psyborg® blog

How to Write A Media Release

How to Write A Media Release

How to Write A Media Release

Please Release Me

What is a media release?

Wikipedia’s definition is as good as any. A media release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy. Typically, they are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to editors and journalists at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, online media, and television networks.

Media releases are an ideal advertising tool. They reacher a wide audience and can help grow any brand.

Technology advancements have changed the media release outlets. We more than often see media releases online before anywhere else and they are so easily shared over social media outlets that all we have to do is open up Facebook to see the latest media releases. Here’s some tips about media releases that will hopefully have a journalist adding you to their outgoing news.

When should I do a media release?

As they say in the copywriting trade: ” You need a peg to hang it on.” There has to be some newsworthy element, but often publication comes down to the day-to-day whims of the journalist and/or desk editor on the receiving end. Certainly some things are more newsworthy than others, and that can include quirky. It should be aligned with the business’s marketing strategy, but differentiate itself from advertising collateral. Some examples of when to write a media release include, but are not limited to, the business:

  • receiving an award
  • launching a new product or service
  • changing or updating existing products or services
  • opening a new office or refurbishing an old one
  • highlighting a particular cause
  • introducing a new partnership or hiring a new executive
  • rebranding
  • working for a new, significant client.

If you think the news is worthy and want people would want to know, then prepare a media release.

How to write a media release?

Preparation is everything. Too many people hit the keyboards without thinking about why they are writing, or indeed what they hope to achieve. It’s always good to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes. The mind tends to logically order things. “Walk a mile” in the reader’s shoes. What would you hope to receive?

I recently caught up with Darrell Croker from Halage Media and Sub-editor of The Australian. Darrell says:

Darrell CrockerThe secret is to find a “hook” or an angle. Before preparing any written material, especially a media release, you should always employ Write For Impact’s “foundational five”. They are: (1) set a clear purpose; (2) know your reader(s); (3) gather your content; (4) draft your message; and (5) edit for impact. Good writing is good editing.

It’s always best to get your information organised first rather than making it up as you go along. Just as writing notes in longhand leads to logical order, having your information at hand has the same effect. Gather it and then you can order it. Write a draft knowing it’s unlikely to be the definitive version. Read it aloud or print it out and read the hard copy. Does it scan well? Check all dates and figures. Redraft.

Check tenses and use all available tools such as inbuilt spellcheck or Grammarly. If you are in Word and there are squiggly red or green lines, there’s a good chance there is an error. Double-check any names. The easiest way to alienate editors is to spell names incorrectly. Always print it out and read the hard copy out aloud. The advantage of clear and concise writing in business is establishing a good reputation.

Media releases should not only be easy to read, but relevant. It should tell us who, where, when, how and why. One idea per sentence is a good guide. The introduction should be catchy and draw the reader in, and the following paragraphs ordered from most to least important. A conclusion should sum up the points.

Don’t labour over a witty headline. That might be the only thing the journalist or editor reads. If it’s too clever you risk being consigned to the trash basket.

Some points to keep in mind.

It should be labelled a media release

Pretty basic, but something that must be stated clearly.

It must include who has issued the release

This can be the company, a group of people, or an individual. More important is clear contact details for one or two people. Often journalists will want to follow up to corroborate information, or in the best result, get some more quotes. You should be prepared to deal with a phone call from a media outlet. Have the company spokesman prepped.

Included the date and time for the release (or immediate release)

You may not want an immediate release if the event isn’t happening for a while. But it always pays to get media releases out early. Don’t second-guess news desks. In the 24-hour news cycle priorities change constantly, but journalists always like to have stories “up their sleeves”.

A catchy heading is helpful but straight forward information is better

Newspapers pay sub-editors to come up with catchy headlines. Your immediate audience is a journalist or desk editor. Keep the clever stuff for the body copy. The heading should be bold and bring direct attention to the event.

Address the main reason for the release in the first sentence

Stick to the facts and keep to the point. The first sentence/paragraph should contain the most important and strongest pieces of information. This will make the journalist keep reading.

Keep it professional and structured

Good writing is good editing. Keep rereading to detect any words that are not needed. Make sure it is not only informative and interesting but also easy to read and understand. Keep it to about an A4 page of writing. If it is too long it risks being overlooked. If the journalist needs more information, they will call you.

Remember, the person reading it may not know anything about your business. Just make sure it tells the reader who, when, where, why and how. Who is involved, when will the event take place, where did it or will it happen, why is it newsworthy, how did it come about, what steps took place to make it happen?

