Section 1 – Content is Key
We cannot stress enough the importance of a well written press release.
While you are writing your press release, keep your target audience in mind. At the same time, keep in mind that part of your audience will be an editor, reporter or journalist. This is important as these are the individuals that if they like your story, will publish it giving you another arm of exposure.
Ensure that the first paragraph of your press release answers the important questions such as Who, What, When Where and Why. You have one sentence not to loose the editor/journalist.
The content within your press release should be accurate, easily readable and to the point. A well written press release does not need to be a novel. Remember the point of a press release is to entice the reader or journalist to contact you for further information. You do not need to tell your Companies entire life history. In fact, shorter press releases (usually between 175 – 300 words) tend to receive more exposure, if written well. Why? Because many trade publication journalists may be looking for a short informative piece of information to fill a spot within a magazine, paper or web site. Have you ever seen short snip-its within the side of a magazine, or down the side of the page on a web site. Guess where the information comes from.
A carefully written and informative press release will be sure to capture the eyes of journalists. Make sure you take your time, and edit your release carefully.
Section 2 – Do Not Embellish or Exaggerate Your Press Release Grammar
As we already know a well written press release, with perfect timing will give you the exposure everyone is looking and hoping for.
Now that you have written your press release, submitted it for distribution and are receiving phone calls and emails about it, you will no doubt have some questions to be answered.
If your press release is written with embellishments, you will very quickly lose credibility. Keep in mind, that this loss of credibility will also carry over to future press releases. Journalists will remember a source. They will remember a name. They will remember a web site. If you leave a bad taste in their mouth, they will remember this experience. This means the next time you submit a press release, which may be accurate the second time around, will not be looked at by a journalist that remembers you as someone that will embellish a story. Do not embellish or exaggerate your press release.
Make sure if you are using facts and figures to enhance your story, that you provide sources of these numbers where you can. The reason for this is simple. It adds credibility. If you publish figures or information, even though the information is accurate, people may go with the theory “it must be to good to be true". Again, although completely innocent, may lead to appear stretching the truth. And again, this will lead to your press release possibly being overlooked in the future.
If the information is true, and you cannot back it up, if possible go conservative and inform them when they contact you. This may not always be possible, but remember, you do not want to turn a journalist/editor off.
Section 3 – Grammar
Please make sure that your press release has been read, edited and re-read before submission. A poorly written press release will be a very fast turn off for any journalist or editor. A poorly written press release will also be a negative reflection for any Company.
By doing so, you will be able to catch any grammatical errors. Although some of the best writers will occasionally miss grammatical errors or typos, by making sure you read, edit and re-read your press release, you drastically reduce the chance for error.
Print your press release. By printing your press release and reading a paper copy, you are more likely to catch any errors. This works great for press releases that may be a little on the longer side.
Perhaps have a coworker or friend review your press release. Sometimes another set of eyes may catch an error. Although you may have read and re-read your work, sometimes when you are extremely focused, you may tune an error out.
Wait until the morning and re-read your press release. You would not believe what a difference a night of sleep can do for you when you are writing. When your bright and fresh, re-read your press release to ensure that it is exactly how you want it.
If everything reads well and there are no errors, submit your press release for distribution.
24-7 Press Release Distribution Newswire is currently working with a couple of editors to be able to offer the writing service or editing service for your press release. Although this feature is not currently available, we are working on this for you.
Section 4 – How Often Should You Submit Your Press Release?
At 24-7 Press Release Newswire we offer many types of press release distribution ranging from basic to professional.
Our professional press release distribution is under our Mass Media Distribution program and includes press news distribution to a pool of approximately 80,000 journalists, 4000+ web sites, opt in journalists that request news to be sent directly to their inbox and of course relevant trade publications. Major web sites and trade publications include such locations as Yahoo Finance News, MSNBC, The New York Times, USA Today, Ask Jeeves, Google News amongst many others. At 24-7 Press Release, distribution is also sent to opt in feed subscribers that subscribe to pull our headlines to use as content on their web sites. When our headlines are updated, their headlines are also updated. Part of this wonderful press distribution is attributed to our partnership with PR Newswire.
Now that we have wowed you with what type of press release distribution we are capable of, we should inform you that a poorly written press release will receive pretty much no pickup. This means that although some places may actually publish your press release (not a lot of places though), if it is poorly written, it will be immediately disregarded. This also means that journalists will look at it and disregard it. They will also, more than likely disregard future press releases from the same source/Company.
What are we saying? In short, although we may provide this wonderful distribution, if it is not a well written news release, you will not receive very much feedback.
Section 5 – How Often Should You Submit Your Press Release?
We have this question asked to us many times and now have decided to finally include this bit of information within our Press Release Writing Tips section.
So how often should you submit your press release? Rule of thumb is once to twice a month. However, if you do not have any news worth mentioning, then once a month is a good rule of thumb.
Many Companies go through changes. Management changes, product changes, service changes or other changes. To not have something to write about, in most companies would be rare. Do you have a hot new service you are now providing? Do you have a great new service you plan to offer coming up in the future that you would like to inform the public of? Do you have some new widget that you are importing that no one else has? Are you hiring some new executive from a Fortune 500 Company that will add an asset to your Company? These are just a few ideas to keep in mind.
Some of our customers have found using a combination of our Mass Media Distribution press distribution type once a month, combined with a lower level of distribution at a second time within the same month to work well for them.
Although some new shoe string budget Companies may find a press release expensive, in the grand scale of marketing, the cost of a well written press release may go a long ways! This type of marketing may reach further than any other type of advertising method
As long as you have a good story to tell that will be interesting to the general public and of course editors and journalists, a press release may also be viewed as a way of brand marketing. People will begin to recognize your Company in the news. This being said, we do stress that you should have a story to tell. All to often we come across those who send out weekly press releases with no story to tell. These types of Companies will eventually become tuned out by editors and journalists.
Section 6 – Images In Your Press Release
If you are in the position to be able to include an image within your press release, you will definitely increase the readability of your release.
Images are worth 1000 words. This is why magazines are so popular. They have images, they tell a story. Try to imagine your local newspaper with no image on the front page, but rather straight text. Try to imagine People magazine with no images of your favorite celebrities. Need we say more?
At 24-7PressRelease.com, we allow you to attach images to your press release at the $45 contribution level.
When selecting our Mass Media Distribution program, we are unable to attach an image directly to the press release for distribution, but rather we include a link to your image on our site.
Images tell a story. Images get attention. Images within your press release are a great way to extend your Companies logo. This works especially well when you are sending out multiple press releases a well. Think of it as a method of branding.
Section 7 – Language And Wording Of Your Press Release
A well written press release means a press release that is written for everyone to understand.
Avoid the use of unnecessary flowery language or redundant expressions. Avoid unnecessary adjectives. Extra unnecessary words will distract from your story. While some jargon may be necessary for your press release, do not over do it. Your goal is to communicate your news and speak in an ordinary clear language. Excess jargon may confuse your reader, and may be enough for a journalist to exclude your story.
If you do proceed to use complicated jargon within your press release, your press release will be substituted with one that is easier to read and understand. Not everyone understands your industry or terminology as well as you do.
If you have an editor contact you, this probably means they are a little bit savvy of your particular industry. This may be a better time to use your jargon as chances are they will be a little familiar if they have taken the time to contact you.
Again, keep your press release to the point and basic. Leave the detailed jargon for the phone call or follow up email.
Section 8 –Newsworthiness
Do you have a story to tell, or are you writing your press release just to throw your name out into the masses in hopes that someone will catch your hook and read your pointless information?
If the latter is what you are doing, then stop. Try to resist sending a press release out for the sake of just sending out a press release. The reason for this is to save face. If you send a press release out with absolutely no information that is not of interest to the public, and worse yet, continue to do this, you will eventually alienate yourself from journalists. When your Companies name, or your name is seen, it will be ignored or skipped.
Write an interesting press release that is newsworthy. Write about a new service you are offering that is unique from your competition. Write about a new fortune 500 Company manager that is now on board with you. Do not write about how you exist and it is nice to exist.
Are you able to time your press release with an event or time of year that is approaching? Are you able to tie your press release with a current event? If so, then your story will have a hook for journalists.
Section 9 – Permission When writing your press release, you may run into the common instance of attribution or writing a quote from an individual.
Having the permission from this individual, to use their quote within a press release is extremely important. Failing to do so may result in a lawsuit, something that no Company would like.
If you are close to an individual, a verbal ok may be all that is required. If you are unsure of the individual, it is best to receive their permission in writing.
Section 10 – Parts and Components Of Your Press Release
Generally a press release will have certain parts to it which make up your “press release".
These parts would consist of:
Date Instructions: “For Immediate Release", “For Release Before (date)", or “For Release After (date)"
Contact information: Include as much information as possible here. Make it easy for the media to contact you about your story. Important pieces would include your phone number, fax number, email address, Company address. Failing to leave contact information may cast your press release as being illegitimate or grey, simply because of the theory “No contact information? What do they have to hide? Why don’t they want to be contacted. ".
Headline: This is, as it states at the top of the page and must be an attention grabber. Failing to write a strong headline will jeopardize your entire release. You may have a fantastic press release, however if your headlines does not something that will grab your readers attention, it will be overlooked for a different release with a better headline.
