When it’s time to do a little crowing, write a press release in just 5 steps
This information is a guide to help get you started crafting your first press release. Or, if you are able to hire a writer, use your new knowledge to gauge how effective the article is that they provide you.
- Define Your Audience: Before you ‘set pen to paper’ define who are you trying to reach. Your audience affects the wording you choose and how the information is conveyed. For instance; if you are announcing a new line of skateboards you write with a different voice if your intended audience is the rider and not a distributor of sporting goods. Make sure that your information is relevant to your intended reader and when you are writing make sure that you spell this out for them.
- Tell them What to Do: Before you begin to write define the goal of your article. This, when added to your audience will be the focus of your story. Clearly defining the call to action will make it easier to write your article and it will guarantee you get the return you are hoping for.
- Give Your Title Lots of Love: Even the best writers write and rewrite. Spend time crafting an eye-catching headline that will pull the reader into your release and that also expresses the core intent of your story. Some writers recommend that this is done after the rest of the piece is written so it captures the essence better. Since we are now posting online as often, or more often than in print keep it to approximately 60 characters. This makes it more shareable as a tweet or a status message on Facebook.
- This is News and Not a Diary: The first paragraph summarizes your entire story in two or three lines and should answer these five points: who, what, where, why and how. All further information is provided in the next paragraph or two. Be clear and concise and keep the entire piece to a page or less.Write-Edit-Write: make your copy engaging but keep your focus: clear and concise are your mantra. Also, what graphics can you use to enhance your story? Include a quality photograph, your logo or, for online posts, even video. Remember for print to provide artwork at 300dpi and saved from the original artwork- not enlarged after downloading it from your web page.
- Include Your Credentials: contact information and social media links. This allows a publisher to contact you and can also assist you in establishing yourself as a voice of authority.
Written effectively, your press release is a major marketing tool for your business with a big added bonus: it’s free.
Tools That Help
- Here are useful writing resources:
- PR Web Editorial Guidelines
- National Geographic’s Style Guide
- Grammarly.com is a free grammar checker that runs in the background but does require you to add an extension to your browser
- Grammar Check Online from Ginger Software has free online tools you can plug into and doesn’t require an installation to your browser or computer
Have you crafted a great press release? Share a link in the comments. Also, here are some sample real world press releases:
Guardian Faber acquire world rights for definitive book on Edward Snowden and the biggest leak in history
Burberry Uses iPhone 5s to Capture Spring/Summer 2014 Runway Show
Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream to Host Small Business Speed Coaching in Los Angeles
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