Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How To Write A Press Release

A press release is an effective public relations tool that can be activated at any time to promote your business. Whether you want to announce a special sale or an expansion, a press release can be launched across several internet outlets at once, covering a wide portion of cyberspace. These press releases can also be picked up by the major search engines and any opportunity to improve your company’s search engine rankings is worth exploring. To put out a press release you’ll need to follow the industry standard. Here are the steps needed to write a press release:

1)      The Headline: This is the proverbial “attention grabber” where you need to tell the reader what this press release will be all about. The goal is not only to engage the average internet user but also any prospective journalist who might want to write a story using your press release as their foundation. That’s why your headline needs to stand out and be truly unique. A press release headline is formatted in title case which means the first letter of each word is capitalized.

2)      The Summary: Directly underneath the headline will be the summary. This is a paragraph consisting of a few sentences (5 at the most) that sums up the intent of your PR. The summary should highlight the unique features you’re trying to promote by utilizing the “who, what, where, when and how” of the situation.

3)      The Body: This is the bulk of your press release. The key is to craft a piece that hovers around 500 words with the most important facts presented in the opening paragraphs. Begin with a dateline which will include the city where the press release originates from. This is followed by the introduction paragraph. The introduction could be a reworking of your summary paragraph. Following up the intro paragraph you’ll expand on the details of your press release issue. Here you can include quotes from the relevant people. All of these details should support the key points stated in your introductory paragraph.

4)      The About: This is the final paragraph which is a brief company bio and tells the reader who is issuing the press release. This is the once section of a press release that can become standard and used for all subsequent PR.

5)      Contact Information: Finally, you need to provide contact information for anyone seeking out further details. If your press release is issued by a public relations firm then this will be their contact info. If you are generating your own press release, you can put up your own company’s website or phone number.

Keep in mind that a press release is always written in the third person. In other words, leave out the pronouns of “we, us, you and ours.” If you’re writing about your own company it will be referred to as “they, them or their.” Before writing your first press release, search out examples of other companies press releases to get a feel for how they are meant to be presented.