August 22, 2016
One of the perks of working at Aria is our generous anniversary program. To celebrate my three-year anniversary at the agency, I was awarded the opportunity to attend a conference anywhere in the country. I selected a two-day master’s writing workshop titled, “Not Your Father’s Press Release,” hosted by PR Writing Consultant, Anne Wylie, in Portland, Oregon.
In the class, we discussed a variety of ways to rev up readership for releases. Here’s a few of the key tips:
Think Like a Reporter – When crafting a release or pitch, it’s important to highlight the value to the journalist’s readers. How does this news impact them? If you lead with those benefits, the reader is more likely to be interested in the content of the release, and the journalist is more likely to pursue the news.
Cut Through the Clutter –The ideal press release is between 200 and 600 words, so choose them carefully. If the piece is too long (or short) it may be rejected by Google News. Keeping sentence and paragraph length down also increases comprehension.
Lift Ideas Off the Screen – Most journalists spend less than a minute reading a press release (if they read it at all). It’s important to keep this in mind during development. Use links, subheads, bolding and lots of white space to make it easier for readers to quickly comprehend.
Of course, while in Portland I also had some free time to see the sites and enjoy wine tasting in the Willamette Valley. I brought back some of my favorite Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wines to sample with the Aria team during a wine tasting several weeks ago. It was a great opportunity to reflect on PR writing best practices and brush up on my sommelier-in-training skills.
Want to join our team? We’re hiring! To learn more about life at Aria and office perks like the anniversary program, visit Aria’s Career Page.