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The 5 C’s of Quality Press Release Writing

If you’ve followed this blog for a little while, you know that press release writing is one of the major topics I cover here. It’s a very important topic to me, and I truly believe that becoming a better press release writer can do wonders for your PR efforts.

But I also realize that with all the various tips and information I’ve shared with you on press release writing, it can be hard to remember everything. When you sit down to write your next press release, you might not remember all of the mistakes you need to avoid or why so many press releases are truly awful.

But today, I’m going to share something with you that I think you can remember, even if you forget everything else I’ve ever told you about writing press releases. It’s the 5 C’s of press release writing, and if you can at least remember these 5 points, you’ll be writing better press releases in no time at all.

  1. Clarity — Reporters and other readers shouldn’t have to dig to figure out what your story is about. It should be clear right from the start. Your press release should have a clear headline, and you should get right to the point answering the who, what, when, where, and why questions in your press release. Don’t try be misleading and make your story out to be something more than what it really is. Be clear.
  2. Conciseness — Many of us have a tendency to write more than we need to. The right press release length is typically a few paragraphs, or anywhere from about 200-500 words. Cut the fluff, and give the story as quickly as possible. Reporters are a busy bunch, and they don’t have time to sift through a bunch of meaningless drivel. Get to the point.
  3. Correctness — Ensuring accuracy in your press releases is essential to earning and keeping the trust of the media. Press releases must be unbiased and totally accurate. If you’re exaggerating or spreading misinformation, your credibility will be tarnished and this press release (and probably all future ones) will be neatly filed away in the trash.
  4. Compelling — If you don’t have an interesting story to tell, you’re going to have a hard time earning media coverage. Find an interesting angle for your story that makes it more compelling. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!
  5. Complete — It’s Press Release Writing 101 — make sure you provide the who, what, when, where, why, and how details for your story. You don’t have to include every single minute detail that’s related to your story, but make sure you address the essentials so that your basic story comes across clearly and completely.

Are there any other C’s of press release writing that I overlooked? Share them by commenting below.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html

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4 Responses

  1. If you are distributing a press release online it’s important to consider SEO. Add keywords naturally where they fit, especially within the title. Add links back to your site so that people can easily find more information about your business.

  2. Scott says:

    Punctuation is important, too. The much abused apostrophe should not be in your headline… You are trying to communicate a plural C (more than one) as opposed to a possessive C (belongs to the C) or a contraction (C is).

    I Really like your work– I am learning a LOT. Thanks!

  3. Eric says:

    Scott,

    Actually, with single letters, you do use an apostrophe to make it plural. It’s the only time you do that:

    http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/apostrophe-plural-grammar-rules.aspx

  4. Sarah K. says:

    Great article, this is exactly what I needed to know for a refresher.

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