There can never be enough said about writing a good press release.
Most pr clients, pr agencies, and publicity professionals try to overwrite press releases. By that I mean, they want to produce dozens of press releases to justify their existence and their fees. Without a series of press releases, most publicity professionals, and pr agencies will not survive. I don’t believe in writing just to write for the sake of a retainer fee. It is best to have a solid pr plan that includes a lot of other publicity activities, but that’s another topic.
Let’s get into writing good press releases that will get published.
1- The trap most press releases fall into is no relevance. Too often they do not have information that relates to any specific industry, or the information is a sales pitch. Keep away for phrases such as “out-of-this-world”, “amazing”, “wild”, etc. When writing, try to see it through a journalistic view. How would a reporter, or editor react to your release?
2- What’s important to the consumer or market? Give factual information that will explain why your product or service will have to help the consumer, or improve a situation in the market. Write for your audience.
3- Provide all the necessary contact information. This should include all the people that an editor, or reporter can contact should they want more information, or to follow up.
4- The HEADLINE. Make sure it is not storytelling. It should create interest without being too creative
5- Main paragraph. This is important. It needs to quickly explain and tell– who–what–where–and why of your press release. Most editors will only read the first or second paragraph, so make sure all the important information is in this part.
6- Main body. Now you can further explain with support data about the product or service.
7- Summary. It is ok to repeat some of the information that you had in the first paragraph. Just don’t repeat every word. Always close with the name, address and phone number of the company the press release is about.
Finally, keep the press release short. Some publicity professionals feel they get paid for each word. So they tend to write 2 or 3 or more pages. If the information is that technical, or requires a lot of explaining, then create a short version to get the attention of an editor to contact you for further information. Remember, editors get thousands of releases and if you make it difficult to read, or too long to say what is important, your release becomes recycle paper. I suggest you keep a press release down to 400 and no more than 500 words. Fewer than 400 is best. If you need more help go to this site, which provides information on press release formatting: http://www.press-release-writing.com/press-release-template.htm.