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How to Write a Press Release

Mar 25, 2008
Press releases are a great way to draw extra attention to your business and create a bit of a buzz around new events and products. However, if poorly written, your press release will never be picked up by the media and your great news, even if newsworthy, won't see the light of day. Here's how to write a press release that will have the media begging for more.

Give It an Angle Your press release needs to have an angle built in so that it is easy for an editor to turn it into a front page story if necessary. Write your press release as if it were an article and you have a very good chance of it being picked up. Editors love it when they don't have to work too hard.

For your press release to garner favor, it's a good idea to turn it into a story that people will be interested in reading. For example, no one will care that you just got new carpet in your office, but what can create a newsworthy release is the fact that the new carpet is made from recycled plastic and marks the beginning of a green era for your business.

Make It Snappy A press release is not a college essay and it shouldn't read like one. Write it like a magazine article. A good tip is to take a look at the publication you want to get into and write the press release to fit that style. This gives you an added advantage . . . the reporter won't have to struggle to make your article fit into the magazine. To keep your press release interesting and fun to read, make sure you write actively. That means using active instead of passive verbs and making the action leap out to the readers.

For example, rather than say; "The new carpet was installed", write "We lay the carpet ourselves to save money" or something similar, using an active voice. Also, you will want to keep the press release fairly short. Most editors don't have time to be reading fifty pages on how your business is coming out with a new product.

Split It Up Using subtitles and bullet points is an excellent way to make your press release easier to read. To do this easily, write down all the information you want conveyed, in a magazine style, then go back and divide the report into sections. Label each one with a short subtitle. Extra ideas or resources can be listed with bullet points.

Using bold or italics for some important points will help them stand out as well and can be a good way to get busy editors to check out your report. They will be able to simply scan it and get an idea as to what your press release is about, making it easy to decide whether or not to use it.

Headlines Count The title you give your press release could mean the difference between it getting read or just tossed in the junk pile. You want a title that isn't too long, but catches people's attention. Again, a quick look at the publication you want to get into can be a very helpful way to figure out what they are looking for. In general, stick to active verbs and get straight to the point. A vague, wishy washy headline isn't going to win you any points!

Short, newspaper type headlines are almost always good. The editor may change it, but chances are, if you offer something usable your press release will get used pretty much as is.

Writing a press release is fairly simple. Make it newsworthy and interesting to read as well as nice and easy and you'll have a very good chance of it getting featured.
About the Author
Make your public relations efforts stand out by submitting a well-written press release to the right, targeted media.
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