The press release is alive and kicking.

That this was the subject of my recent talk at a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) event last week in our home town of Woking.

The theme of the evening was ‘How to get ahead of the marketing curve for 2016’, and I decided to look at whether the press release is a dinosaur in the era of content marketing.

Contrary to what some people may think, I am a firm believer that the press release remains a great way to start a conversation with your target audience – as long as you get it right.

How to get it right

Sometimes it’s still really hard to get media coverage these days so you need to think about how to get your audience engaged.

Journalists want clear and concise content, and a press release done well is perfect for that, but it has to be a short summary of a piece of news – and ‘news’ is the key word here.

A good news story for a journalist is one that’s on the ‘straight and narrow’ – nothing too ‘wafty’ or worthy. They also want something that will interest their audience. It’s got to save them time too – they don’t want to have to ring up to clarify basic facts, so make sure you get those right.

Nicky Rudd CIM press release event
Padua Communications’ MD Nicky Rudd

Do your homework. Find out who the key journalists you want to reach are and what the lead time of their publications is.

Make sure your release answers the key questions: who, what, when, why, where, and how. It should also include your contact details, any ‘notes to editors’ and a photo of at least 300dpi resolution.

Keep it clear

Journalists are swamped with information and as you’re probably going to send your press release out by email, you’ve got to write a clear subject line to get them to open it in the first place.

If you use them properly, press releases can be the most cost-effective way of getting your message out there. It’s a key tool in your armoury for getting the results you want.

Get ahead of the curve

If you want to find out how to stay at the top of your game in a marketing space that is constantly evolving, then we’d love to hear from you. For a chat about how we can help, call us on 0203 282 7570 or email us at

For a fuller overview of the topics discussed at the event, take a look at this blog from the host for the evening, Something Big.