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The how-to series, vol 1: writing a standout press release

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Here at Liberty PR, we are of course passionate about producing engaging and compelling public relations content.

So today, we are launching the ‘how-to’ series – a succession of blogs focusing on the various aspects of the PR practitioner’s art and highlighting the difference an agency can bring to your public profile.

In this first episode, we take a closer look at what makes a standout press release.

Unlike advertising, where exposure is paid for, the media coverage we achieve has to be earned on its own merits. And creating a strong press release which news outlets will want to use is the key to securing results.

Our Liberty PR team includes a knowledgeable editorial team of ex-journalists who possess a wealth of experience and expertise in this area. They have a detailed understanding of what news organisations are looking for and can tailor their work accordingly.

Here are their top tips on how we make our press releases impactful.

1. Newsworthy headline

The headline will be the first thing that the reader – and importantly, the journalist who receives the release – will see. It therefore needs to grab their attention and make them want to read on. A good headline should capture the essence of the story in as few words as possible and use active voice.

2. Start with the key details

This may sound obvious, but the most important information should always be at the top of the article. This will ensure your story is as newsworthy as possible. It’s how a journalist would write – and your press release should be no different.

There’s also another more practical reason for structuring the story in this way. Busy reporters and sub-editors won’t always have time to rewrite a whole release, so may simply axe copy towards the end. Including the most significant info at the beginning – the who, what, when, where, and why – gives it a much better chance of making the cut.

3. The quote

A quote adds context, insight and depth to a press release, and enables you to position the organisation being quoted as an authority in their field and strengthen their credibility. An effective quote should not simply repeat the information in the press release, but explain what it means and why it is important. Quotes can also provide a unique opportunity within a news context to include perspective from the client.

4. Proofreading

The importance of checking and proofreading cannot be overstated. Liberty PR prides itself on the accuracy and quality of our written content. Every piece of content that we write is rigorously checked by a senior-level member of the editorial team before it goes to the client.

5. Imagery

Even the most finely crafted words will struggle to get media coverage without an enticing image. The photograph you use should be of high quality, convey the story as much as possible and attract the attention of the reader.

More on that in the next volume of our ‘how-to’ series coming soon…

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