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How write a better press release for your startup

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Our Northern Stars winners recently received some specialist PR training from Manchester-based Fourth Day PR as part of their prize package.

Thankfully, Fourth Day are a lovely bunch of people who don’t mind sharing. So, if you’re also interested in getting some better uptake on your press releases keep on reading for some specialist tips.

First, do your research

The reader always comes first with a press release, but if you’re not sending it to the right journalist or the right kind of press your story will never make it to the page.

Do a bit of research about the people you’re considering sending your story to; what do they normally write about, do you fit into their usual mix? You could even check your chosen journalist’s Twitter account for subjects that generally interest them and engage them more naturally through social media channels.

Order your information by importance

Your first paragraphs should contain the points that you must have featured to communicate your story. Your reader could check out at any time, so it’s important to get the main point across immediately and succinctly.

As your story goes on, include additional information that is useful but not critical, and feel free to add in any quotes that you think will add value to the piece.

Personalise your releases

Following on from your research, it would be worth customising your releases to the different types of journalists and publications. If your publication centres around a trade show then add some information regarding your visit to the show, or where your stand will be. If your publication is local, it might be interesting to add some information about how your product will make a local impact.

It might be beneficial to choose your own ‘A-list’ of publications to send targeted releases to, and a bigger set of publications that you could send a more general release to.

As well as ordering your information, remember not to overload your reader with too much text or industry jargon. Don’t forget to include high-resolution photos to accompany your story, along with captions to provide context and explain your images. If you have a video that an online publication could include, feel free to send that too.

You should also include your name, job title and contact details at the end of the release so that you can be contacted for any further information. If you’re about to go on holiday, it would be a good idea to use a colleague’s details instead.

Follow up and be consistent

If you happen to meet a journalist at an event, it might be a good idea to follow up by them by sending over your media pack containing your latest press releases, your best marketing collateral, your contact information and maybe even a couple of extras such as a case study or an opinion piece about your product or service.

Remember to follow up from that initial meeting and build a rapport, so that when your next big event comes around, you have a better chance of a feature. As well as being consistent, it’s also important to be courteous and say thank you when do get featured!

If you don’t have the confidence, or maybe the time, to do the above then you could always consider contacting a PR agency for some advice or tips.

Do you have any more PR tips or stories? Please share them in the comments below.

Want to find out more about our Northern Stars Winners? Check out their stories.

You can also find out more about Fourth Day PR here.

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