Writing a press release can be a delicate matter. The public relations department, who must pitch the release, wants to have a say in its content. The subjects quoted in the release, often high-level executives, want to make sure they sound professional and intelligent. Business partners mentioned in a press release want to ensure that their image remains intact. Writing a press release can take days and dozens of drafts, so the question must be asked: Who should write your press releases?
In a perfect world a public relations department will work with everyone involved to get a press release to the point where it’s ready to be unleashed on the world. But not every company has a trained public relations professional at their disposal, and not every PR person is a good writer. I know public relations reps who can use the written word in a way that would make Hemingway blush, but their verbal skills would make even a child laugh. And there are the publicists who have silver tongues and are all thumbs when it comes to writing.
A press release is the media’s window to your company’s world, so it makes sense that whoever is tasked with writing it knows what they’re doing. There are many solutions available to solve this problem:
1. A press release writing service
2. Technical writers
3. Professional journalists
4. Someone on staff who can write
I know office managers who write press releases, and rightfully so. A job title means little and you will be surprised to find that some of your company’s most talented wordsmiths are often the people who don’t write as part of their normal job task. I’ve seen techies who can write circles around marketing people and executives who don’t know how to use spell check. Consider querying your available staff, regardless of job title, about their writing capabilities.
There are plenty of professional journalists who moonlight by writing press releases and marketing material, usually for companies they normally wouldn’t cover as part of their duties. Poke around internet job boards to find someone with a solid journalism background who can churn high-quality press releases on the cheap while the getting isn’t so good in their chosen profession. Technical writers also fall into this category. Many technical writers make a career out of simply writing press releases, marketing materials, or inter-office corporate communications materials.
A press release writing service — like http://www.ereleases.com — combines the above two elements because they normally employ professional journalists and technical writers. Usually for a flat-fee you’ll get a professional writer taking over the reins of your press release, which should guarantee that the press release will be well-written, accurate, and enticing.
As always, there are a number of factors to take into consideration when writing a press release. What do you hope to accomplish with the release? How timely is the release? What type of follow-up will there be on the release? What will your partners let you say in the release? When you have a skilled writer handling the release you’ll be able alleviate at least one major concern.
This article, written by Ben Silverman, originally appeared in PR Fuel (http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel), a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.