Saturday, January 21, 2006

How to make a press release interesting

This post might be about clubbing and dance music based press, but it works for anyone writing a press release about anything.

We get a lot of club related press releases at and I would say less than 1 in 50 make it onto the site. They tend to be generic and aimed at getting a free advert out of us. The trouble is that they are not of interest to clubbers so they get chucked out.

It’s not that we don’t want to publish press releases. It’s more that we want to engage our readers with unique content. We want to make our news and features interesting for our clubbing audience (It’s one of my pet projects)

So in the interest of openness here is my guide to making a press release interesting enough to be published.

  1. Make it interesting. You have to have something to say that engages us and hooks us in. We have a responsibility to deliver content that informs and entertains. A list of DJs and the size of the sound system is important but everyone tells us that. Find an angle that would make people look at the release as a piece of news and not an advert.
  2. Give something away. Everyone likes a free lunch, and some websites thrive on giving away tonnes of free tickets to events. We work a bit differently so when you decide to give something away you need to give it away to everyone. See Bleep's free mp3 downloads or EMI’s links to dance music videos.
  3. Get personal. Sankeys Soap in Manchester are getting a lot of coverage from us at the moment. This is mainly because of Damo their PR guy. He stays in constant touch with us, answering our every whim and setting up all kinds of content of very high quality. He has a brilliant personal touch that smacks the usual faceless press release in the gob with a wet fish.
  4. Be controversial. We love a good debate and a press release that attacks an issue head on is going to get in the news. We want to be interactive, and nothing sparks interaction like a debatable issue.
  5. Make it readable. DON’T TYPE IN RED CAPITALS! Use spell check. Think about grammar and punctuation. Dnt type lke itz a tx msg LOLZ! It might be basic, but there are so many that get binned because we just don’t know what the author is banging on about.

Follow those 5 points and your chances of getting attention and getting published will rocket. You still won’t be a guarantee though. To get that you need to engage your brain even more and be prepared to work with us to come up with some really creative stuff. Things like coming up with content ideas, letting us stream mixes, giving us information we can pass on and becoming a regular contributor. Good PR isn’t just about sending a good press release, it’s about working together to create something better for both sides.

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