How to write an effective press release in one hour or less

Guess what I found in my spam folder? This actually-not-bad-at-all piece of advice on how to write a press release (well, should be “news release,” really) from dear old PR Buzz. So let me share it with you…

The purpose of this article is to outline the basic steps and instructions for writing a press release quickly. Writers that follow these simple rules should be able to write an effective press release in an hour or less.

Write the headline first

The whole writing process starts with the headline. The headline is a single sentence statement that announces what the news is. Companies, organizations or individuals have thousands of opportunities to announce news. A company’s news can be a new product or service, new feature, new website, new office location, new employee, new award…  The headline should be 100 characters or less including spaces.

Writing the body of the press release

The body of the press release expands on the “Who, What, When, Where, How and Why” of the announcement or news. The details in a press release should be limited to the “facts” about the announcement or news. Opinion, fluff or hype are not appropriate. Statements about how the product or service is the most amazing innovation ever invented should not be included. It is important that readers form this opinion by themselves by reading the details (facts) in the press release.

Important press release writing tips:

1. Press releases should always be written in third person.

2. Press releases must be written with the “journalist” or “media outlet” as the audience. Never write a press release as if you are trying to sell to the reader. Press releases that resemble a sales letter are considered to be “press release spam” and will create more harm than good. Remember that the purpose of your press release is to announce your news, not sell.

3. Always include plenty of contact info. A contact name, email address, phone and at least three links to your web site should be included in every press release.

4. Company background info is very valuable. This is usually done by including a section at the bottom of the press release just before the contact info titled “About XYZ Company or Organization.” (Or, “Notes For Editors.” Sz.)

5. Send a new press release at least once a month. (Debatable; once a month or two may be better, depending on your target market. Sz.) With the huge amount of information on the internet, news is forgotten quickly. Some organizations even send a new press release every day. It is important to constantly come up with new and interesting news to announce to the public. Writers can find ideas for new press releases by reading the thousands of press releases at prbuzz.com.

6. It is important for a press release to be new, interesting, unique and exciting. Only the most interesting press releases get noticed.

7. Keep your press release short and simple. 250 to 500 words is best.

8. Add ### at the bottom of each press release to signify the end.

Not bad advice, huh. Do have any further tips on how to write good press / news releases?

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photo credit: Trois Têtes (TT) via photo pin cc

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