Press releases are a great way to get plenty of free exposure for your business. Simply put:
1. You write a newsworthy story about your business into a certain format
2. Send the story to various media outlets.
3. If they’re interested, they may publish your press release or interview you.
A story that the media picks up will be far more valuable than a paid advertising spot. Having the media do a story about you is like a personal endorsement of your website and business. You can tell them about the launch of your new website or business; your expert opinions on a topic in the news; fundraisers or anything else the media might be interested in.
That sounds easy enough, but how do you put a press release together? Here are some tips to get you started:
Appropriate Press Release Format
Your press release should have six basic components and they are:
1. Release Instructions
“For Immediate Release";
“For Release Before [date]" or
“For Release After [date]"
Use one of the latter two if your press release is of a time sensitive nature. For example, if you are holding a public speaking event, you will want to use the “For Release Before [date]" and make sure you input the final date for registrations. If you are using the “For Release Before [date]" ensure you are sensitive to media deadlines. Send your release out well in advance.
Write an attention-grabbing headline. Make it benefits-oriented (why would it be of interest to people?) and descriptive. Avoid hype and promotional language ~ remember, this is a news story.
3. Contact Information
Include as much information as possible here. Make it easy for the media to contact you. Include your phone number, address, company name, fax number, email and website URL. Include the hours you are available at the listed phone number and add an after hours phone number, if applicable.
Before you get into the body of the release, write a sentence or two to summarize your press release. Make it interesting, you want the recipient to keep reading.
This is the meat of your press release. Again, write a benefits-oriented story. Think of the target audience as you are writing. Your target audience is partly the editor or reporter who will be reading the release. Ultimately, however, your target audience is that editor or reporter's readers or audience. You need to write a story that will be of interest to them.
The first paragraph should answer all the important questions - Who, What, Where, When, Why & How?
Add some quotations to add credibility and to break up the story. Quotations can be from you about the topic. Testimonials or commentary from your customers are very effective as well.6.
6. Signify the End of Your Release
The end of your press release is shown by a few simple characters. Place ### at the end of your release.
For more ideas on when to send a press release and how to write one that’s sure to demand the media’s attention, grab your free Moms Talk Biz Guide to Press Releases