Processing content for the next day’s edition with one-two . . . 20 fewer staff is a race against the clock. Then there is factoring in lunch – except for the web editor, who works through – as each department manager makes a decision on a digital or print notice.
Which press release moves you to action from the wave of appeals that appear each day?
The ones that are short, lead with summaries, nix the jargon, give a firm time element and offer instant reference and contact details.
Not that those journalists are lazy, but they must do much more with much less every day. I guarantee that a press release that receives attention pays attention to these five elements:
1. Short. One page. Add links to support and reference.
2. Summary. I have pared down the epic, wordy lead of many a young reporter. Don’t add to my pile.
3. Jargon. I know, you know. Just tell me in English.
4. Time element. I have a deadline. Does this help me for today’s edition, weekend, next week?
5. Contact details. OK, I’m interested. Put the contact info for follow-up at the top and bottom of your press release.
I do agree with Julie Cantu that consistency and regular production are also key.
Write tight, write right, rinse, repeat.