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What makes a good press release?

Let’s say that a client comes to you requesting a press release about a recent company development or event. Before progressing with the release in any way, you will first of all need to consider whether or not your client has a strong enough story to be sent to press.

Journalists don’t just publish any press release that comes their way. In order for a story to achieve as much coverage as possible, it needs to possess a strong angle – and you may well need to explain to your client exactly what this could be. To help, we’ve outlined six examples of what makes a good press release below.

  1. 1.     Your client has recently won a significant business contract

It could be that your client has just won a major contract. Or perhaps the Company is now working with an organisation based in a more unusual industry? One of our own clients, for instance, secured work with a global risk management company which provides armed protection services for merchant ships travelling through areas subject to increased piracy and terrorism risks. If your client has also just won a unique or valuable contract, then you’ve got an interesting angle for a press release.

  1. 2.     Your client has managed to win a business award

As with contract wins, stories about award wins also make excellent press releases. This kind of story shows readers – and your client’s target audience – exactly how well the Company is performing and what it is achieving as a result of its efforts.

  1. 3.     Your client has expanded its workforce

Press releases about companies growing their workforces can often achieve good coverage in the business section. If your client has recently undergone a recruitment drive and filled a number of key positions as a result, then this is definitely a story to pursue.

  1. 4.     Your client has expanded by opening an additional office  

Has your client opened a new office locally to help meet increasing demand? Or is the Company opening a new office in a completely different area of the UK? Then, as with the workforce expansion angle, take the opportunity to tell the press – and hopefully the public – how your client is growing, especially in this current economic climate.

  1. 5.     Your client has expanded its services and perhaps even re-branded as a result

As with the other angles focusing on company expansion, the introduction of new services again makes a great story for business news. And if your client has re-branded as a result of such developments, then so much stronger the angle of the release will be.

  1. 6.     The community angle: Your client is holding an event in aid of charity

Is your client holding a charity golf day? Maybe one or two members of the workforce are taking part in an extreme sporting activity to help raise funds for a worthy cause? Whatever the Company is doing in aid of charity, you may well have an interesting, community-focused story that the journalists will love to hear.

And what doesn’t make a good press release? Beware the written advertisement …

When a client comes to you about a potential press release, you will need to ensure that the angle is not too “sales-y” or self-promotional. For instance, it must not simply shout about a certain product, service and / or offer that your client is promoting. If this is the case, then chances are you will need to pay for advertising space instead. A story must be just that; not an advert.

So, remember: Your client might not be aware of what makes a good press release, and this is why you will need to tell them. After all, you don’t want to waste yours, your client’s and the journalists’ time by writing and distributing press releases that are unlikely to achieve coverage.

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