As the editor of a magazine for the manufacturing industry that’s read in 82 countries, I receive press releases from around the world. I'm happy to correct a typo or fix a punctuation error, but a press release must have at least two of the following items to get published in our magazine. As freelance writer, I include these must-haves in press releases I write for my clients.
1. An interesting angle
A European manufacturer sent a press release with this hook: The idea for a new rotating machine component is similar in movement to a popular "Octopus" amusement park ride. The marketing coordinator even included a copyright-free image of the amusement park ride. Now that's an interesting angle and I was pleased to publish the well-written article.
2. A real-life application or customer success story
A German machine manufacturer supplied a press release on a new machine and, instead of supplying a long list of specifications on the equipment, the writer explained why the customer chose their product, how the customer uses their machine, and how well the machine is working for them. The press release did list the features and benefits of the equipment, but the customer success story added credibility.
3. High-resolution photographs with captions
A regular contributor to the magazine always provides professionally taken, high-resolution photographs of their products with captions. The publicity company that prepares these materials knows that a photo and caption can sell a concept to our subscribers that only skim an article, or draw the reader into the article.
When I'm preparing a press release for a client, I specify that I need high-resolution images and I will write an explanatory caption for each image. (If the client can't supply an image, I'll schedule a photo shoot with a professional photographer.) As an editor and a publicity coordinator, I won't accept images downloaded from the internet for two reasons: