The media listens to press releases.
Creating a press release is easy if you know these 7 key parts that will help you garner media attention for your book. The best thing about these tips is that they build on each other, so if you walk through each step, you’ll have a strong press release when you are done. Let’s jump in on tip #1.
Tip #1 - Know Your Audience
The fastest way to get ignored by the media is to not know who your press release is aimed at. Knowing your audience means you’re paying attention to their felt need. Who is going to want to read this book? What about this book’s topic will appeal to them?
Here’s where you’ll feel the tug that makes you want to say, “But my book is for everyone.” While there might be some truth to that, a press release needs to be tailored to a specific audience. Your best chances for success will come with having a well-defined audience in mind when crafting your press release.
Tip #2 - You’re Going to Need a Hook
The hook of your press release is the headline. This is the most crucial part of the press release. Without a good hook, most media outlets will ignore your press release.
This is where tip #1 will help you. By knowing your audience, you can get specific and focused when it comes to creating a headline. Remember, a headline is short. Don’t try to do too much. You’re trying to capture the reader’s attention, not tell them everything. The rest of the press release is for that.
A great way to craft an eye-catching headline is to read the headlines on news articles. Keep your headline relevant either to a trending topic or current event.
Tip #3 - Make the Subhead Descriptive
Subheads are placed directly below the headline. This is where you can build off the momentum of the headline and expand on it. This is the “tell me more” section of the press release. Now that you have the reader’s attention, you can lean into the topic of your press release. But even though you have more room to expand, keep it clear and to the point. A good rule to remember is subheads are about 120 characters or twice the length of the headline.
Tip #4 - Engage the Reader
Often referred to as the lead, the first paragraph of your press release is your opportunity to unpack the who, what, where, when & why. If you can craft a first paragraph that answers those questions, you will be well on your way to creating a great press release.
It’s important to begin with the date and location. Those elements are crucial for orientating the media outlet and making decisions on future opportunities for the press release. When we think about press releases, it’s easy for our minds to quickly turn to national media coverage. Often some of the best coverage can come from local outlets. Don’t underestimate these opportunities for promoting your book!!!
Tip #5 - Tell Them About the Book
Now that you’ve made it to the body of your press release, it’s time to tell them about your book. This is where you can get into some of that general information and benefits for readers. If there are any key quotes or an excerpt from an endorsement from a fellow author, this is where those should go.
The one crucial difference to keep in mind is: Don’t promote your book in your press release. Press releases are all about informing, not promoting. If you can’t tell the difference, ask yourself if the writing sounds like it belongs on an Amazon product page or in an article. You want to aim for the same tone as an article, not ad copy.
Tip #6 - Don’t Forget the Boilerplate
Much like an about page on a website, the boilerplate section of the press release is where you share your expanded bio. Tell us more about your background as a writer, previous books you’ve written, and any awards you’ve won. Also, always include your website.
Tip #7 - How to Contact You
You’ve done all this work, created a winning press release, and now it’s time to make sure they know how to contact you. Add your contact information at the end of the press release - name, phone number, and email address.
A press release is your first step to gaining access to media coverage. These 7 tips will help you with crafting the type of press release the media is looking for!
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