A single news release can get picked up by dozens of magazines and websites, spreading the news about your IMTS exhibit to a broad manufacturing technology audience.
IMTS supports your PR efforts with information on key industry publications, tips on how to prepare and submit your press materials and how to craft them to obtain the best response.
The Elements of a Good News Release
Well-written press releases receive more coverage than poor ones, which editors will need to rewrite. Worse, they may simply trash a poor release when pressed for time.
A good press release uses what journalists call an “inverted pyramid” format that puts the news in the first one or two “lead” paragraphs of the release and answers the classic questions of who/what/when/where/how/why.
A news release is like your elevator speech. Instead of 30 seconds to impress a prospect, you have 100 words to catch an editor’s interest. By quickly scanning a good release, an editor will know:
- What is new, unique or newsworthy about your subject
- Some of this information should be in the headline to grab the editor’s attention
- Use a sub-head or bullets under the headline to note other key facts
- What problems or challenges it solves and what improvements it offers
- How the subject of the release positively impacts the magazine’s readers
Editors have an old saying: numbers are news. Use specific facts whenever possible, such as “increases spindle RPM from 7,500 to 10,000,” “50 percent lighter, reducing weight from 10 to 5 kg” and “uses a blend of 80 percent ABS plastic and 20 percent carbon fiber.” Editors prefer not to use vague superlatives. Avoid phrases such as “significantly faster,” “greatly reduced” and “composite” to describe important elements of your subject.
After hitting the high points in the lead paragraph(s), add detail in subsequent paragraphs to create a one- to three-page release (400 to 900 words). Don’t feel compelled to add in every last detail. The object of a news release is to create a favorable impression and cause a reader to take an action, such as visiting your website for additional information. You can best accomplish those goals by giving the reader the core facts to consider, which will be much easier to remember.
Other attributes of a good news release include:
- Short sentences and paragraphs of a reasonable length
- Proper grammar and spelling (get a proofreader!)
- Sub-heads to break up body copy
- Hyperlinks to additional information
- Professional photography and graphics
- Contact information so the editor can reach you
Distributing Your News Release
AAfter drafting a news release, there are several distribution options. The most effective is a personalized email calling out information specific to an editor or organization. For example:
Attached please find a news release announcing the introduction of ACME’s new 5-axis machining center, which can improve productivity by up to 20% in gear machining applications. I noticed that Machine Tool Monthly’s editorial calendar shows that you plan to cover gears in your September issue and machine tools in October. This release would be appropriate for either one of those issues, as well as your regulator “product news” section.
If you have any questions about our 5-axis machining center, would like to interview a subject matter expert or wish additional photography, please let me know.
There are several news release distribution services (conduct a web search using that phrase to find them). These services offer everything from basic release distribution to the ability to create customized media databases to post-distribution analytics showing ROI. If you have a large number of publications to reach and you plan to frequently distribute news releases, these services may add value.
Some contact/sales management programs also provide the ability to create and distribute emails with at least a personalized introduction, as well as include attachments (your press release as a Word document and an associated image). This may be a lower cost option if you have an in-house person to manage distribution, as well as to build and maintain your media list.
Note: IMTS provides an Online Media Center where you can upload press releases and press kits. These functions are currently dormant but will become activated as we approach IMTS 2018. At that time, we will provide additional guidance to help you get the most out of these valuable functions.