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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Before you write your press release ask these questions

There is a lot of ego in press releases. Businesses who insist their PR issue a press release despite being advised to the contrary.

Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Here’s the thing, just because you did something doesn’t mean anyone else actually cares.

Just because it’s interesting to you, doesn’t mean anyone else will find it interesting – or useful information.

It might make a nice bit of content for your blog or social media but that doesn’t mean it’s going to set a journalists world on fire and have them holding the front page.

Have realistic expectations

When it comes to press releases, you need to be realistic in your expectations.

A journalist’s job isn’t to do your marketing for you, your press release needs to be helpful to them for the job that they are doing.

Which is giving their readers useful and interesting information.

So how do you decide whether a story is worth the time spent drafting and approving a press release?

Here are some questions to ask:

• Is your story genuinely interesting to the journalist’s audience?

Continue reading “Before you write your press release ask these questions”

Why you should target your press release

Journalists receive a lot of press releases and a lot get deleted without being read because they just don’t have time for them.

Targeting your press release to specific journalists, publications and websites can give it a better chance of being read. Here’s why.

Photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash

When I give generic examples of good and bad ways to approach writing press releases, I pick on window box makers.

It’s not just a lame attempt at humour but a reminder of a past experience.

When I was a journalist at commercial property magazine EG, I was sent press releases from a company which made window boxes for houses.

Pictures of bright coloured blooms sprouting from boxes hanging from windows on pretty little cottages. You know the type of thing.

Irrelevant story

If the PR had ever taken the time to pick up a copy of EG they’d know that a story about window boxes wasn’t ever going to make it into print.

The magazine was aimed at those working in commercial property – developers and investors.

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