Being able to produce a good press release
really is a valuable skill to have. As a journalist and copywriter, I get sent press releases all the time. But it’s just far too easy for people to forget why they are sending things out in the first place.
So before touch a keypad (or opt for the old-fashioned pen and paper approach), have a good think about what it is you’re actually trying to achieve. If your press release is for a specific market, make sure you know the style and tone of writing the business/newspaper/website/magazine is looking for. Google them, read back copies and note what type of article does well.
Now it’s time to have a think about a headline and a first sentence. If you were in charge, what would your attention-grabbing headline be? Why do readers need to now about your product or announcement? If you’re just writing for the sake of getting your name out there, it’s going to be very difficult to get any coverage at all.
Perhaps the most important thing about a press release is to make it relevant. Don’t just send out a generic release which covers a lot of areas but really says nothing specific. If your target audience is in Edinburgh
, do you have statistics or research specifically for that area? Perhaps you could quote someone from the company who is associated in some way with your target audience. Of course if you do decide to quote someone, it’s always a good idea to make sure they are also availible for interview.
Finally, always include your contact details, including email and a daytime telephone number, so that people can follow up on the initial release. Many people send high resolution JPEGS
with their initial release but sometimes it’s better not to risk clogging up emails – it only makes it more tempting for your release to be instantly deleted. If people need photos, they can always ask you later.
If you’ve been given the job of updating the company blog or newsletter even just knowing where to start can feel intimidating. We are all experts at putting things off. When a task looms large in our heads, it can sometimes feel easier to just ignore it and do something easier instead. All writers procrastinate. […]
A quick heads up on why the words at the top matter. Headline writing is a true art form. Armed with just a few well chosen words you can convey a great deal within a matter of seconds. It’s no surprise then that with so much riding on headlines a lot of thought goes into their […]
Writing for a living can be very rewarding. Every day you create something new; bringing new ideas to life. But EVERYONE has little bugbears about their profession and writing is no exception. Now it goes without saying that I love what I do… but every so often I feel the need to count to ten. […]