‘never issue a press release for the sake of issuing a press release’
Companies that don’t abide by this rule will usually find there is little to no ROI with this activity. They will also suffer from opportunity cost, as their resources could have been put to better use on other PR and marketing activities that would have provided a better return.
So how do we decide what’s newsworthy and what’s not?
It all comes down to the substance of the announcement. Here’s the thought process of our editorial team.
What’s your story and how to tell it
Now you know what news is press release worthy (and what isn’t), the next thing you need to do is tell your story in a way that adds value and intrigue.
What’s your angle?
If you’re announcing the launch of your startup, then I’m afraid to say this fact alone is not newsworthy. You need to develop a hook – why this announcement matters to the people reading it.
The hook matters more than ever these days. Whereas in the good ol’ days, you could put out thin press releases with no hook and expect some coverage, the information age we now live in means you need to work much harder to get attention.
The angle you take will depend on what you’re announcing as well as the industry you’re in. Here are some common examples:
- Solving a problem. Does what you’re announcing solve a known problem?
- Addressing a need. Does it address a clear need within the market?
- Progressing towards a goal. Does it help you move towards a goal?
- Achieving a goal. Have you achieved something of value? Does this have wider benefits?
- Providing new insight/challenging orthodoxy. Does it tell us something we didn’t already know or challenge current assumptions?
What information should you include?
It’s the classic who, what, when, where, why. These five points should be covered off in the opening paragraph. The rest of the press release should then be used to expand on these points.
How to provide substance to your angle
If, for example, your angle is solving a problem, then it’s not enough to simply state there’s a problem and this provides the solution.