Prepping Your Press Release Writer
One of the benefits of hiring freelance press release writers for your marketing agency is that you can spend more time on your big picture plan and less on creating the various content pieces needed to put that plan in action. But unless you give your writers some clear, concrete information, you’ll end up spending too much time going back and forth to get the results you want. So how do you get the powerful press releases you crave?
Frontload the Information
Give your writer the information they need up front. Remember the classic 5 Ws of journalism and try to provide your writer with the who, what, when, where, and why before they get started. You’re hiring them to write the thing, not plan the event, so no need to put this information into neat paragraphs, or even sentences! Good press release writers should be able to take raw data and run with it, but don’t expect them to fabricate details from thin air.
Be Realistic About Timelines
Good press releases anticipate a newsworthy event, like a business opening or a major shift within a company. Be sure to give your writer adequate time to complete the press release and get it back to you with enough leeway for your agency to distribute it effectively to get the most mileage from your message. While there’s no “wrong” or “right” time to send a press release, consider your overall strategy and when you’d like to get your release out to the public, then backwards plan from there and assign your writer the job with a reasonable timeframe for completion.
Before assigning the press release, consider the tone you want the writer to strike. Are you looking for a boilerplate release that will just get out the facts? Or are you hoping for something more in line with the company’s overall voice and vision, something perhaps a little edgier, funnier, or even more academic in nature? Consider what style you’d like and do your best to communicate those expectations to the writer when you assign the release. Again, if you’ve picked a pro press release writer, they should be able to produce something powerful with just a few clear, concrete guidelines. There’s no need to dictate exactly how they should structure each sentence and order the paragraphs; after all, the goal here is for them to do most of the heavy lifting. It’s both respectful and good time management, however, to make transparent at the get go what general style you’d like to see. Clear expectations and room for questions from the writer at the start of the press release project will help streamline the process and get you closer towards that perfect press release, and, ideally, build a solid relationship with a quality freelance writer!
Caitlin C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.