Let’s be honest: people often don’t consider press releases to be the most interesting pieces to read. They’re all about giving the facts of a story in a quick and concise manner. Most press releases stick to the same old template and are loaded with buzzwords and corporate speak. Zzzzzz …
However, that’s not to say you can’t do some things to jazz up your news releases – because you can. Use these 5 tips and you’ll find your releases going from boring to brilliant in no time.
- Write in the active voice – Quick lesson on passive versus active. An example of passive voice would be, “He was hit by a car.” Here the subject of the sentence (he) is receiving the action rather than doing it. To change it to active voice we could write, “A car struck the man.” Now the subject (car) is making the action. Consequently, we were able to use a stronger verb.
- Include useful quotations – Everyone knows you should use quotes in your PRs. However, make sure they add to your pitch. Just using a quote that repeats what you’ve already said is repetitive and useless.
- Swing for the fences from the start – Press releases are a bit like sales copy in that you only have a few seconds to capture the reader’s attention. Now you might think that deals with the first sentence of your press release – and you’d be partially. But it also has to do with the title. Make sure both are clear and captivating, leaving the journalist wanting to know more about your topic.
- Work on those transitions – Have you ever read a release (or anything for that matter) that went from paragraph to paragraph in such a choppy manner that the entire thing felt disjointed? That’s likely because the writer didn’t effectively use transitional words and phrases. Now, there’s not enough room to go into all the different types of transitions here, but do a bit of research and find transitions that work for your release.
- Change it up – You know what makes for boring writing? Monotony. So whatever you do, make sure you keep the reader guessing. Not on what’s going on with your story, but with what each sentence will hold. Mix in short and long sentences. Vary paragraph length – maybe even use a one-sentence paragraph to highlight an especially important point. And pay attention to how you start sentences. It’s easy to get caught making them all begin the same.
A boring press release will be the death of your pitch. Beef it up with the above tips and make sure journalists take notice!
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html