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Writing and distributing a press release may seem like a simple task. However, consider that a single journalist in the UAE can receive up to 500 press releases every day on average. The number is exponentially higher if you have sent to a common email ID that receives all press releases a media outlet is receiving all press releases. Sending out a press release in the UAE is not much different from the rest of the mature media markets. Here’s a quick checklist to keep by your side while writing a press release.

1. Is the information newsworthy?

If there is one thing to keep in mind before even writing a press release is to decide if the piece of information is newsworthy. A newsworthy article is an important piece of information for most of the audience of a particular media outlet. Everything that a company does is not of interest to the public. However, knowing which media outlets cater to what audience can also help in customizing your outreach. For example, if a new head of marketing has joined your company it may be useful to send this information only to Marketing & Advertising trade publications instead of all business publications.

2. Is your headline catchy? Is all the critical information present in the first paragraph?

Since journalists receive a high number of press releases every day, they tend to skim through the content quickly or just stop reading after the first paragraph. Hence, it is important to cover your most important message within the first paragraph itself. Media houses also write their articles in this same format as they are vying for eyeballs from their audience. It is very important to cover the 5 Ws – what, when, why, where, who – right at the beginning.

3. Have you included images and videos to support your press release?

Since most of the media outlets also have an online presence, they would like to carry multimedia content. Hence, work on getting those photographs and videos made that support your news announcement. Do ensure that heavy photographs and videos are shared through a file transfer service from a cloud server so that it doesn’t use up email space.

4. Are your brand assets included?

Ensure that your company logo and boilerplate that talks about your company, in brief, are included in the press release. These should be standard collaterals that go with every press release from your company. These brand assets ensure that your company is properly represented in the media. It also saves journalists time from researching basic information about your company.

5. Are you using press releases for SEO?

Backlinks earned through press releases issued on a newswire will not do anything for your website SEO. This is because most newswires blog Google from reading your links to avoid being penalized for being spam centers for backlinks. However, a well-written press release targeted at the right publication and journalist will help journalists put together an article in their own words. Getting a backlink on these articles to your website is invaluable to your SEO strategy.

6. Are you sending the press release out at the right time?

Mondays and Thursdays are the best days to send out your press releases. Also sending out a press release in the morning between 10 am and 1 pm ensures a higher probability of it being seen by the journalists.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, journalists prefer conducting most of the follow-up interviews online or on phone. It is important to ensure that journalists know how to contact you back. There are other ways of getting your brand and company presence across in case you don’t have a piece of news to share. Commenting on industry trends is a great way of staying in the media limelight. This is also a great way to build your relationship with journalists so that when you do have news to share, it is received favorably.

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