Journalists are by their very nature very skeptical people who are required (believe it or not) by law to ensure that what they report is factual. Every day hundreds, if not thousands, of press releases (abbreviated PR) cross the desk of journalists across the world.
Of the few that get more than a cursory glance, many are discarded because they don’t answer six very basic questions. If your PR answers these six questions then you will find it looked on much more favorably by journalists.
Question 1: Who
This is a very important question because the journalists need to know who the press release is from. They also need to know who did it. Any good PR will include a quote from someone within the company (i.e. you). Journalists are social creatures and like to deal with people by name… so give them one!
Question 2: What
What’s it all about then? What is your PR promoting? Why have you sent it to them? The journalists need to understand what has happened that is newsworth in order to understand how to use it within their organization.
Question 3: When
You have to tell people when what you are promoting in your PR happened (or is going to happen). You may also, if it is a big event, tell the journalists when the PR is to be published.
Question 4: Where
Where did it happen? A location always helps because then local media outlets can pick up on your press release. Local media centers are always looking for something exciting and interesting with a local angle and so the “where” can often mean you get local media coverage, which is a good start!
Question 5: Why
Why has it happened? Why is this newsworthy? Why should anyone else care? These are questions your press release must answer in order to get it promoted and picked up on.
Question 6: How
This is the big question that is important and that is how did it happen.
These are six very important questions that PR must answer. Whenever you write a PR ensure that all six of these questions are covered and answered fully and you will have much more chance of your PR being picked up on and driving you massive amounts of traffic.