How to Press Release

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Alright, so you’ve got yourself an expedition, now it’s time to get the word out with an expedition press release.

What is a press release?

Basically, this is a document that is delivered to a journalist or editor of a publication and it needs to do several things:

  1. Be Eye Catching because publishers get a LOT of material and yours needs to make a statement to even be picked up
  2. Be Succinct and not written out in full
    because publishers aren’t going to read your entire article – hit them with the juicy stuff
  3. Tell the story through strategic photos
    When you pick up any magazine, what’s the first thing you look at? Pictures – tell the story using images
  4. Have facts/statistics
    Provide size, magnitude, relevance; be cemented in reality

The press release should make the publisher feel that the story is worth telling and that people will be interested. Think about an article that you picked up and finished; that’s what you’re looking for. The ultimate goal, of course, is to have people talk about your article. This opens up the opportunity to follow up and develop your story, or in this case, to continue your expedition.

How does an expedition press release look?

If you’re like me, you spend 24 hours of your every day thinking about the finest details of your expedition; so just assume that whatever you want to write is too much. You want this document to be spacious but poignant. I personally create a cover page that lets a publisher breathe, and a back cover to invite them to contact me. In between those two I put one to three pages of spacious text and colorful but not-busy photos.

For the content, I try to answer the 5 Ws;

  1. WTF?
  2. Who does this guy think he is?
  3. Where did this come from?
  4. Why do I care? and
  5. hoW soon does this need to be published?

Ok, I kid; but the strategy is basically to tell the publisher why someone would look at your expedition and be interested. Answer the following:

  1. What is the defining interesting factor in your expedition?
  2. Who are you to be able to do this?
  3. What is special and unique about your expedition?
  4. Why would the audience of this publication be interested
    • This is where you use facts, numbers, infographics, etc. – don’t bore the publisher though.
  5. What have you done so far?

Make it short, ask friends to read it, ask strangers to read it, show it to your grandmother. The simpler this document becomes, the better your chances of getting published. The trick is for it to immediately appear interesting to as many people as possible and the way to do this is to keep polishing it until it’s shiny.

Remember that this is a process and you will not get it on the first try, but going over it this way will actually make you think about your expedition in a way that may reveal something new and interesting.

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