Mastering the pharma press release. It’s a little bit art, a dab of science…and all about discipline. Not discipline in the sense of obedience, but a dedication to control and order. No artist or scientist would take on a project without preparation and development of a framework, and pharma marketers shouldn’t either.
Can you imagine if Alexandros of Antioch just sat down with a chunk of marble and a knife when creating the Venus de Milo? Or if Pythagoras picked up a stick and drew in the sand when developing the mathematical theory that bears his name? Doubtful. These famous Greeks had a plan, a blueprint. They knew what they wanted the end result to be, and they advanced their objectives by sticking to a framework.
As a pharma PR executive, you also need a framework to follow when creating press releases. Planning your strategy, drafting the text, having the right tools available, making sure you’ve got awesome multimedia content to accompany your creation, etc.
So, staying true to the Greek theme, allow us to walk you through our guide on the Alpha to Omega of the pharma press release.
The Alpha of Pharma Press Releases: In the Beginning
A well-written press release is intended to draw the attention of journalists by telling them something they don’t know – but should know because the topic is directly related to what they cover. Lay the foundation of your pharma press release by identifying timely, relevant, substantive news about your brand. Before you sit down to write, ask:
- Will journalists and publications care about this information?
- Can I present the information with a great angle that makes journalists want to USE it?
- Is this information interesting and important to my audience?
If you answer “No” to any of these, don’t go any further. You’re wasting your time – and the journalist’s. These are busy people with mountains of emails in their inboxes. When you can’t respond to these questions with an emphatic “Yes,” your pharma press release doesn’t stand a chance.
Write the Release
Here’s where it’s tough to provide you with a usable framework, since you have a unique voice and style you want to emulate to represent your brand. The meat of your press release will be yours alone, though there are some tips to provide structure to your writing.
- Write Your Press Release for SEO: For journalists to love your content, they have to be able to find it. Apply SEO concepts to include keywords that Joe and Jane Journalist search for – in the places that matter. Focus on Headers, Body Text, File Names, Alt Text, and the like.
- Grab the Reader with a Fascinating Opener: Get to the point and tell the reader what your press release is about, why it will entertain them, and what they’ll learn – if they just read on.
- Do the Journalist’s Job: If you’ve done your research and are distributing your pharma press release to the right people, you know what a journalist wants out of your content. So give it to them. Write the article in such a way that they can take it and run – without investing a huge amount of time making it work for their own audiences.
And don’t forget the rich, gorgeous imagery!! Journalists crave images, video, infographics, and slideshows – and the general public cares does, too. To get more eyes on your content, go all-out on a Multimedia News Release (MNR) that makes it easy for journalists to incorporate and embed it into their own work.
Omega: The End
Joy! Your masterpiece is complete and it’s time to call it a day. Whoa – not so fast. You’re not at the Omega quite yet…
- Distribute It: Who are the lucky recipients that will be privy to your wonderful press release? You’ve done the research to find out which journalists will care about your content and property segmented your distribution lists, so you know the answer.
- Socialize It: Use the power of social media to spread the word about the news that matters. And if you’ve properly incorporated multimedia, your audience can’t help but share, like, and re-tweet.
- Measure Results: Who’s opening, clicking through, engaging, and downloading your pharma press release? These metrics help you distinguish between the content that’s well-received and that which fizzles.
- Analyze Results: First measure, then assess. Learn key lessons from the data that your analytics deliver. In a sense, Omega isn’t the end. Your analytics can tell you how to improve your releases and campaigns, so you’re that far ahead the next time around.
And that’s it. Now your pharma press release is ready for the world to enjoy. And you can go back to the alpha of pharma press releases...
By Marc DeLeuw