Wondering how you can spot freelance writers who haven’t mastered the art of crafting effective press releases? It’s easy. Just look for the ones with a sad face, more free time than clients, and a large pile of unpaid bills. Contrast that with a master. This freelancer earns lucrative repeat business because he has the ability to deliver a solid press release that generates media buzz. Want to know his secret? Read on.
Don’t Take Off Your Copywriter’s Hat
When a successful freelancer sits down to write a press release, he knows that he cannot afford to forget who his audience is. You might think audience is his client’s target demographic. It isn’t. The real audience is the reporter sitting at his desk and going through the hundreds of press releases his publication received this morning.
This guy is drowning. He needs a reason to hit the delete button. It’s really his only shot at getting out of the office on time. The successful press release writer won’t give him the chance.
Instead, this writer thinks like a copywriter. He knows that the most important part of any press release is actually the subject line of the email its attached to. He uses everything he knows about writing headlines to ensure that message gets opened. He must compel the reporter to read on. If he fails here, nothing else matters.
Make Sure There’s a Story
Journalists really don’t lose sleep worrying about how they can promote businesses. They came up with a successful solution to that problem a long time ago – it’s called the advertising department. Nonetheless, the successful commercial writer knows there is a group of people that journalists are very concerned about pleasing: Their readers. In order to keep subscribers coming back, journalists need to offer a steady stream of compelling stories. Before he sends off a press release, a successful writer makes sure there really is a story there for journalists to tell. He provides real news and offers real value, because he knows it’s the only way for his client to get into the spotlight.
Make It Easy to Use
From a journalist’s point of view, writing a story is only part of the battle. The hard work is in the reporting – finding verifying, and presenting the facts. The successful press release writer provides independent sources and quotes experts. He does whatever he can to make the journalist’s job easier. Essentially, he pre-reports the story. That is an offer that a busy news writer will find hard to ignore.
Aim for the Right Targets
Finally, the successful press release writer aims carefully. He may make use of sites that aggregate releases, but he also pitches his work to specific media outlets that make sense. He shows the journalist/gatekeepers that he understands their readers and their publications, and he offers highly targeted content to benefit them.
Follow the successful writer’s path, and you greatly improve the chances of having your press release picked up. It doesn’t take a miracle, just hard work and marketing savvy. If you’re lucky, you might even find the time to get through that stack of unpaid bills – when you can squeeze them in between client work.
Matthew R is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.