Writers Write creates resources for business writers. In this post, we share 10 essential tips for writing a press release.
What Is A Press Release?
From Wikipedia: ‘A press release, news release, media release, press statement or video release is an official statement delivered to members of the news media for the purpose of providing information, an official statement, or making an announcement. Press releases can be delivered to members of the media both physically and electronically.’
10 Essential Tips For Writing A Press Release
- Wait until you have something important to announce.
- Ask: How will people relate to this and will they be able to use it?
- Write in plain language.
- Deal with the facts.
- Make sure the information is newsworthy.
- The first 10 words of your release are the most important. Make them count.
- Start with the news, then the person who announced it.
- Provide as much contact information as possible.
- Make it as easy as possible for the media to do their jobs.
- Use an accepted Press Release format/template.
How to write a press release in seven steps
1. Hook your reader: All great stories have a hook – and a press release is a story. It may be only a page long, but it has a beginning, a middle and an end. Have you done something amazing? Launched a revolutionary product? Signed a big deal? Been given an award? Poached somebody from the competition?
2. Create a strong headline: The very best releases – like the very best books – grab readers immediately and don’t let them go.
3. Structure your story: Under your headline, give the essential facts of the story in the opening paragraph. In essence, it’s the elevator pitch. If somebody read only this paragraph, would they still have a pretty good idea what the story was about? If not, rework it until that’s the case.
4. Explain and simplify: Don’t assume that your readers are familiar with your company, history or positioning. Drop in key facts with a light touch and link them to the story. Avoid jargon and buzzwords, especially if you’re writing for a general audience.
5. Remember that less is more: You’re sending the press release to busy editors. They’re writing for busy readers. Everybody’s attention span is reduced by email, social networking, text messages and on-screen discomfort. So make it short, concise and abbreviated.
6. Wrap it up: All stories have an ending, and a press release is no different, so make sure it doesn’t fizzle out.
7. And finally… Stop. Don’t send it yet. Instead, do something else (a bit like clearing your palate when you’re between courses). Then come back to it again with a cold, objective eye. Read the release out loud to see how it flows. Check grammar, spelling, names, phone numbers and email addresses to make sure you’ve got them right. And then? Get it out the door and move on.
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