Writing a Press
Writing a "press
release" can be a very big part of getting your name in front
of the public and there are many press release services and
tools that are available that can help you for free or at nominal
The biggest mistake people make
when doing a press release is making it about something
that is not newsworthy. For instance, opening your business doors may be of
importance to you, but is it something that the public would be
interested in reading? Unless you are the marketing
manager for a large public company where the business expansion
would affect the business or employment climate in a new town, it
probably isnít all that important.
Neither would be the hiring of new personnel or offering a
service that is otherwise available.
In general, when writing a press
release, you should avoid issues that are of little concern to the
vast majority of the population. Such press releases are
typically not accepted anyway, so submitting one will most likely
label you as someone who submits irrelevant material.
The press release can however, be
used to announce a new kind of service for which there is an
obvious business demand or to announce a major expansion, merger,
etc. that would be of interest to the public.
Did you launch a new site that has some new worthwhile
technology? Have you
invented a product that solves a problem?
Are you putting an event together that would be of interest
to the public such as a seminar on aging?
All of these are examples of situations where a press
release would be in order.
If you have a local story, try
your local press for a press release. If you are doing
something in Houston and it's only relevant in Houston, then don't
submit the press release anywhere else. It's a waste of your
time and others. On the other hand, if it is potentially
national, using press release services will help you get the word
out. Here are some popular press release services:
A press release should also
closely follow an accepted format and it should obviously be a
press release. Donít try to hide it thinking that someone will be fooled
into publishing your press release as a legitimate story. A press release should be ĺ to 1 and Ĺ pages long.
No more, no less. If your press release is shorter than that, it doesnít have
adequate detail. If
it is longer than that, it is too wordy.
Start your press release strong. Your first paragraph should tell the story and the rest of
the document should only elaborate, give examples, and give
important contact information.
Write your press release in the
manner in which you would like it printed.
Do not depend on editorial staff to check your spelling or
grammar. They may do so, but in most cases where they have to do a lot
of clean up work, your press release simply wonít make the cut.
A press release is news so stick
to the facts. Donít
go off on any tangents. Avoid
fluff or overstating the facts.
A press release is best written by emulating the style of a
newspaper or magazine doing a headline story.
Always do a press release in third party format,
ďAccording to owner Margie SmithÖĒ
A good press release tells the
story from several angles. Pick
examples in case the person reading it doesnít get the impact of
the press release the first time through.
There are several dangers in
putting out a press release.
Donít use industry jargon.
You and your competitors know that a TIA (transient
ischemia attack) is, your public does not.
The industry also likes to define itself in terms of the
counties that it serves, consumers do not.
If someone is searching for a service in Raleigh, NC,
thatís how they search. They
wonít think about searching for services in Wake County, which
could also include several other towns.
hype in your press release. This
means use proper punctuation, avoid terms like THE BEST, and NEVER
DO THIS!!!!!!!! If
you do, you will have lost all credibility.