Sum it up with a conclusion, another piece of strong written information to grab the reader and make them want to follow up with a story.

You can also include a supporting image or video. Online media stories with attached photo or video get shared much more than just a written document. But the image/video must help promote the story.

Why Bother?

Media releases help get your brand in front of new audiences. They promote your business and brand and grab the attention of new clients. With the growth of the 24-hour news cycle, journalists often need more stories. Getting it “out there” gives you great exposure to a new audience. It can help with branding and worked properly with a strategic social media approach you can reach a larger, more engaged audience. This will bring website traffic and potentially business growth.

The online social world is growing and if your media release reaches the right people who decide to share your news then the potential audience base is unstoppable. Essentially it is free advertising. For example, a photographer wins a local art award, they put out a media release, a journalist runs the story. The potential here is 20,000 shares. It could have one share from someone who has two million followers. The possibilities are endless. The artist could go from selling an image a week to selling 100 a week.

In Summary

Businesses that want to grow need to continue to spread the word of their brand. Media releases are another way to capture a wider audience and bring in more business. Once a story is out there it is easily shared and the possibilities grow as does the business.

It it important to draw journalists in with the press release so remember to make sure it is exciting, honest and easy to read. No harm in trying.

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

What is your point of differentiation?

What is your point of differentiation?

What is your point of differentiation?

What is your point of Differentiation?

Point of Differentiation

Point of difference refers to the factors of goods or services that establish differentiation. Differentiation is the way in which the goods or services of a company differ from its competitors. Source; Wikipedia

Point of Differentiation enables businesses to stand out from their competition.

Point of Parity

Point of Parity refers to the similarities between you and the competition.

Unless you are starting a new, never been seen before kind of business with a completely new category of product or service then you will have competitors and you will have points of parity with these competitors. This is because when two like brands are serving a similar customer then some core needs of the target market will be the same. It is because of the points of parity that we need points of differentiation to make a brand stand out from the rest. Points of parity may include things such as a product functions, features or benefits, a good functioning website, location, value for money, a basic service being met etc.

Point of Differentiation Versus Point of Parity

When determining a brands position in the market place you must ensure that the business has desirable points of parity and points of differentiation. Both points are important, you need to know what makes you similar to your competitors and what makes you stand out from these competitors.

I’ll paint a picture away from the market place to illustrate Point of Parity and Point of Differentiation and why Point of Differentiation is super important.

You are after a puppy and have decided on a Labrador. You view a litter of 7 puppies. Points of parity here are huge; all 7 are labradors, same age, all healthy, 2 eyes, two ears, 4 legs, cute… I could go on and on. But you wish to buy a girl so that Point of Difference cuts the choice down to 4 puppies. One is sleeping and not interested so they get over looked. The other three are all fun, playful and cute. One jumps up and licks your face then sits on your foot. It has just stood out from the rest. Hello to the new family member. 

So a pretty easy example to use here but now lets look at these puppies as businesses. These puppies are now Law Firms. All have lawyers but only 4  (the female puppies) say they cover the type of service you are after. The sleeping puppy doesn’t have a website so you discard it. You check out the other three websites which look good (all puppies are cute and healthy) so you give them a call. One in particular (the puppy that licks your face) stands out because of the professional yet friendly person you talk to who exceeds your expectations by offering sound advice and talks to you in a way that makes you feel at ease. The decision is made. The Point of Difference here was the way they made you feel and that got them over the line from the other local firms.

In most businesses there are always going to be competitors, your job is to find those points of differentiation to make you stand out and be the ‘puppy’ they pick.

You can stand out from your competitors in many ways. Whether it be a price incentive, a loyalty program, proof of your dedication and good work, word of mouth, great reviews, a fantastic website, a good advertising program, a reliable product or a unique brand… There are many ways to be differentiated from your competitors.

Why is it important to know your Point Of Differentiation?

When points of difference are well articulated and understood, this can become a key communication point that businesses use to express there brand. It can create the unique selling proposition enabling the brand to stand out from the crowd and garnish attention.

When done extremely well differentiation can create a completely new product, service or brand that stands completely on its own and hence seem to have no competitors. Apple is one of these brands that comes to mind, while some new technologies are starting to catch up for a long time Apple stood on it’s own. Why? Because it was the most modern, up to date, almost ‘futuristic’, reliable technology available. Samsung has caught up in more recent years but I still class Apple as a cut above the rest. There was a measurable difference between Apple and all of their competitors. 

