Mar 21, 2014
Content We Love: News Writing in a News Release
One of my fondest childhood memories is visiting the Museum of Natural History and looking up in awe at the massive replicas of dinosaur skeletons. Tyrannosaurus Rex was always my favorite. To me, its enormous jaws and ferociousness as depicted in popular culture were symbols of its strength and supremacy above all other beings. After reading the press release “Perot Museum Paleontologists Discover Pygmy Tyrannosaur That Roamed Ancient Arctic Lands of Alaska,” those feelings of wonder and amazement came rushing back to me.
This announcement is not just a press release, it’s a story, and utilizing a distribution network to share that story places it in front of hundreds or even thousands of people who can emotionally connect with it.
Though one of the press release tactics discussed on Beyond PR highlights the efficiency of short form press releases, The Perot Museum of Science and Nature uses a longer format to tell a complete story enhanced by captivating illustrations. Their smart integration of compelling news writing with the clout of news release distribution makes this message the subject of this week’s Content We Love.
PR pros should make note of the following characteristics of this release:
- Visuals: Including an artist’s rendering of what the new discovery might have looked like as a visual asset allows this story to truly resonate with audiences.
- Long-form content makes it easy for journalists to cover this story because it’s essentially already written for them. The press release includes the origins of the name Nanuqsaurus hoglundi as well as how the discovery was made. The story earned media pick up from outlets including Fox News and NBC News, both of which republished the image from the press release on their websites.
- Providing associated content: The announcement promotes a scientific paper right under the lead paragraph that most people outside of the profession would not have access to. Plugging the manuscript toward the top of the release and a restrained use of links establishes a focused call-to-action for readers.
- Promoting the content. Finally, sharing this message on a platform that is well established as a source for reliable news information also locks down the museum’s own credibility as scientific leaders and builds overall visibility.
This press release from the Perot Museum of Science and Nature shows that if you want to earn attention from news media, you can use a press release to write it yourself and share a story that readers will remember. Congrats on a job well done!
Author Shannon Ramlochan is the Content Marketing Coordinator at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter @sramloch.