Usually, when we talk about creating the perfect press release, we focus on crafting catchy headlines and avoiding silly grammar errors. But these aren’t the only elements required for a successful press release. And you might even argue that they aren’t the most important. So, what is?
Length. Press release length is extremely important, but it’s one of those things that never gets talked about and that always gets overlooked. However, with some reports showing the average reporter or editor spends just 5 seconds reading a news release before deciding whether or not to toss it in the garbage, it’s clear that length matters.
Of course, this begs the question: What’s the right press release length?
On average, a good press release can be written with anywhere from 300-500 words. Once you eclipse the 500 word mark, there’s a good chance you’re just wasting space on words that will never get read. Your best bet is to try to get your press release to fit on a single page. This lets the reporter or editor quickly scan through it in their allotted 5 seconds.
How to Keep Your Press Release Short and Sweet
So, what can you do to make sure your press release doesn’t turn into a novel? Here are a few tips for keeping it short and to the point.
- Focus on answering the most basic questions – It’s all about answering the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions with your press release. Come up with the answers to these questions before you begin writing, and then format these answers into short, easy-to-read paragraphs.
- You don’t have to tell the entire story – You don’t need to include every single detail you can think of in your press release. Remember, your goal is to get the journalist’s attention with your story and to have them contact you for an interview where they can get more details and you can get more coverage.
- Cut out the fluff and hype – I like to do my editing on a physical sheet of paper. That’s why I print out the press release and have a red pen nearby. Go through the press release and search out any fluff, hype, or jargon. Chances are, you’ll find something that doesn’t need to be there. Slash it out with your pen. Once you’ve done all your editing, rewrite it, and give it one more read to make sure it really is fluff-free.
What do you think is the ideal press release length? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
Tags: catchy headlines, fluff, grammar errors, hype, journalist, long press release, news release, paragraphs, press release, press release length, red pen, word count, word mark
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of 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/.