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News releases are vital to maintaining your company’s public image. They’re usually the primary method of communicating your firm’s news to a broad audience, announcing hires, events, and other milestones. Because of their importance, however, it can be tempting to send them out carelessly. Don’t; when it comes to news releases, quality should always trump quantity.

Here are a few things to consider before writing your next news release:

Is it newsworthy?

News releases are for news. Don’t send out a release every time your company does something important to you. It has to be important to a significant external audience. Unworthy news releases aren’t just wasted effort either; they are counterproductive. If journalists come to expect fluff from you, they’ll be less receptive to reading real news from your company. Send out too many mundane releases, and the intended recipients might not even read them.

Is it original?

If another source has already covered what you’re about to write, save yourself the trouble. Journalists don’t want to be the last to cover an important story. Novelty and uniqueness are essential characteristics of a well-composed news release.

Is it sincere?

A good news release is built on notable information, not flowery prose designed to make your company look good. Your company should get coverage for genuine achievements, not clever turns of phrase or industry jargon. Releases are only a promotional/marketing tool as they hold people’s attention and generate positive coverage.

Is it tailored to the right audience?

You’re looking for the right kind of press, not just the first press you can get, so do your homework ahead of time. Is your story of interest to trade publications? Does the topic involve engaging visuals that might particularly interest a TV news station? Make a media list comprised of the contact information for your target journalists, and personalize the pitch when you send it to them. Make these choices carefully. Developing and maintaining good relationships is key to future successful promotion.

You’ll be ready to send a news release that provides real value to the right people while furthering your strategic communications goals with these things in mind.