Monday, February 23, 2009

How To Write A Riveting Press Release

A press release is a short summery of an event or information that is sent out to the media. This is an ideal way to publicize company news or boost sales, with minimum costs involved. However, each day editors receive hundreds of press releases; and the challenge is to get your press release to stand out from the crowd and not get filed away with the rest. You have a story to tell and the editor in whose hand your release lands, must want to pick it up and explore it further.

Use these 10 tips to grab your reader's attention:

1. Write a killer headline
: This is what makes your release stand out from the rest, so put all your creativity into writing something short, but unique.

2. Start out with a bang:
Write your important information in the first paragraph. It can be short and concise, but must get the message out at the beginning.

3. Keep it simple: Editors do not go in for hype or unsubstantiated claims. Keep your sentences short and to the point.

4. Use quotes and comments: Make sure your quotes and comments are fun and interesting and most importantly, can be verified.

5. Use the active tense
: And keep your release as upbeat as possible (unless the news suggests otherwise). If you are excited about a new launch, product, service on the market, others will be too.

6. Stick to one page: Make your release just one page in length. Longer than that and you're liable to lose the editor's interest.

7. Avoid too many technical terms:
While you may need to incorporate some technical terms, try to write in a lingo that a lay person will understand.

8. Include all the relevant details: When writing your draft, ask yourself the following: Who (is involved), Why (is the event occurring), What (is it about), Where (does/did it take place), When (does/did it take place).

9. Always include a contact: Complete details of the company spokesperson should always be included, along with any interview opportunities.

10. Proofread:
This is probably the most important thing you could do for any document, but more so for a press release. A poorly written release with grammatical errors is never going to see publishing daylights, so read and re-read before submitting it.

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.


Wandering Justin said...

I would add an 11th: Use Associated Press style.

It demonstrates that you know the game and take the time to understand how it's played. Not only is it a very direct, to-the-point style, but it shows reporters and editors that you have some regard for their professional standards - that you know your stuff.

Usha Krishnan Sliva said...

Thanks Wandering Justin! That's a great point to add to it. In fact I found a site that shows you how to write the various styles, perhaps I need to dig it out and link to it.