Press releases still remain an important way of self-promotion, and constructing a release that will catch the eye of a busy journalist is an art form. I immediately know if a press release is relevant for my blog, and if it isn’t, it heads straight to my trash bin.

I’ve been and remain on both sides of the story- I write many press releases for my clients, and receive many as a blogger and freelancer. Whether I’m constructing a release or reading one, the following tips are ones that I always consider.

Tone of voice: decide from the outset what your press release’s tone of voice is going to be. Tailor the language and style depending on if you want it to be informal or formal.

Short, relevant and structured: in the first line it is imperative that you mention what is the news, why it is relevant, who is involved and the name of the company or individual that you are promoting. Without these points, how can it be newsworthy?

An eye-catching headline: the headline should be a compact version of the press release’s key objective. Remember to use the headline in the subject line of your email, and make it relevant to the journalist’s area of interest.

A strong quote: Include a strong quote from relevant individuals in the company/your client to anchor the press release and reinforce the message you want to promote.

Remember SEO: tailor your press release to enhance SEO benefits. Include key words and the name of the company/individual in the headline, opening paragraph and quote.

A visually strong photograph: include an eye-catching photograph either attached to the press release or in a Dropbox folder so the journalist can download. If using Dropbox, have a few different versions available as well as a copy of the company logo.

What tips do you use to present a stand-out press release to a journalist? Let us know!