How I: Write press releases to get international media coverage

 Hi, my name's Claire. I'm the founder of My Plus One and Airspruce. My Plus One is a web platform that connects travelers with the most interesting locals and places to stay in five cities. And Airspruce is a new service that allows people to have their Airbnb or other property listing written by a professional travel writer.

I'm going to talk to you today about PR and share some tips with you. There's some great new tools out there to make reaching the media really easy and more affordable than it was before. And I'm also going to run through how to write and create a press release and some tips for doing that. So building good relationships with the media is really important for getting your startup heard and receiving press coverage in publications, which can help the business grow so much.

I launched My Plus One a few years ago in Berlin as Plus One Berlin. And there was a lot of media attention, which was fantastic for helping the business grow. It was featured in over 50 online and print publications, such as "The New York Times," "Conde Nast Traveler," and "Wallpaper." And what really helped with that is having these great images and a great story. So I'm going to talk through how to write and create a press release.

I'm going to do this in five stages just to clarify exactly what to do, and give you some tips on how to make it really attractive for the journalist receiving it. So the first thing to think about is really your message. What makes your startup different from all the other startups? You've really got to think about what you want the journalist to know, what's really key.

And for this, you might want to write down your elevator pitch. Because this really summarizes the strengths of your business and what it is. So the first step when you're writing a press release is to make sure you have the logo of your startup at the top of the page, and then obviously "Press Release" written beneath that.

The top of the press release is really the most important area. Because journalists are really busy people. They won't have time to read through the whole release. And they'll probably only read the first paragraph and the title. So you've got to make these really, really good.

With the title, keep it short. I think between three and five words is good. And then have the date that you're sending out the press release, and also where your startup is located.

Right, so in this press release, which I wrote for Airspruce, you can see at the top of the press release I included the Airspruce logo, and then beneath that the words "Press Release." Then, when you go into the title, I made it really short. There's only three words. I think, in summary, Airspruce makes listings much easier to create, to write. So it's just "Listings Made Easy." And then, because it was a launch, that's really newsworthy for journalists.

So if you are writing a press release about the launch of your startup, make sure that's really highlighted in the title and the first paragraph. OK, so in the first paragraph of a press release, it's important to have the date you're sending out the press release and the location of your startup. In the first paragraph, just try and summarize exactly what your startup is, or what your message is. And make sure to include a link to your website so the journalist can easily just click on that and go and view your website.

So here I've really written what Airspruce is in a sentence, as that's really the essence of the startup. And it also says the date that it was launched. And it's got a link to the Airspruce website. So with the rest of the press release, structure it so the most important information for the journalist is at the top. And then it gets kind of more detailed but less relevant, I guess, as you go down.

So in the second paragraph, you might want to include information about the team, about prices, about how it works, and things like that. And then you can go into more detail as you go further down the press release. But really try and include all the key information at the beginning. Then in the third paragraph, I gave even more detail. So as you can see, as we're going through the press release, writing it, it gets more detailed probably as it goes on.

And we've got some information in the third paragraph about what is included for the 50 pounds that the person spends. So what exactly do we offer? And this goes on to say more benefits of who is the target market for Airspruce. It's great for people who don't have the time or the writing skills to create a listing. It's also useful for people that have their listing written in another language and want it translated. And then I speak a bit about the team of travel writers. So we've got a great team of travel writers. So I thought it was good to include some information about who they are.

So the traveler editor, he used to be at "Wallpaper," and some great freelance journalists. And then lastly, there's just a bit of information about how Airspruce can help with other writing jobs. So in the second paragraph of the press release, I talk more about how Airspruce works and what's involved. In the next paragraph, I talk about what exactly people get for their 50 pounds, so what the writer will do to their listing. In the next paragraph, I talk about who Airspruce is ideal for, so for people that maybe don't have the time or the writing skills to create their own listing. In the next paragraph, I talk more about the team of travel writers and what their positions are or were. And in the final paragraph, I talk about how Airspruce can help in other ways, such as creating a house manual for guests on Airbnb.

At the end of the press release, make sure you have the word "Ends," and then beneath that a Notes to Editors section. In this section, just include your contact information. So if a journalist wants more information, or has questions, or wants images, they can contact you really easy. In this section, you could also include a little summary of your startup or business as well.

After you've created your press release, then you can put together a list of the journalists that you want to send your press release to. And in this, it's really important to make your list of journalists very relevant for your press release. So if your startup is food related, you don't want to be sending your press release to a sports journalist. And it will annoy journalists if they get press releases that aren't relevant to them.

So there are some tools for finding journalists, such as JustReachOut, which is a new tool that you can use. With JustReachOut, you can search for journalists that write about particular subjects. You could also use Twitter. So you can search for publications on Twitter and find contacts that way as well. So there are different ways. And then once you have your list, if you're sending out the press release by email, then I would recommend writing individual emails to the journalists with just a short email about the startup, about what you're sending, a snappy subject line about what your press release is about. And then attach the press release in PDF format to the email so they could easily then open it and print it off if they want to read it later.

It's good news at the moment, because there are a lot of new tools out there that make contacting or reaching out to journalists a lot cheaper than it's traditionally been when you had to hire a PR consultancy and spend a lot of money doing that. So some new tools that I would recommend are GoPRit, which is a startup. And you can send email pitches to select journalists about your startup. And you can also send tweets out to those journalists, which is great. There's another good one called JustReachOut, which helps you find journalists that write about a particular subject. And then you can also contact them.

So this is great when you create your list of journalists that you want to send your press release to, because you can find ones that are really relevant for your startup and your story. Another good one is, which can help you create and write a press release and send it out. And that's an overview of how to write a press release, and how I wrote a press release for Airspruce. And I hope it's helpful for all of you.

See more here:

 Hi, my name's Claire. I'm the founder of My Plus One and Airspruce. My Plus One is a web platform that connects travelers with the most interesting locals and places to stay in five cities. And Airspruce is a new service that allows people to have their Airbnb or other property listing written by a professional travel writer.I'm going to talk to you today about PR ...