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How to write a Press Release?

How to write a Press Release?

  The use of a press release is common in the field of public relations, the aim of which is to attract favorable media attention to public relations professional's client and/or provide publicity for products or events marketed by those clients. A press release provides reporters with the basics they need to develop a news story. Press releases can announce a range of news items such as: scheduled events, personal promotions, awards, news products and services, sales and other financial data, accomplishments, etc. Source: Wikipedia

While preparing the press releases and while researching for this article, I have found numerous examples of poorly written press releases that not only create headache but also serve as a barrier between you and your possible audience in your future press release. So choose your steps wisely and think well before sending out your press releases.

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Below we will summarize not only the contents of a Good Press Release and the factors that make up the one; but also we will mention some basic questions or points, you should ask, before writing a press release for yourself or for your clients.

Following are the essential elements of a typical press release:

·         Headline:

Remember the aim of a press release is to motivate others (journalists) to get excited and write about you, your company or services. So the press release should not be over promotional in itself. Write catchy, attractive and meaningful headings in the least possible words. Your headings should be good enough to get eye balls attracted to your press release. Adding keywords to your press release is also a good idea, it will help your press release get found not only through internal site search but also through search engines. So bottom line: Write good, attractive headings, can include keywords but do not stuff them.

·         Summary:

After the heading, it is the second most critical area to put your effort. If you have gained attention by a good heading, you can lose it fairly quickly by using bad summary. To make your summary attractive identify a unique feature about your product or service and then write how it is going to revolutionize the world.

The summary should be a single paragraph with about three to five lines. Can have keywords but the most important thing is to retain attention.

·         Body:

This is you main playground to express what you have got to say? It is always a best to keep that attention that you have managed to get through your heading and summary and make your press releases descriptive, informative and noteworthy. Remember there is a big difference in normal article writing/marketing and press release writing. The body part is divided into following main areas.

1.   Dateline:

The dateline contains the release date of the press release and usually also the originating city of the press release. For online press release services , the date stamp is automatic and need not be entered usually.

2.   Introduction:

The introduction is where the press release body starts. It is the first paragraph in a press release, that generally gives basic answers to the questions of who, what, when, where and why.

3.   Details:

The details come after the introduction. It gives further explanation, statistics, background, or other details relevant to the news and also serves to back up whatever claims were made in the introductory paragraph.

The body is typically 500 words long, depending upon the service you are using. The body should have a minimum of two paragraphs. All paragraphs should be ideally between 5 to 8 lines each. There should be a blank line after each paragraph for good visibility.

·         About

The about section is also called the "boilerplate" as it used over and over again. It is generally a short section providing background information on the press release issuing company or organization.

·         Contact Information

This section contains the contact information like name, phone number, email address, mailing address, etc for the media relations contact person. For good credibility, the email address should be the same as the organization the press release is about. For example, if the press release is about an organization with a website called abcd.com, then the email address should be email_address@abcd.com.

Note: A press release should be written in third person. Instead of using we, us and ours, you should be using they, them and theirs. It is very useful to look at other people's press releases, outside your industry and market also, and note down the points that inspire you most while reading these press releases.

Before Your Write A Press Release, Question to Ask?

Below are the most important questions to ask yourself or client, before you begin your press release campaign. Although some might not be needed in your niche but these have found to be useful for all nearly everyone.

·         What is the subject of your announcement?

·         Who is your audience?

·         What important dates are associated with your announcement?

·         Who will be affected by the news?

·         How will this news affect your business? (Please include pertinent numbers, dollar amounts or percent increases you plan to achieve)

·         Where did key events related to your story take place?

·         How does this news affect your overall business strategy?

·         What obstacles did you / will you have to overcome to achieve those goals?

·         Who are the key players in this story?

·         Who would you like to quote in the release? (usually this is the President/CEO or top executive involved in this story)

·         If the announcement is about a promotion or appointment, can you provide a bio or resume of the featured person?

·         Do you have a website and if so, what is the address?

·         Please provide a brief (1 paragraph) description of your company.

·         Who is the key contact for this press release and what is that person’s contact information and title?

·         On what date do you want to make the announcement?

If you follow the above mentioned steps, I am sure your will be able to write much better press releases. I will appreciate your in suggestions the comments below.

 


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Mohsin Khawaja is a Internet Marketing Manager at Intellectual Works.He occasionally writes on various IT topics along with various SEO, SEM and Internet Marketing articles.
http://www.linkedin.com/in/khmohsin