Join the discussion
Sort By
7 months ago Jack Oughton

In a nutshell: 

  • It should be as easy as possible for time starved bloggers and journos to see the main points you wish to convey. 
  • And it should be easy to contact you or your representative.

Things to include:

Inverted Pyramid format: Haven’t really got the space to go over it in a huge amount of detail, but it’s basically a way of leading with the most important information at the top (because journalists 98% of the time never read a release in full). And then arranging it in a way that is easy to skim using clear headlines. 
 
This site provides a good visual representation of the inverted pyramid structure: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/external/news/publicising/how-to-write-a-press-release/inverted-pyramid
 
Friends Of The Earth provide a good press release example, plus some further guidance: https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/cyw_64_press_release.pdf
 
Your contact details easily available: If the blogger / journo has to ‘hunt’ for them, they may very well lose interest in contacting you.
 
'Republish-ability' / soundbites: A lot of busy writers don’t have as much time or energy as they’d like. So, if your release is full of easily ‘copy and pastable’ text and soundbites that allow them to paste into an article that they can run quickly, this makes their lives easier. By extension, this increases your odds of getting a few digital column inches. 
 
Followup: You very politely following up about 3-5 days later (email, telephone... social media?).
 
Compliance with applicable spam laws: If you’re using a commercial quality mailing list solution such as Mailchimp, this will be included - but if you’re sending mails out on your own, you may want a quick skim of Law Donut’s piece here: http://www.lawdonut.co.uk/business/marketing-and-selling/marketing-and-advertising/your-email-marketing-and-anti-spam-law. I think the main takeaway is to ensure that unsubscribing is easy for whoever you're contacting.
 
As a writer who gets added to a lot of lists, I can tell you that if I am being emailed out of the blue and there’s no unsubscribe link, I am sending whoever emailed me straight to the spam folder forever more - I will never read their messages again.
 
Clarity: If the reader can’t figure out what your release is about after getting past the headline and first sentence, they are likely to stop reading.
 
No attachments: Don’t send the release as an attachment, journalists are less likely to open attachments, or they are more likely to get caught by email filters. Instead, include your release in the body of the email. Don’t attach MP3s - send links to mp3s.
 
Brevity: Try not to make it longer than a page. Try to keep each paragraph two sentences at most. People are put off by ‘walls of text’. 
 

Here's two examples of what I mean

 
Bad: (scary wall of text):
"Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?"
 
Good: (broken up and easier to read):
"Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. 
 
Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. 
 
Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem eum fugiat quo voluptas nulla pariatur?"
 
A checklist of things I think you should include:
  • A short, 50 word biography.
  • Your genre/genres, and artists you sound similar to
  • Any interesting quotes about you
  • Links to music, image assets and photography (make sure you've sorted out the rights on the images too, so that they can be reposted by the blogger with minimal fuss)
  • Links to somewhere with a longer biography where they can read more if need be.
Reply
this will help us send you the answers and connect the question with the right experts!
Submit