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Burning Up in Press Release Hell

Is there anything worse than getting stuck while writing a press release? It’s something worse than writer’s block; you feel like the whole world is collapsing around you. If you don’t get this press release out in time for the product release, you can’t make the numbers you want for the month. If you don’t make the numbers you need you may not be in business for very long!

Instead of going crazy, though, it’s best to calm down, step back, and try to think your way out of this press release hell. “Writer’s block” is usually caused by writers simply freaking out and shutting down. After a while of sitting staring at a blank page, it seems like nothing will ever come – and if you keep thinking that way, it never does!

So instead of going nuts it’s time to think outside the box. Beat press release hell with some of these suggestions.

Take a New Approach

When writers get writer’s block, they sometimes forget that the way they approached the draft isn’t necessarily the ONLY way to approach it. There are always a million ways of approaching a press release (or an article, or story, or whatever you may be writing at the time). Sticking to one if it isn’t working is just plain silly.

Say your press release is announcing a new product being released from a relatively new company. Naturally you set out to talk about all the stuff the product does. But after a while you realize that what you have is a little dull. Not because the product is boring, but because what it does isn’t drastically different enough to be interesting on paper.

How to approach it from another angle? Since it’s a new company, why not tell a little of its story in the press release too? There could be some real gold there – why did the designer choose that particular color, what it has to do with the CEOs life story, etc.

Reformat

Another thing that can get your creative juices flowing is a change in format. Now, press releases are pretty strict on formatting, and you can’t throw in pictures or videos or crazy tables or anything. But what you can do is play with what you have.

Is your first sentence a powerful attention-grabber? If not, and you can’t think of anything, just forget it. Go for just a few words – “New. Innovative. Comfortable. The new iPillow is here.” If a sentence isn’t working, try something else entirely.

Instead of lumping a list of things into a paragraph form, create a small bullet point list. This works doubly well as it also gives readers’ eyes something to latch on to as they scan the page.

Real News

If you’re absolutely stuck on your press release, it may be time to ask yourself an important question: are you writing about a real news item? Is the press release relevant at all to any media outlet in the world?

Many companies make the mistake of sending out a press release for absolutely anything to see what sticks. Any tiny bit of “news” coming out, they think, could make a great press release, so they write about employee promotions and warehouse address changes.

But sit back and take a look at what your press release is about. Would you read about this in your local newspaper, or would you skip right over it over breakfast? If the answer is the latter, it may behoove you to wait for a real story comes up before trying another press release.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? How did you get out of it?

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

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