releases altogether.
There are several reasons a press release may not be published. Perhaps you didn’t contact the right editor. Maybe the local news had other stories that demanded their attention. More often than not, it’s probably because your press release just wasn’t considered “newsworthy” so the editor whose desk it landed on didn’t find it interesting.
How do you make your press release more likely to be read and published by an editor, ensuring you not only get free publicity for your business, but you also develop an audience who is excited to learn more about the services you offer?
Tip #1: Make Friends with the Editor
If you’re not on a first name basis with the editor of your local newspaper, your chances for getting your press release published are greatly diminished. By making friends, you’ll not only have someone at the paper on your side, but you’ll also get to know what they look for in a press release. Part of being a friend means you can also make yourself available as a source for them to contact on medical related stories. Your goal is to be on their speed dial for any business related story they may write.
Tip #2: Story in a Nutshell
Your press release should be around 400 words, and the first two sentences should answer the who, what, when, where, why and how that your story is about. In journalism this is called the “nut graph” or in other words, it’s your story in a nutshell. Providing these details in the first few sentences engages the editor. You’ll have a much easier job holding onto an editor’s attention throughout the rest of your press release if they’re interested from the beginning.
Tip #3: Keep Medical Jargon Out of the Press Release
Every industry has its own set of catch phrases. If your press release warrants it, make sure jargon is spelled out in common terms. Since most newspapers are written for someone with an eighth grade reading level, you should avoid using jargon when possible in your press release.
Tip #4: Avoid Fluffing Your Article
Editors receive lots of press releases every single day, and they have a short amount of time allotted to skimming through them to find the ones most newsworthy. After you’ve written your press release, go back and look for unnecessary words or paragraphs and remove them. Also make sure you’ve provide a fair amount of statistics and research, along with citing where the information comes from or attributing it in a quote form.
Tip #5: Garnish Your Press Release with Extras
Finally, never just submit a press release. Include photos to run when available. If you have video you can send, the editor may be able to incorporate it into an article on their website. If you have just launched a new service (like weight loss, allergy testing, or a new treatment device), offer the editor a free treatment in exchange for reviewing the product. Your goal should be to get them just as excited as you are about the new service you are offering.
A press release can be extremely valuable in creating publicity and credibility for your business. These simple tips and strategies will help enhance your opportunities to introduce your services to readers of your local publications, while positioning you as the local expert in the industry.