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This week the world will see another well-choreographed media flurry thanks to Apple, one company that has pretty much mastered the art of using the press to its advantage. 

As a PR rookie, I used to spend a lot of time dissecting press releases to learn from them -- so to mark the occasion, I did the same thing for one Apple press release to see what the MediaGraph community could learn. Here's a link to the original announcement we used - how many of the below techniques can you incorporate to make your announcement as newsworthy as possible?

 

Ten things that work in this Apple press release

 

 

1. An impressive number in the headline

Sex sells. But so do huge, sexy numbers. If you can claim a vast number of users, clients, downloads or revenues, put it straight in the headline - when writing a press release, it's best to think like a newspaper headline writer. Want proof that this works? Go here.

2. Timeliness

Not yesterday, not this week, but today. News depreciates faster than a new car once it's out there, so try to make sure what you're announcing is relevant.

3. It shows demand

This arguably even more important for small businesses than it is for Apple  (like we don't know about demand for Apple products anyway). But your announcement is nothing unless you can prove that the journalist's readers will be interested in it. By including a line about demand, Apple has validated that its announcement is important -- think about how your business can do the same thing.

4. A great quote

Not everybody will be able to quote technology titans in their press release, but most people should be able to come up with something more inspiring than this rather bland quotation. Try to make the quote personal and add something that hasn't already been said in the release, rather than just repeating what you've already said. Quotes should run to no more than a couple of lines -- and avoid the temptation to quote literally everybody involved in your project. One or two senior voices will suffice.

5. Plenty of background

Half of this release is comprised of information Apple has released before -- and that's just fine. A basic tenet of journalism is that you should assume that the reader knows nothing -- although this shouldn't be the case when writing for journalists, follow the rule anyway. So if you reference products, services or people, explain what or who they are and why they're important, just as a journalist writing for a newspaper does.

6. Explicit data

Nothing is more frustrating for journalists than having to trawl through websites looking for pricing data. Unless you have a strong reason not to, be clear and transparent about how much what you're selling costs in the release. Not only will this save journalists time further down the line, it will also help an editor immediately work out whether your announcement is a good fit for their audience.

7. Use of big names

Got partners? Use them! Nothing adds credibility like one or two big names in your announcement.

8. Overt internationalism

Many publications write for an international audience nowadays, so you should be crystal clear whether or not your product is available worldwide. If it's for a domestic audience only, do you have plans to roll it out internationally? If so, when? These are all questions which you should address because they significantly affect the likelihood of your release being picked up internationally.

9. An impressive boilerplate

Some journalists will scroll straight to the bottom of the press release, expecting to see a couple of lines of blurb about exactly what it is the company does. Include some key achievements here that will make them sit up and pay attention.

10. Clear press contacts

I've redacted these because it wasn't necessary to repost them, but if a company as notoriously hard to get to as Apple can be open about its press contacts so can you. Include a full name, telephone number and email on your press releases -- it'll be appreciated.