To Sum Up

So, what makes your business, product, service or brand different from its competition? Why should the next client pick you over the business down the road? How can you use this Point of Differentiation to your advantage? Could your point of differentiation be expressed across your brand and your touch points? These are important questions and will help with business growth. I’ve said it before and I am going to say it again, be consistent! Your points of differentiation will only be beneficial if you are consistent with them. 

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

Interview with Troy and Luke from the IDHTTW Podcast

Interview with Troy and Luke from the IDHTTW Podcast

Interview with Troy and Luke from the IDHTTW Podcast

Interview with Troy and Luke from the IDHTTW Podcast

I recently had the pleasure to be interviewed by Troy and Luke from the IDHTTW Podcast.

IDHTTW is an acronym for ‘I DON’T HAVE TIME TO WORK‘ which, hey we all agree on, right! No body want’s to work but if you’re lucky enough to be doing what you love, is that really work? And that’s what these guys are all about.

Troy and Luke interview entrepreneurs & business owners who love what they do and I had the pleasure of chatting with these guys for just over 30 minutes.

In this interview we discuss how and why I got into business, the hustle, Australian entrepreneurship culture, following your dreams, the reality of Networking and much, much more.

The interview was uploaded to youTube and iTunes as a podcast on the link below.

Take a listen and if you have any questions be sure to reach out!

Listen to IDHTTW Podcast on iTunes

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

Interview with Craig McGregor from Career Conversations Podcast

Interview with Craig McGregor from Career Conversations Podcast

Interview with Craig McGregor from Career Conversations Podcast

Interview with Craig McGregor from Career Conversations Podcast

Interview with Craig McGregor from Career Conversations Podcast

I recently had the pleasure to be interviewed by Craig McGregor from the Careers & Conversations Podcast.

Craig conducts recorded interviews with business owners, entrepreneurs, high level managers and experts where he shares the insights into each persons career journey through the lens of a HR professional. Craig has a very natural and professional interview style so I was thrilled to be a guest on Craig’s show and had a heap of fun chatting.

Craig also runs a Hunter Valley based recruitment business, Hunter Recruitment Group where he helps businesses recruit and manage employees.

In this interview we discuss my career pathway from the world of engineering to graphic design and the work we do at psyborg® where we solve problems through graphic design and branding.

Please take a listen via the links below.

Listen and read more at Career Conversations Podcast

Or on your favourite podcast platform…

Listen on Apple iTunes
Listen on Google Play
Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

How to Ask for Testimonials

How to Ask for Testimonials

How to ask for Testimonials

What is a Testimonial?

A testimonial is a recommendation from a satisfied customer conveying the performance, quality and value of a service or product. They can be requested for or just given when work has been completed.

 

Why are Testimonials Important?

Testimonials can be an extremely strong and necessary marketing tool.

If a new client or customer is trying to decide whether to choose to work with you, then a few good testimonials can prove that you really are the right choice.

When perspective clients or customers are searching for an expert they often visit webpages, social media, Facebook reviews, GoogleMyBusiness reviews to learn what quality to expect from a business, and essentially decide whether or not they will choose that business to give their work to.

 

What Type of Testimonials are Out There?

Testimonials can be text, image, or video. While a written testimonial is the most common form of testimonials, images and videos can be very effectives as well. Images may be of a client using their purchase or showing a final product. In my line of business it might be a client standing in front of a sign I created. Often images will include a written testimonial as well stating why they are happy with the completed work. Videos can be great because unlike written content, you can see the customers expression and passion for what they are talking about. It is good to keep all forms in mind when asking for a testimonial and perhaps give the client the option.

There are some 3rd party review sites where testimonials can also appear. These generally rate a particular profession though and unless you are in that profession and keeping an eye online to see if any reviews have been written they may or may not work for your business. Some of these include Rate My Agent, FourSquare, TripAdvisor, GoogleMyBusiness, Yelp and more.

Also tools such as Facebook & GoogleMyBusiness reviews are becoming more and more popular and you can choose to put testimonials on your businesses website.

 

How to Ask for a Testimonial?

Firstly make sure you are testimonial worthy! Make sure you do a great job consistently! You should work like everyone you work for is going to review your business. This way you should never have a bad testimonial and you can ask everyone for a testimonial.

It’s pretty easy to get testimonials and no harm in asking. Not everyone has the time to do one and people are forgetful so don’t push it but, at the end of a job, ask for it in a survey form via an email with a link to the form. Surveys are easy to create, easy to fill out and can give some great information about a business. Within the survey a written section can give more detail and be used on your websites or social media if desired (ask permission in the survey). Also if some negatives do come up in the survey you can either work to rectify the issue or keep it in mind for future business dealings.

