How to Write a Good Press Release
While there is no guarantee your release will be printed, a well-written press release is more likely to garner interest. The following tips will guide you toward your goal of writing an interesting and informative release.
Make Sure It’s Newsworthy
A press release must be interesting enough to the general public to warrant press coverage. Is it something that the public will find important to their lives? Announcing that your organization is changing it’s after school program from Wednesday to Thursday is only important to the people immediately impacted by the change. It’s suitable for a newsletter or email to those specific people, but not of interest to the general public. If your company is hosting an all-day fundraiser for the local children’s hospital, that’s definitely newsworthy.
Examine the intent of your release to determine your goal. Are you just trying to inform or generate positive support? Do you want to bring like-minded people together? Are you trying to change the way people view an issue or behave?
Think about what impact you want to have on the public. How will your announcement affect them? Will people become involved? Will they start talking about it?
Make sure your release is newsworthy before you write it.
Use a Quirky or Catchy Headline
People hate to guess and if the headline is unclear, they’re not likely to read the article. Tell the reader what your hook is right in the headline so they know what your release is about. Your release doesn’t have to be stuffy or boring. Grab the reader with your headline and they’ll want to read more.
Get to the Point
Make your point quickly and clearly. No one wants to spend the first two paragraphs reading about your company’s background. They want to know what the scoop is. Be bold. If your company has a solution to a community problem, let the reader know: This is what the problem is and here’s how we’re fixing it, starting as of when. This is who we’re helping and how.
Write Like You’re a Reporter
Reporters are busy. Very busy. The better written a press release is, the less work they have to do and the more likely they are to use it. Think about what you would want to read in an article written by someone else. What would grab you and make you want to know more?
Write as if you are writing the article to go directly to print or air. If you’re not sure how to do that, read a few articles from different newspapers and emulate them.
If you have big name supporters, mention them. Even better, name drop with your big competitors (without trash-talking them). It may seem counter-intuitive, but appropriate name dropping will help your release get coverage. When people search for your competition, your release will pop up in the results.
Use an Interesting Quote
Every good release has at least one really interesting quote. The best quotes make people think or laugh (as appropriate to your topic). A quote is also a good way to give information that moves the article along.
Your press release should be between 300-800 words and must adhere to proper format so it looks professional.
© 2011 Rosa Marchisella
More by this Author
Employers want to know your skills to help them decide if you have what it takes to do the job well, if you will fit in, and if you can make the company look good. Find out what your skills are.
Whether you're PR for a big corporation or a project co-ordinator for a small non-profit, knowing the difference between a media advisory and press release is just the first step. Knowing how to write a proper media...
Thinking of moving to Ontario, Canada? This article contains valuable information you need to help you make an informed decision before taking that big step.