Ah, the press release. Once the bread and butter of every PR professional, the humble press release has had to fight its corner against such a wide range of tools in recent years, not least of all social media - and, let's face it, it is now just one of a wide range of communications tools we all have at our finger tips all of the time. But that doesn't mean it can’t still be really effective if used correctly.
Well written, and sent to the right contacts, a press release is still the single most effective thing you can do towards securing yourself that valuable earned coverage.
Here are some tips from our PR team:
Keep it short and sweet
Your press release should have a headline, an opening paragraph, a quote and then one or two further paragraphs. If it's more than two pages, it’s too long. If it's less than one page, and you’ve said everything you need to say, don’t be tempted to make it longer.
It's all about the headline
Your headline needs to explain, in no more than one line, the most compelling or remarkable thing about your story. You should also use your headline as the email subject line when sending out your release, and much like any email subject line, your aim is to get the recipient to open the email. Journalists receive hundreds of press releases every day, and if they’re not familiar with your email address already - i.e - you don’t have a personal relationship with them - you have an even steeper mountain to climb.
Write a personalised covering email
This may seem time consuming, but the chances of getting a reply are much higher if you address a contact by name. In an ideal world (and if you have time to research each contact separately, look at what they’ve written recently and check out their social media feeds) you want to approach contacts armed with as much information about them as possible. If you don’t have time, a mail merge with a covering note addressing each contact by name is much more effective than a blanket email.
Include high quality, high res photography
A picture is worth a thousand words. Really. Most news outlets’ own photography resources have dwindled in recent years and they are forced to rely more and more heavily on supplied photography. If your story is accompanied by a good quality, high resolution, engaging photograph you are already over half way to getting your story used. Because the story can always be adapted by the writer, but if the photos aren’t up to scratch the story can’t be used.
Use sample paragraphs
Don’t spend time reinventing the wheel. Write yourself a standard ‘about’ paragraph that you use in every release, and also feel free to use the below ‘about’ copy from us:
Artfinder is the global online marketplace for affordable original art, connecting buyers directly with artists. At the heart of an online art revolution, Artfinder is democratising the art market – creating a fairer, more sustainable market and connecting artists with a global audience, no matter what their location, profile or background. The site is growing fast, currently connecting over 400,000 subscribers around the world with:
- 6,000 artists and galleries internationally
- 180,000 artworks in categories including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, drawing and collage
- Prices start from under £25 and all artworks are signed by the artist. Artfinder does not sell posters or reproductions.
- Artfinder has a 14-day, worldwide free returns policy and an interest free 12-month loan scheme for UK customers for work from £300 - £30,000.
If you are planning to send out a story to your regional media please feel free to run it past us first, on firstname.lastname@example.org. We might be able to help you out with contacts, and we can also happily provide a quote from our CEO Jonas Almgren.