As a staff writer for two magazines, I receive a plethora of Press Releases every day.
I can tell you some grab my eye immediately and some I never open. So what is the secret?
First of all let me answer the question: Do Press Releases have value?
The immediate and short answer is “Yes.”
The longer answer is:
- Press Releases are a great way to shout out an accomplishment
- Press Releases can open doors for interviews
- Press Releases can gain you new followers and fans
- Press Releases offer a way to reach many with one click
So, what is it about these Press Releases that prompt me to open or delete them?
The first thing I watch for is relevance. I write for music magazines, so a press release about a new company opening down the street will not get my attention (unless it is a recording studio or music store).
That is the number one point I’d like to make. If you are considering sending out a Press Release about an award you received for a book, don’t send it to a publication that only specializes in politics (unless your book is about politics). You wouldn’t want to send your press release to a publication that only does music reviews (unless your book is about music.) I’m sure you get the idea.
In my case, if the press release I receive is not about an artist relevant to Texas or Oklahoma, I delete it.
The headline of the press release is the next most important aspect to me. It can make or break the effort. A boring headline won’t prompt me to open it, but an excited, energetic headline will draw me every time. I’ve even opened Press Releases that I knew had no relevance to me just because of the compelling subject title. They made me want to know more. That is probably the single biggest challenge for anyone writing a Press Release.
Here is a formula that might be useful.
If you can get them to open it, you at least have a 50-50 chance of some follow-up action.
Since my book of short stories, “Two Shorts and a Snort,” won the Grand Prize in the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB 90-day Alpha/Omega Beginning to End Short Story contest, I will be sending out press releases locally and statewide.
Here is my headline for local media:
Local Indie Author wins the Grand Prize in an International Short Story Challenge
And for statewide media:
Texas Indie Author wins the Grand Prize in an International Short Story Challenge
Then, in the body of the ONE page Press Release, I can give more details. To me, the draw in the headline is three things – One that I am a local author, two this was not a local contest and three I am an indie author.
What are your thoughts? Have you sent Press Releases in the past? Did you get any results? I’ll keep you posted as to my results. I’ve had a good response in the past, getting two newspaper features and a TV appearance.
In the meantime, if you haven’t yet picked up your copy of “Two Shorts and a Snort,” here is the purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Two-Shorts-Snort-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B07DY8FSWL/