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Tips For Writing A Better Press Release
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when writing your press release.
- Include a boldface headline that is eye-catching and will suck the press into your announcement. The title should entice the reader to continue reading, but should also clearly state the purpose of the release.
- Your first sentence should tell readers exactly what your release is about.
- The first paragraph should answer the 'who, what, when, where, why, and how' of your news.
- Keep all sentences concise and keep paragraphs at approximately 4 sentences each.
- If you are putting out a release for a product or service, be sure to include the product name, version number, where it's available, and what it costs. You should also mention why your product/service is different from others on the market. If you're product is a technology product, include system requirements.
- Never assume that your audience is familiar with your product. Keep your release free of industry jargon.
- Do not over-hype your news or use too many adjectives. Journalists see so much of this, that they are immune and tend to ignore it. See the Words to Avoid section below for often over-used words that have lost their meaning over time.
- Instead of using adjectives, try using more basic, clear words. If you do need to use adjectives, use vivid and compelling ones. See the Words to Use section below for more tips.
- Avoid a marketing tone. Do not 'advertise' your product. Instead, stick to the facts.
- Include quotes in the release. Ideally, these should be objective opinions from long-time customers or analysts. Reporters are more inclined to use objective comments that a quote from the CEO stating that this product will change the world.
- Make it easy for the press to be able to copy portions of your release for use in their articles. While this doesn't happen often, it could on a strict deadline. By writing the release as you would an article, you make it easier on the journalists and increase your chances of your news being publicized the way you wrote.
- The release should be free of spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors.
- Use a legible font and ideally keep the release to one page. Legibility overrules creativity.
- Make use of bulleted points, as they are easy to scan.
- Include a brief company history section at the bottom of your release. Be sure to include information about your products or services that will help establish your expertise. Also mention your location, years in business, and any other pertinent information. Be sure to keep it short and concise, but detailed.
- Provide a link to your website where they can find additional information. A Press Page is a good option for sending the press so that they do not have to search your site for additional information.
- Always provide a contact name, telephone number, address, and email address. If your contact person is not readily available, consider providing two contacts. Journalists are often on strict deadlines and need to speak with someone the same day. Be sure that you can do this.
- Type ### at the end of your release to indicate the end and there are no more pages. If there is more than one page, put - more - at the bottom of your release. (Note that it is highly recommended that you keep your releases to one page)
Words to Avoid
These are over-used words that tend to lose their meaning in press releases. While it may be necessary to use some of these, be sure not to keep them to a minimum. Source: WebTechniques
think outside the box
look and feel
end to end
play to win
best of breed
Words to Use
Most people read promotional copy and press releases very quickly, often just skimming the text. It is essential to use short, basic, clear words because you are writing for more than one reader. While you should generally stay away from using too many adjectives, those that you do use should be vivid and compelling rather than predictable. Do not use overly promotional adjectives or they may be ignored. A thesaurus is extremely useful when writing releases.
The three most effective words to use in writing a press release are free, best, and new. While these three words can be described in many different ways, the basic form is the most effective. Everyone understands their meanings and they describe what all of us want.
When writing your release, use these words throughout as appropriate.
- Free - complimentary or cost-effective. Everyone likes something free and journalists are often happy to pass along the details.
- Best - top of the line or first-rate. Who doesn't want to be the best? Journalists are more likely to write about the "best" than 2nd best.
- New - cutting-edge or latest. Using the word new describes your product or company as fresh and exciting. Journalists are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest. In an industry where news becomes old news in a matter of minutes, you want
Effective words for headlines:
As mentioned earlier, it is best to use simple words when writing your press release. When going over your draft, be on the lookout for buzzwords that may be everyday words to you in business. These words should be translated into their more basic counterparts. Here is a sample of buzzwords and their simpler translations:
Effective words for headlines:
Here is an additional list of words that are effective for you press release title headline as well as for use within the release.
Press Release Writing
Still stuck? Our professional writers can draft a professionaly written, journalistically correct, and informative press release for you! If you are interested having a press release written for you, please visit our writing services section. Save $99 when you have us both write and distribute your release.
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