Understanding the PR Basics

Published by - 16/02/2015

Arch Communications is giving some free support, to help a Leicestershire charity gain recognition through press releases for the excellent work they’re doing. Some of our advice may be useful to others, so here’s a quick summary.  

In putting a press release together, it’s important to try and address all these points:

  • Date your releases so the media know they’re fresh.
  • News desks get hundreds of releases, so the significance of the story must be immediately obvious. A punchy headline and compelling opening sentence will help to answer the “so what?” question.
  • For the same reason, releases should be scan read-able. Use short paragraphs and spacing to avoid dense text and keep it short – while giving all the necessary information.
  • Always assume zero knowledge. A separate background section at the end can help to provide a clear context for your story.
  • If you’re targeting local media, make your story irresistible by stressing its localness in the headline and first sentence.
  • Always include an attributable quote for the press to use.
  • Can you provide a good quality image to illustrate the story?
  • Journalists like statistics. If possible, think creatively how you can include some interesting numbers.
  • Make follow-up easy – always give a contact phone number as well as email address.
  • If other organisations are involved, co-ordinate your PR efforts to increase reach and maximise exposure.

These tips create a useful checklist for the production of all news releases, so feel free to use it.

And the name of the charity we’re helping? The Leicester Centre for Integrated Living works to support and promote independence, inclusion and equality for disabled people. Watch out for their pioneering Choice Unlimited roadshows, which are about to go national. Now, that’s a story worth telling!