Press releases have many benefits. When you publish your press release online or to a dissemination service, you not only boost your SEO through inbound links but also raise awareness for your cause.
But many nonprofits don’t realize that they should write them, while others are intimidated because they don’t have the staff or experience in publishing them. Follow these guiding principals to start telling your stories and gaining publicity for your causes!
Remember the Goal
The goal of a press release is to help news organizations write a story about your event, campaign, or community impact. Often, the release will be republished in its entirety. Keep in mind that press releases aren’t just for journalists anymore. Rather, you can post them on your website and social media channels to get traction.
Hook the Reader
Grabbing your reader’s attention in the first sentence(s) is crucial. After all, journalists mine through numerous releases to find a story worth covering, and if yours isn’t interesting, it’s not likely to make the cut. Make sure your first few sentences are catchy, compelling, and informative. Give a general overview of what your reader should expect in the rest of the release. Use these tips to craft a lasting impression in the first few sentences.
Tell Your Story
Tell a story that will hold your reader’s interest. Include the mission of your nonprofit, and why you do what you do. Find a way to spark an emotional connection, while still answering the who, what, when, where, and why of the event.
Try to avoid phrases like “revolutionary,” “groundbreaking,” and “never seen before.” This is hyperbole, which has no place in a press release. Remember, you are conveying news. It doesn’t need to be dry and devoid of excitement, but rather report the facts of your event in an interesting way.
Contextualize Your News
Tie your story to a growing trend or movement within your cause or sector. Set up Google Alerts to stay in-the-know about news in your field. If you find a relevant trend, consider how you can work it in, but be careful not to force it. If you leave people scratching their heads trying to make the connection, you’re better off leaving it out.