Will a press release actually lead to media mentions? There is lots of competition. Press release distribution company PR Web distributed 339,506 releases in 2013.
If one assumes that BusinessWire, MarketWire, and PRNewswire have similar numbers, that is over 1 million press release per year. In other words, your press release will need to stand out to get attention!
What can make a press release newsworthy?
1) That a certain group of people (industry, geography, interest group) would want to know about the news. When writing the press release, it’s important to decide which group of people will care about the story. Is it the residents of a particular town / city, or does the story have national implications? Will specialty publications in your industry want to cover the story, or include a blurb in a news round-up article?
Bottom Line: Making Sure The Story Gets In Front Of The Right Eyes Is Important
If the people that would potentially be interested in your news are local, you probably don’t need to use a press release distribution service. If you have a national story, here are our recommendations for press release distributions services.
2) The information in the press release is in fact newsworthy. This is where I believe many press releases fail. The example mentioned in the cartoon is about “chairs causing back pain”. There are two problems with this idea: this is not a new problem that people are not aware of, and it does not appear that the company is solving the problem in an innovative way. In short, there is nothing “new” to make the story newsworthy.
3) Making it easy for the writer to understand “the story”. The best press releases effectively write the story for the reporter. Reporters are overworked and bombarded with press releases. If they like the headline and topic, one of the next questions is how long will the story take to write? The easier it is to write, the more likely the reporter will write it. For more on this see our guide on How To Write A Press Release.