to Write a Press Release
release article shows you how to write press releases that make
news! It includes a sample press release, and press release format.
press releases a) must have a story b) must be written with the
journalist in mind c) must adhere to a specific format, with standard
contact information and d) must be short
How To Write A Press
Release That Makes News
release writing (or writing a news release) and getting your news published is
say this after struggling for some years to get any of my press releases published.
I stumbled on the most
important factor right after my first release was published in a UK internet magazine.
I then decided to piece
together all the advice, all the tips and tutorials I've read, into a single checklist,
to make writing my next successful press release easier.
'how to write a press release that makes news' checklist below is the result.
all checklists, it's brief and to the point. So if you need to understand more
about a particular concept I recommend that you visit the recommended how
to write a press release links
good press releases -- i.e. news releases that get published -- are great ways
to get invaluable promotion for your business or website.
learning how to write a press release, writing your press release and then publishing
it, is definitely 'worth it'.
How To Write A Press Release Checklist
are the basic steps of writing a press release:
1) Have a story to tell
2) Think like a journalist
3) Format the press release
4) Keep your press release short!
5) Promote your press release
explanation of these 'make news with your press release' steps follows.
Have A Story To Tell
must have a story to tell, a hook, or an interesting angle. Whilst demand for
news is great, the news must still be interesting.
find your story and develop it. Position your press release, somehow, to be different.
Whilst you try and do this, make sure you think about the following:
holiday and event tie-in articles
politically and socially important editorial tie-in articles
internet innovations and developments or unique products
unusual events or unique personal accomplishments
humour and wisdom, or fun and tragedy
interpersonal relationships on difficult issues.
Think Like a Journalist
'story to tell' must be told with the person looking to tell that story in mind;
i.e. you must think like a journalist.
what reasons would an editor want to publish your news? What benefits
would their readers get? Is it relevant and timely?
make the main benefit of your press release the headline. Or try and answer at
least three of the classic five Ws -- who, what, when, where and why -- for your
publicity angle in the headline.
you do not come up with a compelling headline then the journalist (or editor)
will simply not read any further. So that is the sole purpose of writing a press
release headline: to get the attention of the journalist. Use words like YOU,
NEW or HOW TO to achieve this.
your press release simple. Always write for scanability and in a way that means
it can be published (in a magazine, for example) with as few edits as possible.
punchy paragraphs and remember to answer these questions: "Who? Why? What?
Where? When? & How?"
Learn more about writing a press
release that works...
to write a press release notes:
sure you check out the article appendix. You'll find loads of press
release services and resources
HOW WELL DO YOU WRITE? Sorry, for shouting, but let's face it, your press release should be written
as well as possible (as should the copy on your website for that matter). So if
I were to recommend just one writing resource to help improve your writing
(whether on your website, in your ezine/newsletter, or in your press release)
it would have to be Make
Your Content PREsell: an outstanding read - free to download!
Format The Press Release Properly
is an example press release layout. Use the following as a guide.
or Headline> - (a)
Paragraph> - (b)
Paragraph(s)> - (c)
Paragraph> - (d)
Offer a benefit, for example.
(b) What? Why is it needed? How will it help?
Include quotes, too, if possible.
(c) Who is it aimed at? Who cares? Provide
(d) Summarise the press release, or provide a call to action
the words you use in your press release are of vital importance:
headline is the most important part of your press release and the opening sentence
should continue on from the headline
If possible, try and tell your story in the headline and leading paragraph
Try and change passive words to active
Use the words YOU
Have no more than five bullet points -- these should be selling points, ideally
- For each
sentence you write, ask yourself "So what?". And remove the sentence
if you can't think of a good answer
Edit your copy ruthlessly, over and over again.
finally, make sure there are no attachments, no HTML, and no Word document files.
(Everyone is wary of email viruses these days, including editors.)
Keep Your Press Release Short!
so much to consider when writing a press release it's not surprising that most
people make this common press release mistake: they write too much copy.
It doesn't matter how well you have written your press release, if it's too long
then it won't get read. So keep your press release short. Remove words that do
not need to be there. Again, edit ruthlessly.
convinced? Ask yourself these questions, then:
many of these press releases do you think editors get to read every day?
How many long, badly-worded releases will they read before, eventually, they become
instantly put off just by the length of a press release?
And how much more likely do you think it is that an editor will read your SHORT,
quick-to-read, press release?
Keep your press release short, simple as that!
Promote Your Press Release Online
best way to promote your press release online is to use an online press release
service. One highly regarded service is PrWeb.com . As it states on their website:
is the] recognized leader in online news and press release distribution service
for small and medium-sized businesses and corporate communications. PRWeb pioneered
Free Press Release Distribution and continues to set the standard for online news
you can either promote your press release for free, or they offer various paid-for
services that guarantee a variety of levels of online exposure.
is no point in writing a press release if you are not going to promote it, so
this step is also vital.
stuff, you're ready to write a press release that gets published and makes
news. Do put your press release on your own website too, though (adding it to
a press pack would be even better) and do think of what to say should a reporter
call. It's much more likely to happen now, that's for sure.
is an example press release that *should* follow all of the guidelines
above. Does it?
there you are: how to write a press release that makes news, and another promotion
tip that *you CAN* do, to promote your website or business. Just follow the checklist
below, to make sure that your next press release gets published:
- Have a story to tell
Think like a journalist
Format the press release properly
Keep your press release short!
mis-quote the pop song, "...let's go make some [news]")
writing that press release now! Make news, today.
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