How to Write a Press Release: A Killer Press Release Guide
Planning Begins Before You Write a Press Release
While no one can guarantee your press release will be published or used for an article, there are things you can do to improve your press release success. The biggest obstacle to most press releases is the actual press release itself.
When writing a press release, it should be:
Concise – editors receive hundreds of press releases a week (perhaps more) and appreciate releases that are brief and to the point.
Well-written – a good way to ensure your press release ends up in the waste basket is: bad spelling, poor grammar, and illogical or unsubstantiated claims. Ask your friends and family to read your press release. Read your own press release aloud.
Factual – stick to logical and substantiated claims, avoiding statements of belief: we’re the best, the cheapest, etc.
Honest – avoid the padded quotes by company officers; even if they are experts, they come across as biased, especially in a press release about your company. If used, stick to the facts.
Timely – if your press release isn’t topical, consider incorporating it with a recent news event — but don’t stretch it.
Questions to Consider Before You Write a Press Release:
Who is the preferred audience of your press release?
What do you want readers to take away from your press release?
What does your press release provide: invaluable information or just another offer?
What is the support or justification for the information in your press release?
What is the tone of your press release?
Are you aware of possible pitfalls or areas to avoid in your press release?
What do you want to accomplish with your press release: increase business, disseminate information, or both?
3. Review your entire press release, then summarize it as one strong paragraph. Review if this new paragraph shouldn’t become or replace your initial paragraph.
4. Brevity is not only allowed, it is encouraged and rewarded. It shows you respect the time of busy editors & reporters. If they require more information, they will ask.
5. Purchase an AP stylebook (or use a service like eReleases that takes care of this for you) and learn how to properly abbreviate words and numbers, as well as the proper way to refer to most formal names and titles.
6. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language.
7. Stick to the facts. Don’t be afraid to pull statistics from respected third-parties if applicable.
8. Provide as much contact information as possible: name, address, phone, fax, email, website. An after-hours number or cellphone can make the difference when you have a journalist under deadline.
9. Identify editors and reporters who would be most interested in what you have to say.
10. Choose your media list carefully. If sending via e-mail, be sure the editors and reporters accept press releases via email. Also, avoid attachments and large media files unless requested
Does the Press Release’s Lead (Opening) Address or Answer the Basic Tenets of Journalism: