Secret to Prioritizing your Press Release

Digital PR
5wpr 10.16.13
Did you know that nearly every media outlet on the planet has a plan for your press release? They have a set in stone industry-wide expectation. A PR roadmap for you to follow that goes well beyond any specific publication terms and guidelines.
It’s absolutely true. And if you are unaware of it then you will see a lot of rejection before you get something published – if ever!
Here’s the scoop. Nearly every news story ever produced is subjected to something called “the story funnel.” This is a diagram that tells the reader exactly what to expect in the story. An editor can read one paragraph and generally know, right off the bat, whether you know what you are talking about or not.
Picture an upside down triangle (or pyramid, if you like). The top, widest, part is the most important aspects of your story. The core news stuff. From there on down the triangle is broken into several sections, each with a descending level of importance.

How to Prioritize your Press Release

#1 – The 5W’s

When Ronn Torossian founded his PR company 5WPR, he named it for the founding principle in all news gathering. You must communicate the 5 w’s – who, what, when, where and why. Any news release should do so in the first paragraph.

#2 – Supporting facts

This is the most interesting or important part of the story that is not specifically the 5w’s. It adds flavor, importance, context or validity to the story.

#3 – Additional insight

This is information that makes the story more interesting, accessible or relatable, but could be left out and still not change the story. You may not want to include this part at all, unless you are working with a small publication that will not likely put a reporter on the story.

#4 – Incidental information

This is the stuff an editor could cut out or chop off if necessary to not overflow a spot. This could be the history of the “who” or the “what” or any other ancillary information you would like to see in the story.
Remember, each of these numbers firmly group the information in order of importance. #1 is more important and so on. Set your stories up this way. Editors expect it.

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