About 30 seconds. That’s how long it takes for a reader or journalist to decide if your press release is worth their time. And that’s of course an average! In other cases they get bored after 15 seconds. Unfortunately, it’s often not about the quality of the story you’re sending over email or publishing online. It is more often about the information overload we have to deal with everyday.
Hundreds and hundreds or emails, articles and newsletters are received by journalists, employees and business owners every day. For the unlucky ones, it’s thousands, including the 20-30% of it that’s spam managing to trick their filters. Getting 30 seconds of someone’s time is a privilege and you need to make the best out of it. If you succeed, they they will spend an additional minute on your news release and maybe decide to write about it or buy your product.
What can you do? Use the same visual tricks that online article writers and bloggers use to make sure their pieces are easy to scan and allow readers to get the important information fast out of 500 words. Here are a few tricks you can use:
- make sure your headline is not only catchy,but also informative
- have a clearly marked summary
- make sure your first paragraph contains all the important information
- use bold formatting to highlight important ideas in the press release
- use lists when possible – to list benefits, for example
Granted, some services for online press release distribution like PRWeb don’t allow you to format that much. But you can do it in the version you post on your website and in the emails you send to the press.
Remember, in the age of online reading, most of us don’t read every word of an article. Or if we do, we don’t do it the first time around. We first scan the article to get its juice and if it’s interesting enough, we read it all. It’s the same for potential clients, business partners or the press.