What Do Editors Look for in a Press Release?
The highly competitive business environment calls for organizations to engage in aggressive marketing.
This entails using all the tools at your disposal, including the press release. No wonder, press releases are still relevant today.
This marketing communication tool can be an effective technique for your firm to boost sales.
However, press releases have to be reviewed by an editor before publication.
Studies reveal that editors take less than a minute to review press releases. Editors have to turn down hundreds of press releases due to issues such as:
- A poorly crafted headline
- Poor content
- Grammatical errors
- Lengthy press releases
So, what do editors look for in a press release?
Editors look for carefully crafted press releases that contain relevant content and a catchy headline. A great headline is one way of how to grab an editor’s attention with your press release.
Try to envision your press release on the front page of a newspaper. Is the title interesting enough to grab the attention of the reader?
When writing the headline, make sure it is niche-specific and adequate. This means that the headline targets your audience and inspires them to read further. Also, the headline should contain facts in a clear way that avoids clichés and grammatical errors.
Apart from the headline, editors look for rich content that covers the 5W’s of writing. These are who, what, where, when, and why.
You need to provide relevant details about the event as well as adequate data. Cut off the fluff in your writing. Editors are likely to trash your press release if it contains generic content, or if it contains a lot of details about the venue that are not necessarily relevant.
Your press release may also get trashed if it is more of a self-promotion tool. The intent of a press release is to inform the public about news events. Do not attempt to disguise promotional content as news. Editors will see right through it and discard it as fast as it checked in. They might even blacklist your releases.
Instead, prioritize appealing data that grabs the attention of the readers. Remember to personalize as well to give your press release a human feel.
Relevance to the audience
The third element that editors look for is whether the press release is news relevant. You can determine whether what you intend to cover is relevant by simply answering the question, ‘Who cares?’ You need to ask yourself what it is you want your audience to know.
Next, you need to determine whether this information has a significant impact on your business for it to constitute as newsworthy content. Make sure to target a media house that focuses on your niche area. Targeting the right media house will boost the likelihood that the editor will find the content relevant and interesting for their readers.
Style and flow
The fourth element to look at is the style of the press release. Writing is an art. You have to harness this art to appeal to the journalist and your audience. Use language in a creative way to make the person reading it feels special.
To do so will require a strong opening, rich content and fair use of images. It is advisable to draft a teaser to arouse more interest. Media houses need the teasers to place on the summary page.
Teasers consist of three or four meaningful sentences. Alternatively, you can incorporate bullet points with meaningful information about the event beneath the headline.
Easy to read and understand
Lastly, ensure that you follow the editing process. Editors are people who prioritize coherent grammar, tone, prose and AP style. There are great tools out there for you to utilize to ensure that your press release is picture-perfect. One of these tools is the Community toolbox. This tool can help you fix your document with ease.
So, due to the tough editorial policies, most editors are careful when it comes to picking what press releases to feature in their publications.
Most of these policies and editorial guidelines are not know to most businesses and this is the reason why you should outsource your press release task to a PR agency. Let the professionals take care of your press release development and distribution for maximum impact.