If you’re a small business owner, chances are you’ve heard of the mythical marketing beast that is the media release.
According to the legends, this marketing document has the power to catapult your company from obscurity to household name and can solve all your marketing problems.
You might have landed here because you are wondering how to write a media release and have been told that it’s the holy grail of small business marketing.
That’s not entirely true.
Media releases, in short, are a summary of the story you want to convey. If you share this with journalists, they may just be interested in running your story.
But, in reality, you and everyone else think this too – and some journos can receive up to 200 press releases per day! Imagine all that reading!
What media really want is the nuts and bolts of the story – they don’t have time to read through all your media releases, so we are going to give you some tips on how you can get your brand noticed without having to write one media release!
WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO WRITE A MEDIA RELEASE TO GET NOTICED
There are so many questions when it comes to media releases, but the best place to start is why. Why would you spend hours writing something that essentially is going to end up in the shredder or the journalists’ “deleted items” folder?
What’s your goal? You want them to notice your story? You want them to write about your business? You want them to convey your key messages. Right, right and right.
The next question you may have is “how do I get them to notice my story without having to write a media release?”
The answer is simple. Journos just want the story. They want to know why they should feature your story in their media outlet. You can call them, email them, or you can use Story Match a new innovative tool that connects you with relevant members of the media.
Targeting the right media channels can also be tricky. Print media work differently to radio journalists who work differently to TV presenters – they all have different needs and deadlines and one story can appear very differently across multiple channels.
By using the Story Match tool you’re able to get your story in the hands of the right media as they have opted in to receive pitches based on your industry. It’s a captive audience, and the best part, they don’t need to read a media release to understand the story!
You can stop wasting your time writing a press release for Journos that are unlikely to read it.
HOW TO WRITE A PITCH THAT GETS NOTICED
We’ve established that journos don’t have time to read a media release, no matter how well written it is. Scrap all that working and back and forth revisions, just stick to the important information and get to the story.
Ever listened to someone try and tell you a joke and all you can think of is “get to the punch line” – the same applies when communicating your story.
Story Match allows users the chance to upload their pitch in a succinct way. First, you need to choose a snappy headline that’s going to capture the journos attention. Keep it short, sharp and exciting – try and emulate the way newspaper headlines are written.
Next, you’re given 500 characters to bring your story to life – make sure you explain the who, what, when, where, how and why of your story. This is all the media need in order to know whether it suits their interests or not. If you’re used to writing media releases, think of this as your lead paragraph (except there are no more paragraphs afterwards).
When using Story Match, don’t forget to tag your pitch based on the topic of the story, you have up to 50 industry tags to choose from and you can choose multiple tags. Next, localise your story – often stories may be only interesting to a regional journalist, or they may have national relevance. Select wisely! And last but not least, don’t forget that today’s news is tomorrow’s history, so ensure your content is timely and relevant.
You can choose if you’d like your story to be live for 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days. Embellish your story with videos and images to bring it to life – I guarantee you, the information you’ve just posted is all the journo ever wants to see.
They do not want to read your media release!
Here are some quick tips about how to get to the who, what, when, where, how and why of your story:
As far as the substance of the pitch, you need to remember that you are sending this to journos who make a living selling copies of a newspaper, eyeballs on their broadcast or getting clicks to a website.
If your pitch isn’t interesting enough to achieve that, they’re not going to cover the story. Once you’ve written your pitch, ask yourself if you’ve covered off all the who, what, when, where, how and why of the story you’re trying to tell. Do they care enough to ask questions?
Short paragraphs, shorter sentences, interesting quotes from important people in your organisation and action verbs are all great tools to make a pitch stand out. You aren’t just opening a new branch, you’re launching a new location.
Created a new product?
No. You developed an innovative solution. See the difference?
Add facts, figures, statistics and other key information, but remember to keep it short – after all, you only have 500 characters and 30 seconds to keep the attention of the journo.
WHEN DO I UPLOAD MY PITCH? IS THERE A GOOD TIME FOR THIS?
You’ve downloaded Story Match App and you’ve followed our tips to prepare a great media pitch and it’s ready to go But now it’s just sitting on your computer screen or your phone, and you have no idea when is the best time to upload it so that the journalist can see your pitch.
If you’re ready to take action to your message, go ahead and post your story! You’ve got nothing to lose!
Just ensure that whoever is going to conduct an interview or send the media product should they request it is available. When journalists see something they like, they pounce, so be ready to act.
If you find that you’re overwhelmed by the pulling all of this together, contact us today.
You can also contact Story Match and they’ll help you out.
Email: [email protected]
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