Think of a question within your headline. It is in the general interest of people that they want to be sure they are “normal". They want to make sure they are “keeping up with the joneses". What we mean by this is, a headline in the form of a question is often an attention grabber. Something like:
“Losing Weight Is Easy, If You Follow These Simple Rules, Do You Follow These Simple Rules To Lose Weight?" This type of a headline draws a user into the story, simply because they want to know if they are normal. Try a question. It will draw a reader into your story.
Summary: This would be the line following your headline. This gives you a second chance to draw the media into your story. Again, keep this as a point and interesting. This is the perfect place for a strong statement or two to keep the reader interested.
Body: This will be the main area of your press release. Keep it simple. Keep your press release to the point. Make it brief. Try to stay between 175/200 – 350 words. Remember, the press release is to entice the media to contact you for further information and write their own conclusions. Draw the reader to your web site if you have a press release web site to further their reading. Do not try and tell them your entire Company history in your press release.
About Us: Not everyone uses a broiler plate, however this is the perfect place to add some brief information about your Company. I. E. , “XYZ Company has been in the business of building widgets since 1900. XYZ Company is a top distributor of widgets and is recognized as a pillar in the widget industry. "
End of Press Release: To end your press release, simply enter ### on a blank line at the end of the release. Any information after the ### will not be published.
Section 11 – Start Strong
As already mentioned, not only should your press release have a catchy title and sub headline, your first paragraph will also be very important.
This is the perfect location for giving information about what you are trying to portray to the reader. Perhaps the use of some statistics may be used, as long as you do not go overboard.
If you have already written a strong headline and sub headline, chances are you are well underway to writing a good press release.
Target The Media > Press Release Distribution Writing Tips At 24-7PressRelease.com – Targeting The Media
Section 12 – Target The Media
Who is your audience? Sure it would be nice, in a perfect world if everyone could read your press release. A good way to accomplish this is having someone distribute this information for you. Starting with us is a great starting point, however a well written press release will have reiterations written by journalists for publication on web sites, in trade publications and or on the radio/television.
This means that if you write your press release while keeping the media in mind, you will have a better chance of gaining second level exposure. First level exposure is through a press release distribution such as 24-7pressrelease.com. Second level exposure is when the media pickup your story, call you, or simply modify it for their own use. This is where you will receive extremely targeted exposure to your industry.
Although first hand exposure is always nice, the targeted exposure is where you will ultimately reap the benefits of obtaining customers or getting the attention of your targeted audience.
Keeping your press release simple, to the point, easy to read and grammatically correct with a unique story will enhance your chances of an individual from the media picking up your story.
Section 13 – Attribution
So what is attribution and how do I incorporate effective in my press release?
Attribution is the process of assigning a quality or character to a person or thing. This may also be seen as assigning to a cause or source.
Most well written press releases use attribution. If your company will be looking to use attribution (quoting information on another Company or individual) within your press release, make sure you know your sources, and have your facts and information correct.
First off, it is a good idea to have permission from sources where you are making quotes from copyright information. If you use copyright information within your press release and do not attain written permission to use this information, you may be held liable.
When making a quote from copyright information, be sure to state the source of the quote including the date. If you are making a comment on the quote, from copyright information, be sure to include the full name of the individual making the quote and their position. This will help validate your release.
“XYZ is to raise rates…". ABC Company will capitalizes on this.
In this bad example, there is no attribution. The example does not state who made the quote, nor who is commenting on the quote or their position. This also lacks source and date information.
On a quote made by John Doe, marketing manager of XYZ Corporation in the Thursday February 1, 2004 edition of the Sun Newspaper “XYZ is to raise rates…", Jane doe, president of ABC comments “This is something we will capitalize on…".
In this example, all sources, names and positions are clearly stated as to not leave the reader wondering about the credibility of the press release.
Although there are cases where quotes of copyright information may be used without written permission from the Company being quoted, this is generally done in a positive context and is not the best practice to follow.
Section 14 – What May Seem Like News…
What may seem like news to you may not be of any interest to the general public, or the media.
Ensure that when you write your press release that you have something to write about. Keep your press release as an interesting story to tell. Make sure you will grab the attention of the general public. Make sure it is unique.
Ask a few people if they think that what you are about to write would be of general interest to the media or public.
Section 15 – What Not To Write About Or Do
There are certain don’ts that are fairly simple to follow.
Do not write your press release as if it were to read like an advertisement.
Do not submit your press release if it is riddled with grammatical errors and typos. Do not submit your press release if it is geared toward illegal activity, stock promotion (unless you are a registered member of the NASD with a registration number), hatred towards others, or terrorism.
Do not continually submit the same press release over and over, or even one that is slightly modified from the original. If your press release was not picked up or you did not receive any enquiries, this should be a clue.