How to Write a Press Release

A press release is simply a brief article about something new or interesting about your business, written in the third person and released to the press - both print and broadcast media.

Editors often read hundreds of releases every day. Typically, they have only seconds to review each one. That's why strong snappy headlines, lead-ins that get right to the point and text of 400 words or less describing why the information is important, are good ways to get your press release noticed.

You should include the date the release is valid, where the release originated, and a contact name for getting more information. Prominent display of your company logo on standard corporate stationery is also important. If they see your logo, editors you have already established a relationship with will instantly pick up your release and read it,. A useable quotation from a key contact is also helpful to editors who often don't have time to chase down that information.

The following is a sample press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Your company

Press Contact(s): Contact Name
Contact Phone and Fax
Contact email

(headline) New alliance creates benefits for consumers
Your Company and Their Company link to provide one-stop shopping

(Lead-in paragraph) (Any town, Any country, Date)--Your Firm, (web site) and Their Company (web site) have announced that they will be working together to provide one-stop shopping for their products and services.

(So What Paragraph) With the time pressures we face in today's world, consumers need to consolidate their shopping efforts and free up more quality time. Working parents, in particular, will appreciate the benefits this partnership will offer.

(Quotation from Key Participant) 'We're taking a very partnership-oriented view. Important benefits will be delivered as a result of each of our organisations working together rather than doing our own thing. These are exciting days indeed' says A Person, President of Your Company.

(Background Information) Your Company is a leading provider of that can dramatically improve

When you send out the release, it is usually via fax, so make sure to keep an updated listing of editors and their contact information on hand. Calling editors periodically to check in will not only help you get this information, but will also help establish a good relationship.

Now that you've got the picture on the appropriate format for a release, brainstorm with your team on what some viable topics may be. Think about what you could do or announce that would be suitable for a press release and get it out there. Don't be discouraged if at first you don't succeed. Try again, always making sure your releases focus on the 'what that means is...' and not just the self-promotion.



Val Valentine, advertising and direct mail copywriter

Copyright 2005 Val Valentine

Val Valentine is a B2C and B2B advertising and direct mail copywriter based in the Midlands, UK. With over 25 years' experience, she also writes commercials for TV and Radio, brochures, sales letters, articles, web content and has broad experience of strategic brand planning and development. You can reach her at +44 (0) 1684 772 021 or +44 (0 )7802 959 009. For further information, please visit www.valvalentine.co.uk




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