How do you create some serious buzz about your online or offline company on zero budget? That's what Celina wanted to know. She's owner of a website that specializes in desktop publishing and site design.
It's a small, fairly new company with no money to commission a professional media release. Still, Celina wanted to get word out so she asked me for some tips on how to write her own release.
MAKE BELIEVE YOU'RE A JOURNALIST
First, put yourself in reporter's shoes. Try to imagine what kinds of stories would interest her and how you can make her job easier by dropping a good story right in her lap. Ask yourself:
What sets your gizmo or your company apart from competition?
Have you recently launched a new product or service?
Personnel changes, awards, events, surveys, poll results and joint ventures can all be spun into news stories.
OH, THE HUMANITY!
Did you have to overcome some great challenge or difficulty to arrive at where you are now? Or maybe one of your clients had a special, urgent need that was filled by your product/service?
Bottom line - human interest sells. For example, big lottery jackpots would never make news if they blatantly promoted lottery corporation itself. But notice how media flacks writing releases always focus on some aspect of winner's life... an ailing grandmother in need of expensive treatments, a house that recently burned down and now can be rebuilt, etc. In other words, human angle that newspapers, radio and TV just gobble up!
THE INVERTED PYRAMID
Write an enticing subject line, headline and first paragraph. Get to point quickly. Believe it or not, most news writers and editors only take five seconds to decide if they'll act on your announcement or not.
News reporters themselves have been trained to write using "inverted pyramid", putting most important information -- who, what, where, when, why and how -- at top. And that's what they expect to see in your media release.
Unfortunately, most releases wind up in garbage/delete folder because they start weak, take too long to get to point, or are full of hype and puffery.