How To Write an Attention-Grabbing Press Release!
Have you ever needed to write an effective press release and wondered
where to begin? Read dear Subscriber and the simple steps to news
coverage will be revealed….
As with most projects you need to start with a checklist. Here’s mine.
=> Press Release Checklist
- Step 1 – What’s Your Story?
- Step 2 – Think Like A Journalist
- Step 3 – Mechanics Of Writing A Press Release
- Step 4 – Example Layout Of A Press Release
- Step 5 – Is Your Press Release Ready?
The missing ingredient – K-I-S-S
=> Step 1 – What’s Your Story?
1.1) Find your story, and develop it!
1.2) Position yourself as being different
1.3) Develop different angles
- holiday and event tie-in articles
- tips, articles, advice
- politically and socially important editorial
- tie-in articles
- new, unique products, Internet innovations and developments
- human interest angles
- interpersonal relationships on difficult issues
- unusual events, unique personal accomplishments, unusual
- creative ideas
- humor and wisdom, fun and tragedy
=> Step 2 – Think Like A Journalist
2.1) What reasons would an editor want to publish your news (what benefits are there for them?)
- – is it relevant?
- – is it mildly interesting?
- – is it newsworthy?
2.2) Make the main benefit the headline. The only purpose of your headline is to get the
attention of the editor, to get him/her to read your release. Write headlines from
prospects point of view (use the words YOU, NEW and/or How To in headline)
2.3) Remember the subtext
2.4) Remember K-I-S-S (keep it simple Silly!) – write for scan-ability; write short,
2.5) Remember to answer: “Who? Why? What? Where? When? & How?”
2.6) Write the press release so it can be put into a magazine, with just a few simple edits
=> Step 3 – Mechanics Of Writing A Press Release
3.1) The Title of your press release is vital – some say that 90% of your time should be
spent on your title; make it bold & boastful (hot and shocking!)
3.2) Opening sentence continues what you are talking about in the headline
3.3) Tell your story in headline and leading paragraph
3.4) Use specific, powerful (and true) testimonials – use convincing case studies
3.5) – No more than 5 bullet points
- – No .DOC files
- – No attachments
3.6) Change passive words to active; use the words YOU; and link selling points
3.7) For each sentence ask yourself ‘So what?’ – remove if there is no good answer
3.8) Edit your copy ruthlessly, over and over again!
=> Step 4 – Example Layout Of A Press Release
This is a simple example of what a press release should look like (more or less):
<Title – Headline> Benefit (tell me more, 36-40 chars)
<For immediate release>
<Leading Paragraph> — What / why needed / how it will help
— Include quotes
<Main Paragraph(s)> — Who aimed at (the facts) – who cares?
<Final Paragraph> — Summarize; call to action
<Full contact details>
=> Step 5 – Is Your Press Release Ready?
1) Is your press release published on your website?
2) Better still, do you have an online press pack?
3) Do you know what to do or say if a reporter calls?
=> The missing ingredient – K-I-S-S
Phew! A lot to take in, I agree! The main trouble with doing all of the above is that your
press release will be… L-O-N-G!
Yes, the vital ingredient to your press release, the one factor that WILL increase the
chances of getting your news published is to:
Keep It SHORT Silly (yet another K-I-S-S !)
Not convinced? Ask yourself these questions, then:
* How many of these press releases do you think editors get to read every day?
* How many long, badly-worded releases will they read before eventually becoming
instantly put off just by the length of a press release?
* And how much more likely do you think a press release will be read if it’s a SHORT,
Keep your press release short, simple as that!
For help with your marketing and practice-building endeavors contact Natalie J. Armstrong-Motin directly at firstname.lastname@example.org