You've done it. Gotten that press release written. Now you're ready to send it out to your carefully chosen list of media contacts.
But before you hit that "send" button, take a moment and run your press release through this checklist. Remember, you only have a few seconds to catch attention of busy journalists and editors -- don't blow it over an easily corrected mistake.
Some of these may seem painfully obvious. Alas, even obvious gets overlooked from time to time (even from professionals – I know, I've made my share of mistakes) so it's always a wise idea to take a few moments to double check that your release is up to snuff before sending it out into world.
1. Is your release newsworthy? In other words, does it answer question "Will this interest my readers?" Remember, media people are interested in one thing – keeping their readers happy. Make sure your idea is something that will do just that.
2. Is headline compelling? Will it encourage media people to actually read story? If headline doesn't interest them, chances are they aren't going to take time to read rest of release. And you've just missed your opportunity.
3. Is first sentence (the lead) compelling? Like headline, if first sentence doesn't grab their attention and persuade them to keep reading, chances are your release will be headed to that famous circular file. (Otherwise known as trash can.)