You can do just that by writing and distributing press releases, potentially reaching tens of thousands of people – all without paying a cent in advertising. In fact, writing and distributing a press release is one most underutilized promotional tools for chiropractors, yet few do it.
In part one of this blog, we outlined the right way to write a press release for chiropractors. Today, we’ll cover the first 7 of our 15 tips and best practices for your press releases that will help you garner invaluable media coverage.
1. Don’t speak in passive voice
When drafting a press release, always try to speak in the first person, using “action language” instead of in the passive voice. This will come off strong, credible and confident, engaging and interesting the reader far more.
2. Is it really newsworthy?
Remember that a press release is a report on NEWSWORTHY content, not just an advertisement or a promotion for your business. Too often, amateur press release writers send over fodder about a book, project, or company they’re endorsing without attaching it to a news story. Here are some ways chiropractors can integrate a press release with newsworthy happenings:
New product or service launch
Free educational seminar/service work, etc. in the community
Opening a new office
Introducing a new partnership
Receiving an award
Announcing relevant fact or statistic about a prevalent health issue and how chiropractic can help
3. Focus on giving them data for special days and holidays
Media outlets need GOOD stories and information constantly. In fact, they need you more than you need them! Think of it like your press release/information/interview etc. will provide the correct last piece so they can finish their puzzle. One particular thing that media outlets all need is good data, background information, and quotes to illuminate special days and holidays.
For instance, chiropractors should be sending out content around days and events related to health, diet, fitness, and of course chiropractic month. Once you help them the first time you very well could become their trusted source for all things related to that field, and the PR exposure you get will be through the roof!
4. Make sure your press release is the 3 R’s - readable, relevant, and relatable.
Stick to clear, direct wording. Don’t embellish, skip all the flowery adjectives, and cut out all adverbs. Write the press release with the specific AUDIENCE in mind, and clearly state the benefit to that audience to the media person you’re drafting the release for. Only then will they see the value and you’ll separate your release from the stack of others!
5. Use the AP style
There is a specific structure that is used for news stories and journalism, and you'll probably want to follow this as you're writing your press release, too. Called, the Inverted Pyramid, it follows a simple equation. In the first part of the press release (or news article, when applicable), you cover the most important basic info like who, what, when, where, and why?
In the next part, you elaborate on the important details, offering a little more explanation.
Finally, in the last part, you cover other general information like background on you, your company, the industry, etc.
Therefore, AP style follows an inverted pyramid, with the broadest information that’s crucial as a foundation first, and then getting subsequently more specific and narrow.
6. How to structure quotes
Quotes from someone directly involved or credible in the field will really help your press release since media outlets mostly deal in "sound bites." In the press release, just make sure to place your quotes directly before or right after a paragraph they are related to. Never place quotes back-to-back, and you should probably only have two or maybe three quotes maximum in a typical release.
Standard formatting for quotes includes:
• Always use quotation marks around quotes
• Separate more than one sentence in a quote with “said [person].” Don’t add anything other than “said” to denote the words are theirs.
• Use a comma after the first sentence of a quote, not a period
• If the quote is from a person who has not been referenced in the release before the quote, use both first and last name, as well as job title or some other reference to how they are related to the story
• But if they were referenced in the release before the quote, only use their last name. First and last name can be used if others in the story have the same last name
7. Where to distribute your press release?
Writing a good press release is just the first part of it the process, as you'll still need to get it in the hands of journalists/media/news outlets that you wish to consider it for a story. Of course, you want to send it only to media that will find it relevant (meaning their readers will love it!) and it fits the tone and subject matter they already publish. These days, almost all press releases will be sent via email, but in some cases the media outlet's website will have a contact form you'll have to use.
I suggest starting with a little internet research, collecting names, contact people, submission guidelines and emails of you favorite local media outlets, and then broaden your scope to state-wide and national media outlets from there. Document it all on an Excel spreadsheet so you can keep track of what you sent out, when, and to whom.
Don’t be surprised or disappointed if they don’t hear back (they receive dozens or even hundreds of story ideas daily and have a very small window in which to craft the news). Just mark it on your calendar to follow up and resend (perhaps spinning it a bit differently around current events) in a month or two.
Look for our next blog coming soon with the remaining 8 of our 15 tips for writing and distributing press releases for chiropractors. If you have any questions or want help drafting your press release feel free to contact us