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Part 1 of 2 in a series

When it comes to writing a press release for your business, you should understand what it requires for an editor, reporter, or any journalist to even want to read what you send them. Keep in mind a press release is a way to introduce your business/product or service to the media. If there is interest, the release could turn into a story, or be published. Before I get into the heart of powerful press release writing, let me make a few points very clear.

  • There isn’t a “secret” formula to writing a press release. It’s knowing and using the 5 Ws in your releases: What. Who. Where. When. Why.
  • A press release is NOT an advertisement. Keep away from “selling” your product or service. Don’t write a release the same as you would an ad. Your release is going to the media, not potential or existing customers.
  • Releases are NOT articles. Look at articles in your trade and consumer media. These are not press releases, but stories.

No two businesses are the same, and this is also true of press releases. The only formula that applies is having a headline, dateline, opening paragraph, body paragraphs, boilerplate and contact information.

Do’s and Don’ts

The news media has a list of do’s and don’ts when receiving press releases:

Make sure it is newsworthy. Examples are:

  • announcing a new product or service
  • working with a charity
  • making a charitable contribution
  • starting as new division or acquiring another company
  • releasing a study about your industry and how it affects your business
  • sponsoring an event, or having a grand opening
  • taking your company public, or announcing stock offerings
  • rebranding or reorganizing your company
  • hiring a new executive
  • hosting a seminar
  • opening a new office or relocating your headquarters

These are just a few of the types of releases considered by the media to be newsworthy. Read and study other published releases, not all of them are good, but it will help you understand what that specific publication considers to be newsworthy.

  • Limit the use of adjectives and adverbs. Stay away from adjectives such as “exciting”, “fabulous”, or “revolutionary” to mention a few. Using adverbs like “really”, “extremely”, or “very” do not enhance the release, but will get it tossed.
  • Don’t use exclamation marks.
  • When making a statement or an opinion, be sure to support it.

Providing facts or referring to other studies or experts, it will give the release credibility.

  • Write your release to match the audience. If you’re announcing a new product make sure it is sent to media specific to that industry. It’s ok to modify the release to apply to different industries.

In Part 2 we will discuss catchy headlines, the best day of the week to distribute a release, how to make your release SEO ready, and how to rank high using keywords and phrases.

If you are a pr client, then take notes, this can help you get press releases published. If you are a small pr agency, make sure you know these tips.

It seems when pr clients have press releases they feel the “world” wants to know all aboutpress release distribution it and cannot understand why it hasn’t been published. To get press releases published, you should first start in your own local backyard. This means contact your local media. Local newspapers, radio shows, TV reporters, and even online eMagazines. When you do this, it will help build your company name among the media. Even local papers, and other local media get the attention of national press. So start in this manner and then follow these steps.

To find the types of local media in your area, there are many sources you can use. Since we are in the age of Internet, this should be your first place to research. It is best to Google, or Yahoo the industry you or your pr client is in. I’ll give you a few places to look, such as:

Media Post. This lists all the media in the US

NewsLin.org provides a list of countries for media sources

ABYZ News Links, this also is a directory of countries

I need to mention that you or your pr client must have a web site. Why? In today’s fast moving world, a company’s web sites are a source for media, reporters to verify information, or to collect additional information about a company. After the press release is professionally written, now where do you submit it? Begin with the local media– newspapers, magazines in your area.

Then use the online sources. Some of these are: PRWeb.com. This site allows free distribution of releases. Another Free online site is Free-Press-Release.com. Many other excellent online sources exist. But start small and build your own media list that is specific to your industry.

Remember to post these press releases on your pr client’s web site. Having a “newsroom” is what reporters; editors look for when visiting a company site. If you need more help or tips for press release distribution, call us at CarsonPR. We can get you noticed!