How I: Write press releases to get international media coverage
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How I: Write press releases to get international media coverage


CLAIRE FREEMAN: Hi,
my name’s Claire. I’m the founder of My
Plus One and Airspruce. My Plus One is a web platform
that connects travelers with the most interesting
locals and places to stay in five cities. And Airspruce is
a new service that allows people to have their
Airbnb or other property listing written by a
professional travel writer. I’m going to talk to
you today about PR and share some tips with you. There’s some great
new tools out there to make reaching the media
really easy and more affordable than it was before. And I’m also going to run
through how to write and create a press release and some
tips for doing that. So building good
relationships with the media is really important for
getting your startup heard and receiving press coverage
in publications, which can help the business
grow so much. I launched My Plus One a
few years ago in Berlin as Plus One Berlin. And there was a lot of
media attention, which was fantastic for helping
the business grow. It was featured
in over 50 online and print publications, such
as “The New York Times,” “Conde Nast Traveler,” and “Wallpaper.” And what really
helped with that is having these great
images and a great story. So I’m going to talk through
how to write and create a press release. I’m going to do this
in five stages just to clarify exactly what to do,
and give you some tips on how to make it really attractive
for the journalist receiving it. So the first thing to think
about is really your message. What makes your startup
different from all the other startups? You’ve really got
to think about what you want the journalist to
know, what’s really key. And for this, you might want to
write down your elevator pitch. Because this really
summarizes the strengths of your business and what it is. So the first step when you’re
writing a press release is to make sure you have
the logo of your startup at the top of the page,
and then obviously “Press Release”
written beneath that. The top of the press release is
really the most important area. Because journalists
are really busy people. They won’t have time to read
through the whole release. And they’ll probably only
read the first paragraph and the title. So you’ve got to make
these really, really good. With the title, keep it short. I think between three
and five words is good. And then have the date that
you’re sending out the press release, and also where
your startup is located. Right, so in this press release,
which I wrote for Airspruce, you can see at the top of
the press release I included the Airspruce logo, and then
beneath that the words “Press Release.” Then, when you go into the
title, I made it really short. There’s only three words. I think, in summary, Airspruce
makes listings much easier to create, to write. So it’s just
“Listings Made Easy.” And then, because
it was a launch, that’s really newsworthy
for journalists. So if you are writing
a press release about the launch
of your startup, make sure that’s
really highlighted in the title and
the first paragraph. OK, so in the first
paragraph of a press release, it’s important to have the date
you’re sending out the press release and the location
of your startup. In the first paragraph,
just try and summarize exactly what your startup
is, or what your message is. And make sure to include
a link to your website so the journalist can
easily just click on that and go and view your website. So here I’ve really written
what Airspruce is in a sentence, as that’s really the
essence of the startup. And it also says the date
that it was launched. And it’s got a link to
the Airspruce website. So with the rest of
the press release, structure it so the most
important information for the journalist
is at the top. And then it gets kind of more
detailed but less relevant, I guess, as you go down. So in the second
paragraph, you might want to include
information about the team, about prices, about how it
works, and things like that. And then you can
go into more detail as you go further down
the press release. But really try and include
all the key information at the beginning. Then in the third paragraph,
I gave even more detail. So as you can see, as we’re
going through the press release, writing it,
it gets more detailed probably as it goes on. And we’ve got some information
in the third paragraph about what is included
for the 50 pounds that the person spends. So what exactly do we offer? And this goes on to say
more benefits of who is the target market
for Airspruce. It’s great for people who don’t
have the time or the writing skills to create a listing. It’s also useful for people
that have their listing written in another language
and want it translated. And then I speak a bit about
the team of travel writers. So we’ve got a great
team of travel writers. So I thought it
was good to include some information
about who they are. So the traveler editor, he
used to be at “Wallpaper,” and some great
freelance journalists. And then lastly,
there’s just a bit of information
about how Airspruce can help with
other writing jobs. So in the second paragraph
of the press release, I talk more about how Airspruce
works and what’s involved. In the next paragraph, I
talk about what exactly people get for their
50 pounds, so what the writer will do
to their listing. In the next paragraph, I
talk about who Airspruce is ideal for, so for
people that maybe don’t have the time
or the writing skills to create their own listing. In the next
paragraph, I talk more about the team of
travel writers and what their positions are or were. And in the final
paragraph, I talk about how Airspruce can help
in other ways, such as creating a house manual for
guests on Airbnb. At the end of the
press release, make sure you have the
word “Ends,” and then beneath that a Notes
to Editors section. In this section, just include
your contact information. So if a journalist
wants more information, or has questions,
or wants images, they can contact
you really easy. In this section, you could
also include a little summary of your startup or
business as well. After you’ve created
your press release, then you can put together
a list of the journalists that you want to send
your press release to. And in this, it’s
really important to make your list of
journalists very relevant for your press release. So if your startup
is food related, you don’t want to be sending
your press release to a sports journalist. And it will annoy
journalists if they get press releases that
aren’t relevant to them. So there are some tools
for finding journalists, such as JustReachOut, which is
a new tool that you can use. With JustReachOut,
you can search for journalists that write
about particular subjects. You could also use Twitter. So you can search for
publications on Twitter and find contacts
that way as well. So there are different ways. And then once you
have your list, if you’re sending out the
press release by email, then I would recommend
writing individual emails to the journalists with just a
short email about the startup, about what you’re
sending, a snappy subject line about what your
press release is about. And then attach the press
release in PDF format to the email so they could
easily then open it and print it off if they want
to read it later. It’s good news at the
moment, because there are a lot of new
tools out there that make contacting or reaching out
to journalists a lot cheaper than it’s traditionally been
when you had to hire a PR consultancy and spend a
lot of money doing that. So some new tools
that I would recommend are GoPRit, which is a startup. And you can send email
pitches to select journalists about your startup. And you can also send tweets
out to those journalists, which is great. There’s another good
one called JustReachOut, which helps you find
journalists that write about a
particular subject. And then you can
also contact them. So this is great when you
create your list of journalists that you want to send
your press release to, because you can find
ones that are really relevant for your
startup and your story. Another good one is pr.co, which
can help you create and write a press release and send it out. And that’s an overview of
how to write a press release, and how I wrote a press
release for Airspruce. And I hope it’s
helpful for all of you.

26 thoughts on “How I: Write press releases to get international media coverage

  1. Thank you, this is a very informative presentation. I'm just finishing a book on this topic and your expertise has thoroughly helped.

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  3. Please investigate. Immoral behavior by people very likely attached to Dutch secret services!! A press release about guilty behavior by people very likely attached to Dutch secret services. Hopefully this is possible with this message. The bad behavior, it's from parapsychologists, so very likely working at secret services. There are a number of those Dutch secret service's parapsychologists that extensively apply those parapsychological techniques. This causes not only magnetism between the person(s) who apply the parapsychological techniques and the, whether or not forced, recipient. No, also outside those two mentioned magnetism can "smash". Smashing the unknowing innocient(s). 'Lebensmagnetismus' or 'Animal Magnetism' is a term created by German scientist Franz Mesmer. What they do (those secret service's parapsychologists) is triggering the subconscious. Anyone can become a victim.

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  7. BAD ADVICE
    Most pros DISAGREE with your instruction to email your press release with a PDF attachment of the complete press release!
    The other press release pros warn the majority of media outlets are not permitted to open the attachment due to fears of a virus. I agree!

    Six months ago I learned this the hard way. I sent a white paper to many dozens of media outlets with my PDF essay attached. ALL my emails were returned with a statement that we do not accept attachments.

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