Man working on laptop computer, press releases

According to census data, across England, Wales and Northern Ireland there are almost 9,000 more PRs than there are journalists.

Now, the reasons for such a disparity are varied, but what it does show is that in an increasingly competitive field it is now important – and arguably, harder – than ever to ensure messages land with the right people, at the right time.

Our extensive experience has taught us one or two things about how to structure press releases and other content – giving it the best opportunity of standing out in cluttered journalist inboxes and the flurry of activity that comes with publishing in print and online.

The first, and most obvious, is understanding what the angle is. What message is the story trying to impart? It’s surprisingly easy to become lost in information, frantically trying to get back to the crux of the story. If the angle isn’t immediately clear in the headline and introduction, expect plenty of queries from journalists.

It’s also wise to avoid forcing multiple messages into one release. The most effective tell one complete story, not fragments of two or three.

Next is unnecessary padding. While it’s true that your release needs to carry some weight in terms of word count, it also needs to be succinct and to the point. Filling it with company jargon and superlatives will likely annoy the recipient. In some extreme cases this can actually bury the very news you wanted to showcase, with journalists likely switching their attention elsewhere.

Consider, also, the timing of your content. Where flexibility allows, try to get your story out in the morning. This gives media more time to file and respond with any additional questions.

And, when it comes to images, always use the highest resolution possible, as a separate attachment. Embedding images into word documents or in the email body itself can reduce the quality and will probably see your inbox filled with requests. Where possible, also link to additional images, such as a media library.

For support with your media relations, including press releases, you can contact us here.