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The Do's and Don'ts of Writing A Press Release

Dec 25, 2007
What do you need to do before you even put pen to paper and start writing a press release?

Although writing a successful press release is pretty straightforward, unless you do it correctly your hard work will be rewarded with the STB technique. That is your press release will be Screwed up into a tiny ball and it will be Thrown into the nearest Bin by the person you sent it to. And whilst the STB technique is seldom discussed I am afraid the vast majority of press releases fall foul to its nasty end. However, yours will not.

So let us start with some things you need to think about and so before writing your press release.

To begin with you need to think about why you are actually writing the release in the first place. Is it to tell the world about something amazing that has happened that you simply have to share with them? Is it to update your customers (or potential customers) with news of a new product or service you have? Or is it to increase business? A wise man (I think it was big chinned Football guru Jimmy Hill) once said you cannot get to where you are going until you know where you are. Wise words indeed and words that should be listened to if you want your press release to be acted upon.

The second thing you need to consider is who are you going to send it to? Before you even consider putting pen to paper you have to know who the release is going to be sent to as this will have a vital impact on what you say and how you say it. I mean do you really think Richard Attenborough would have sent the same press release about Jurassic Park to the National History Museum as he would have to a tabloid newspaper? No he most certainly would not have. Instead the headline to one might have been Tyrannosaurus Rex makes triumphant return in the land of the lost giants whereas the other headline might have been do you think he Dino Saw Us? Mad Professor opens new theme park. Basically you need to make sure you know where your release will be sent so it can be tailored to that audience.

Please also make your press release interesting and newsworthy to the people you are sending it to. If you dont you know what will happen (see STB above).

The final thing you have to do before writing your press release is to know that the person you are sending it to does not care about you and does not care about your business. All they care about is does what you are writing about interest them and more importantly will it be of interest and useful to their readers, listeners, viewers or site visitors. And whilst this may seem a harsh thing to say it is true. If you dont believe me send out a press release not taking this into account and watch the results. Oh yes, and listen hard enough and you might hear the STB!

So there you go just a few things you should be doing before writing your press release. And here are a few things you most definitely should not do:

Do not ramble. Journalists dislike press releases that dont get to the point. If you can get to the point and do not ramble on, your release has a much better chance of being published. If however you are about to sit down and write war and peace then go walk the dog, make a cup of tea or do whatever it takes to get you out of this mindset.

Do not lie. Remember this is not your CV! Keep the contents of your release factual, correct and do not be tempted to tell anything but the truth.

Do not make mistakes. If journalists hate one thing more than rambling its errors, spelling mistakes and releases that are not grammatically correct. With spell check there is no excuse nowadays.

And one final thought, (very Jerry Springer) STBs will no longer be an option for you and your business we will leave them for your competitors.
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