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Writing a Press Release
Press releases call attention to your business. They provide an opportunity to inform the masses about a new product/service, recent innovations, and other company-related news. Self-promotion is a necessary maneuver in the business world. A good press release will increase and facilitate present acclaim.
When to write a releaseNot everything is newsworthy. Think of gauging the news from an outsider’s perspective. Receiving awards, release of new products/services, opening of a new office, or sponsoring an event are noteworthy instances. Frequently read other press releases to gain a perspective of what kind of content warrants a press release.
Why write a press releaseA well-received release means free publicity (advertising) for your company. Links are a valuable commodity on the Web; the more links pointing to your site, the higher your rankings become. Customers know a business by their brand. The more exposure your name has, the more your business will flourish.
How to write a releaseThe orchestration of a good release takes time and practice. The form is not difficult, but it takes effort to write objectively while keeping the content interesting.
A press release contains information about your business, but it is not an advertisement. Provide the readers with a valuable story. Think about how they will benefit from reading your information. The release needs to have value; find an angle that will deliver your information with intrigue.
Concentrate on keeping your sentences succinct. Most releases are one page or less, so choose your words carefully.
Do not dress your release with elaborations and colorful language. Use adjectives and jargon sparingly.
Provide only the facts. Remember, a press release is not an advertisement.
Write the release in third person. Do not use the words “I” or “we.”
Incorporate quotes into the release. Quotes give the release a story appeal and afford the opportunity to address the public subjectively.
FormatWrite FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE at the top of the page
Create a headline that is both intriguing and informative. It will take some thought. Look at other headlines to gain a perspective of acceptable and attention-grabbing headlines. Write the headline in bold using upper and lowercase letters.
Provide the date along with the location (city and state) or your business before beginning the body of the release.
Think of the body like a pyramid. Start with the most important information and gradually relate ancillary information towards the end. The first paragraph is the most important. Provide the who, what, when, where, and why in the first paragraph.
Use short paragraphs. Make each one discuss a particular topic using quotes to elaborate on topics presented.
The last paragraph is the “boilerplate.” It contains information about your company. This is not to be an ad either; strictly state who you are and what your company does.
Provide contact information at the bottom of the release. Include a contact name, company, address, phone number, email address, and Web address.
ToolsMany sites online provide suggestions and tools to aid in writing your release. One such tool can be found on Evan Charmichael’s Web site. It gives suggestions, and users are able to insert text to produce a final, consummated press release.
How to promote your releaseSubmit your release to sites accepting outside releases and related your industry. There are online release services such as Business Wire, PR Newswire, and PRWeb.
Closing tipsMake sure quotes are informative and newsworthy. Do not use quotes to reiterate content already mentioned in the body of the release.
Edit the release. Leave time between the composition and the edit.
Frequently read other press releases.
Use keywords in the release for search engine optimization.