If you are after reviews on GoogleMyBusiness or the like then give written instructions with screen shots on how to complete it and offer a discount or a gift to encourage clients to do it.

An example of how to do this is… you could offer a box of chocolates with a note on the lid explaining how to give a review on GoogleMyBusiness, this could be a small flyer with graphics showing the steps. This would be effective because every time the customer has a chocolate you are reminding the customer to write the review. It may take a little while but no doubt by the time the customer has finished the box of chocolates the review would have been made. 

 

To Sum Up

Word of mouth is an amazing advertising tool. Testimonials aid in this as it can help build and promote a business giving it credibility. Remember to work like everyone is reviewing your business and don’t be afraid to ask for a testimonial at the end of customer interaction! This is made a lot easier by coming up with a system for asking that could involve templated emails, online surveys and carrot to encourage the user to take action. Check out some of my testimonials at psyborg®.  

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel

Where is your Brand Positioned?

Where is your Brand Positioned?

Where is your brand positioned?

Where is your brand positioned?

Have you ever thought about or determined where your brand sits amongst it’s competitors? In this article I discuss brand positioning and why understanding this can help you when creating or communicating your brand.

 

What is positioning and why is it important to your brand?

Positioning refers to where your brand is positioned in the market place in contrast to your competitors.

Positioning is often differentiated by price which usually also reflects quality and can be communicated by design.

Typical positions are;

  • Cheap
  • Value
  • Premium
  • Luxury

As an example, lets look at these four price positions and a business type that would fit in each. I am going to use restaurants as an example.

CheapCheap

Your local fast food restaurant of choice. Currently offering a value meals for $4.95 which includes a burger, chips, drink and ice cream. Now that’s cheap! Perhaps aimed at teenagers or an easy and cheap family meal. They buy bulk food and everything is pre-processed ready to be served. The quality of the products may be questionable to some people. The design aesthetic is usually loud and chaotic, sometimes messy and disorganised giving the perception of cheap.

 

Value

Value

Here I would classify a pub restaurant meal as value. You can usually get a meal for $20-$30, they often have specials on or occasionally a ‘kids eat free’ night. The quality isn’t 5 star but usually tasty all the same. Here the design aesthetic could take on the current fashion and trends of the day, they are not cutting edge or out of the ordinary. The branding is usually normal & ordinary in order to appeal to a mass market.

 

Premium

Premium

Moving away from the pub and going to a ‘real’ restaurant. Who’s focus is to serve higher quality cuts of meats and more upper class food. I would put your al a cart restaurant on your local dining street into this category. Here the branding is more refined with it’s own personality to attract a particular market. In premium brands the branding tends to become more unique, considered & focussed.

 

Luxury

Luxury

Here is the restaurant you would propose at! Something often with a view and where they sell quality sourced fresh food cooked by an experienced sous chef. Less is more comes to mind when thinking of luxurious brands where messaging is very confident as there is not need to say that much as consumers either get it or they are not in the know.

 

If we look at products on the market designed by different companies you can usually pick where their brand is positioned by the price which is then reflected in the design aesthetic of the brand.

 

Why is knowing your brand positioning important?

As a designer I like to understand the position of my clients brand as this dictates the design style we move with so as to create the right perception.

If you have created your client avatar, that is know who your target market is, you should have some idea of where you would like to position your brand. This can also help you to create your business culture, which looks at the internal aspects of your business. To determine business culture a business needs to have a set of beliefs, values and attitudes, if these are determined and are very clear then the business will attract the clients and customers that they want. So the culture of a luxury positioned restaurant will be very different to the culture of the cheap one, and this is then infused into the brand so as to leave a cohesive memory in the consumers mind.

Designers appreciate businesses who know their position, client avatar and culture as it will allow the designers to determine the appropriate style for the visual representation of the brand. So logos, colouring, advertising messaging, office interiors etc can all be created around your brand positioning.

If you do not know these things this is where we can help as this is one of the aspects we consider when hosting our brand workshops.

 

To Sum Up

Who is your client avatar? What is your business culture? How is your brand positioned? For a strong brand these are the questions that need to be answered to create a solid image for your business. And remember, as I have said many times, once it is set, consistency is key!

Daniel Borg

Daniel Borg

Creative Director

psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries.

Daniel has completed over 2000 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded. psyborg® is located in Lake Macquarie, Newcastle but services business Nation wide.

I really do enjoy getting feedback so please let me know your thoughts on this or any of my articles in the comments field or on social media below.

Cheers Daniel