B2B journalists’ top tips for press releases

You want your story to get as much coverage as possible, so you need to make sure your press release is delivering what your target journalists are looking for.

Journalists are inundated with press releases, and they are time-poor. They don’t read every press release they get sent (sorry) instead, they make snap decisions about which to read and which to cover.

Man sitting against of wall and floor covered in newspaper. His face is obscured as he's holding up a newspaper, reading it. He's wearing a bright yellow jumper and dark blue jeans and trainers.
Getting your story in the press means ticking certain boxes with your press release. Photo by Egor Vikhrev on Unsplash

I’ve written a few posts about press releases, what works best and what doesn’t based on 20 years of being on the receiving end (links at the bottom).

Among my top tips are to target your press release appropriately, get to the point quickly and stick to the facts – no unsubstantiated marketing speak like ‘leading’ and ‘unique’.

But for this post, I asked some of my B2B journalist friends and former colleagues for their press release dos and don’ts.

Here is what they had to say:

Sophia Furber, reporter, S&P Global Market Intelligence:

Us financial journalists need to back up our stories with numbers, so if you are pitching to the business media, then include useful data points in your press release.

How big was X’s investment/loan? How great do you think Y market opportunity is? How much capital was raised? Which company was bought, and for how much money?

You get the picture.

Including this information in the email header or the opening lines of the press release will get my attention and help me make a quick decision about how newsworthy the story is.

Go easy on the jargon and corporate speak. If you include a quote from the CEO in the press release that sounds like it was generated by a robot, then it’s more than likely that it’s not going to end up in any media coverage.

And lastly, if you are offering up comments on a topic that is in the news (say, a big government announcement or a high-profile bankruptcy) from your CEO or another expert source in your company… actually have an opinion!

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Video: 5 quick tips for writing press releases

Journalists are busy and inundated with press releases, so making sure yours hits the mark is critical.

Here are 5 quick tips for writing press releases for the B2B press:

Want to know more about writing press releases? Check out some of these blog posts:

How to make your press release repel journalists

4 common misconceptions about B2B press releases

Why you should target your press release

Before you write your press release, ask these questions

And if you want to see more of my videos, I’ve set up a YouTube channel: The B2B Content Clinic.

🎥 📱 🎥 📱 🎥 📱

This video was made using Canva. It’s the first time I’ve used Canva video, and I found it fairly intuitive and straightforward.

How to make your B2B press release repel journalists

Want to make sure that journalists hit delete on your B2B press release?

Here’s a handy guide to what you can do to ensure the story on your press release doesn’t make it onto your target B2B news website or into the pages of a trade magazine or newspaper.

Close up shot of the delete key on a MacBook with the caption: It is easy to get your press release deleted.
Press releases are easily deleted. Photo by Ujesh Krishnan on Unsplash
  1. Just put “Press Release” in your email subject line rather than a headline.
  2. Write a boring subject line.
  3. Don’t paste your press release into the email just write: Our press release is attached.
  4. Send your press release as a PDF.
  5. Make your press release really long.
  6. Write your press release in huge blocks of text that are difficult to scan on screen.
  7. Use marketing speak.
  8. Use unsubstantiated claims (unique, leading etc)
  9. Include a bland corporate quote that adds no value or context to the story.
  10. Say your are delighted in your quote.
  11. Waffle rather than getting straight to the point of the story
  12. Bury the story some where near the bottom of the press release.

Why is all this effective for repelling journalists?

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4 common misconceptions about B2B press releases

Press releases can be an important way of sharing your B2B business news and building visibility, but there are some common misconceptions about how journalists treat press releases.

Photo by Juliana Malta on Unsplash

Understanding how journalists work is important for writing and targeting your press releases and building a relationship with trade journalists.

From the questions I’ve been asked about press releases over the years, these are the four most common misunderstandings:

1. The press release will get used as written

Nope. Most likely, you’ll have sent your B2B press release to a press list.

Publications and websites are competing for stories and readers. If the story is interesting to the journalist, they will be looking to create a point of difference to make it stand out.

Unless of course they are very busy but then if it is used as written then it most likely means they don’t believe it is worth spending the extra time on. (Sorry.)

2. It’s your story

It isn’t your story. You may have written the press release, but once it’s in a journalists hands, they will do with it what they want to make it engaging for their readers.

Think of the competition and how they want to differentiate.

They may take a different angle to what you’ve presented. They may want to interview someone from your business to get extra information or comment.

And they may talk to other people to get different views – including your competitors.

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