PR 101: Writing a Press Release

Thousands of press releases are distributed over the wire each day, how is your release going to stand out in comparison? Editors are receiving hundreds of press releases and pitches, many of which they will never read.  Aside from avoiding buzzwords, here are a few questions you should ask yourself when writing a press release:

Is this News?  The first question you need to ask yourself, is this newsworthy? Editors are quick to disregard any release that is more an advertisement than news.   Make your brand news stand out in an attention grabbing, visual introduction along with the who, what, when, where, why and how of the story in the first paragraph of your release.

Would I read it?  Many of my colleagues majored in journalism and I know a few journalists who are making the switch to public relations. These two professions are extremely similar. You know what is newsworthy and, lets face it, could practically write for the publications your monitor and pitch. So ask yourself, would I find this release relevant? Is this new product or campaign something I would feature? Your answer had better be a resounding yes!

Remember to Edit! And then re-edit and edit again! You can never be too cautious when editing a release. Have someone outside of your direct team read over the release. All too often your brand’s language and key messages become as familiar to you as the national anthem. It helps to get an outside set of eyes, someone who is not as familiar with your language or the program details. Another great editing tip – read your release backwards. This way if something sounds off, you will be more inclined to catch it.  If there is an error that you miss, don’t stress. Once the error is caught advise the distributor and they can edit or re-release the news if needed. At a price.
image via Pinterest.com

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