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Writing Press Releases

Press releases ‘sell’ the story to the press. A poorly written press release covering an excellent story will simply be ignored.

Journalists receive hundreds of press releases every week. They won’t look for a story within a press release. If it isn’t obvious and doesn’t sound intriguing they will just move on. To avoid this follow our tips below:

Step into a Journalist’s Shoes

Journalists have no interest in promoting your product or hearing that you do in fact sell the most comfortable shoes in the local area. Too many people fall into this trap and end up writing press releases that sound like advertisements. Don’t do this. Write a good story, making sure to avoid overly-hyped language and clichés. See our Public Relations Ideas section.

The Headline is Vital

An attention-grabbing headline is vitally important to ensure that journalists even read your press release. This isn’t something to quickly complete after writing your press release. Ask others for ideas – a good headline will make all the difference. Ideally keep it to 8 words or less.

Get to the Point

A press release isn’t an essay. It doesn’t require a beginning, middle and an end. After drawing in the journalist will a well-constructed heading you only have a few seconds to keep their attention so get to the point straight away.

The first paragraph should contain answers to all the important questions – Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?

Include Quotes

Quotes add depth and interest to your story. Try to include an intriguing, even slightly controversial, quote from one of the people behind the company.

The Technical Details

There are certain essential components that all press releases should include. Include date of release instructions, such as ‘For Immediate Release’, a summary, contact information, and signify the end of your press release. For more information about this see The Layout of Press Releases.

Be Contactable

Many people write an excellent press release, send it off, and then miss out on excellent press coverage because they forgot to include their contact details. Journalists will often want more information and quotes before writing a story. Make sure they can contact you.

Related Articles:

The Cost of PR Activities and Hiring a PR Agency
Public Relations Ideas
Do You Need a PR Agency?
The Layout of Press Releases