Don’t gamble on your press release being read. Follow my advice in this PR blog to create a strong lead paragraph.
Before the information in your press release is read by the people you want to read it, usually potential customers, it must first be read by the editor, journalist or blogger you have sent it to.
Apart from the headline, the lead paragraph is the main content that is going to determine if they read on or press the delete button. So you need to make sure it is strong and covers the most important aspects of the story.
By implementing the advice in this PR blog post, you will increase the chances of getting your press release picked up and shared by the media who continue to carry a good deal of influence.
In thinking about what you will write, decide which aspects are the most important.
Focus on the five Ws: who, what, why, when and where. And I always add in an H and make sure the ‘how’ is addressed as well.
When you have crafted the lead paragraph, review it and do a “So What?” check. This is the thing that explains why the press release is important and needs to be read — and acted on — by others.
If this is missing, add in a reason why it should mean something to the person reading it. If you are targeting different audiences you will probably need to change the lead paragraph so the So What? resonates with each of them.
Make sure your lead paragraph is specific. If it’s too broad it won’t be as strong and informative.
Use powerful action-oriented words to make it positive and interesting but avoid hyperbole; passive sentence constructions are dull and may result in the first reader pressing the delete key.
Does your PR story need background? Would the readers be familiar with your subject?
Aim to keep the lead paragraph of your media release to one sentence. The ideal length is around 20 words, certainly no more than 35 words.
Finally, above all be credible. The lead paragraph is a promise to readers that the rest of the press release needs to deliver.
If you need help in drafting press releases or in PR media outreach, please give us a call.
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