How to write a good press release
Posted: Feb 10, 2016
"Press release" – also known as "news release" or "media release" – is a commonly misused term, so let’s set the record straight.A "press release" is a piece of material specifically written for a journalist. The purpose of a press release is to introduce a newsworthy topic – such as significant company news – and provide information that a journalist would need to cover the story.Press releases also follow AP Style writing guidelines issued by the Associated Press. This is a complete guidebook where you can find rules on spelling, capitalization, punctuation, abbreviation and other PR news writing standards.. It is one of the PR agency services and if you want a good press release you can always relay on them. But what to do if you want to make one on your own?One of the public relations agency suggests these guidelines to follow while writing your press release:
1. Good headline grabs attention
The beginning of a press release is the most important just as the beginning of any book or article. What pulls the journalists in is a strong headline announcing the good story behind it.Most journalists get hundreds of emails and a great idea is to name emails containing press releases with the phrase "press release" or "story idea". A great subject line is also has to follow. Don't try to be clever: most journalists will spend just a few seconds deciding whether something looks interesting. If they don't immediately understand what your story is about, they'll move on to the next thing in their inbox.So if your story is about the the launch of the first financial planning consultancy for women, say exactly that.
2. Get right to the point in the first paragraph.
Because we live in the busy world you must assume that reporters will only read the first sentence and then scan the rest. Get the message of your press release out quickly. Every important point should be mentioned in the first few sentences. The subsequent paragraphs should be for supporting information.
3. Hard numbers.
Leave the artistry to the writers and pack your press release with hard numbers that support the significance of your announcement. Put your argument in numbers and it will become mire compelling.
4. Make it grammatically flawless.
Before sending it, proofread your press release and ask other people to do it for you as well. Even a single mistake can dissuade a reporter from taking you seriously.
5. Include your contact information.
A lack of contact information is a common oversight. Whether you or someone else at the company is the point of contact, don't forget to include an email address and phone number on the press release.
6. Number of pages
Shorter is usually better and one page is the best. Tow pages are acceptable but try to limit yourself to one.
7. Provide access to more information.
You must limit your press release to one or two pages but you can also make the way for reporters to learn more. Don't make writers search on their own for more information -- guide them as quickly as possible to your website where they can learn more about your release and accomplishments.
For distribution of press releases you can use news wire service or send it directly to selected journalist.Distributing a press release to the news media does not guarantee that it will result in a story. However, effective public relations firmsand in-house staff know how to properly angle and craft a press release so it has the best chance of attracting a journalist’s attention and interest.
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