04 March 2018 Guest Contributor

Traditional PR is still the best way to share your news with the media. And it's not as hard as you think. But make it even easier, PR Jane Keighley has compiled 11 tips to make sure your media release, media alert or story pitch stands out.

1. Make sure your information is 'newsworthy'!

Are you holding a charity event? Launching a new product? Writing a book? Running a course or program that will help others? Or perhaps you've even developed a product that everyone needs. THIS is what's considered newsworthy to your audience. And while painting your office a new shade of green might be newsworthy to your staff, it's definitely not newsworthy to anybody else.

2. Don’t be disheartened if a journalist doesn't immediately come knocking.

The process requires hard work and persistence pays off in the long run. Get creative. Think outside the square. Dig even deeper into your story to see whether there are any other angles that could possibly be of interest to media. If you get no traction with your first media release, you can then contact media with a fresh new angle.

3. Make sure your headlines are eye-catching and that the first paragraph makes the journalist want to read more.

I can't stress this enough. Journalists receive hundreds of emails and story pitches each day, so make yours stand out.

4. Include all necessary information.

Your phone number, email, website, social media links and product prices, times, dates, venues etc. A journalist doesn't have time to chase you and omitting these details could be a deal breaker for some journalists.

5. Take the time to research your relevant target market.

Don't send a beauty product release to an extreme sports magazine.

6. If you can't write professionally, employ a PR expert who can.

You want to portray a professional image at all times and a well written interesting release is your tool of trade to be wielded to impress. A poorly written release, full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors will not. Instead, it will hit the trash before you can blink and may leave a lasting bad impression of you and your business.

7. Be realistic in your expected outcomes.

Put your energy into a strategic campaign that is not spread too thinly in the hope of getting media coverage that doesn’t meet your objectives. Just one piece of coverage in your target media can be worth its weight in gold, so concentrate your efforts on that.

8. Build relationships with key media.

Once they know you're reliable and they can trust you, you'll be top of mind when an opening comes up in your field.

9. Make life easy.

A journo will appreciate a media release they can use 'word for word', simply adding their own name as the byline.

10. Include high quality, eye-catching photos.

And don't forget to include any names of the people in the photograph. Photo stories are also great fillers, so if your photo is on file and there's a last minute spot to fill, bingo!

11. Get back to the media as soon as possible.

I cannot stress this enough, especially if they are on deadline. If a journalist requests extra information, images or interviews make it a priority to get back to them. You don’t want to miss out.  So now that you are a media-release writing extraordinaire, get your news out there. The world needs to know about you. 

Jane Keighley is a freelance writer and Director of Jake Public Relations. For the last 16 years, Jane has helped her clients gain hundreds of thousands of dollars in free publicity. She works across the fields of health and fitness, beauty, people and places, lifestyle and travel.