Photo source: Sawyer Pangbom
As a journalist, I frequently would coach my sources on pitching newsrooms. I still do this for folks today, as a media relations manager with PR Newswire.
Journalists are very specific in how they like to be contacted, communicated with, and given news items. How you tread in this pool will make the difference between your company – or a competitor – receiving news coverage.
A webinar by Bulldog Reporter PR University on mastering digital releases to get more journalism coverage recently reinforced some PR best practices.
To stand out in this digital era, here are some tips:
Short headlines. Ideally 100 characters or less. This becomes your tweet, and it’s easily retweetable. It also can serve as your subject line in email to journalists.
Write mobile-ready copy. Journalists don’t have a lot of time to read lengthy text on their mobile devices. So think short: Sentences, paragraphs, and quotes.
Call to action. Make it easy for journalists and include items like “click here for a fact sheet” or “click here to tweet.”
SEO. The right keywords can improve readership of your release.
Tracking. Always use unique and trackable URLs. Remember, though, too many links in a release is a bad thing. Stick with a couple links, tops.
Finally, news releases with a multimedia strategy – bells and whistles like photos, video, infographics, and prominent contact information of company representatives – always will receive more attention than those without.
Ultimately, you’re making the journalist’s job easier and freeing them of time spent doing research and homework. All this goes toward building quality relationships in newsrooms.
Christine Cube is a media relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. She loves a good story that falls out of the sky. Follow her @cpcube.