Article by Steve Nash
I say this after struggling for some years to get any of my press releases published. I stumbled on the most important factor for getting a pressrelease published right after my first release got published in a UK Internet magazine.
I then decided to piece together all the advice, all the tips and tutorials I’d read, into a single checklist, to make writing my next successful press release easier.
The press release checklist below is the result.
Like all checklists, it’s brief and to the point. So if you need to understand more about a particular concept I recommend that you read the article Appendix (see below). Remember, good press releases — i.e. press releases that get published — are great ways to get invaluable promotion for your business or website.
So learning how to write a good press release, and then writing them, is definitely ‘worth it.
Recognized Internet search engine marketing pro reveals How to improve and increase search engine ranking using press releases
Press Release Checklist
o Step 1 – “What’s Your Story?”
o Step 2 – Think Like A Journalist
o Step 3 – Mechanics Of Writing A Press Release
o Step 4 – Example Layout Of A Press Release
o Step 5 – Is Your Press Release Ready?
o The missing ingredient – K-I-S-S
o Appendix: Expert press release resources
An explanation of these steps follows. (Remember, you can learn more from the resources listed in the Appendix.)
Step 1 – What’s Your Story?
1.1) Find your story, and develop it!
1.2) Position yourself as being different(develop different angles).
This means thinking about:
– holiday and event tie-in articles
– tips, articles, advice
– politically and socially important editorial tie-in articles
– new, unique products, Internet innovations and developments
– human interest angles
– interpersonal relationships on difficult issues
– unusual events, unique personal accomplishments, unusual creative ideas
– humor and wisdom, fun and tragedy
Step 2 – Think Like A Journalist
2.1) What reasons would an editor want to publish your news (what benefits are there for them?)
– is it relevant?
– is it mildly interesting?
– is it newsworthy?
2.2) Make the main benefit the headline
(Your headline has one purpose: to get the attention of the editor, to get him/her to read your release – use the words YOU, NEW and/or How To)
2.3) Remember the subtext
2.4) Remember KISS (keep it simple stupid!). Write for scannability; write short, punchy paragraphs
2.5) Remember to answer these questions:
“Who? Why? What? Where? When? & How?”. Ideally, you would answer these questions in your headline
2.6) Write the press release so it can be put into a magazine, with just a few simple edits. (IMPORTANT)
Step 3 – Mechanics Of Writing A Press Release
3.1) The Headline (or title) of your press release is vital (Some say that most of your time should be spent on writing a powerful headline.)
3.2) Your opening sentence continues what you are talking about in the headline
3.3) Tell your story in headline and leading paragraph
3.4) Use specific, powerful (and true) testimonials – use convincing case studies; use a powerful guarantee, and draw attention to it
3.5) Make sure you use no more than 5 bullet points
3.6) Change passive words to active; use the words YOU; and link selling points
3.7) For each sentence you write, ask yourself ‘So what?’. And remove the sentence if you can’t think of an answer
3.8) Edit your copy ruthlessly, over and over again!
3.9) Finally, make sure there are no attachments, no HTML, no .DOC files. (Everyone is wary of email viruses these days, including editors!)
Step 4 – Example Layout Of A Press Release
This is a simple example of what a press release should look like (more or less):
<Title – Headline> — Benefit (tell me more, 36-40 chars)
<For immediate release> <Simple contact>
<Leading Paragraph> — What? Why needed? How it will help (40-75 words)
— Include quotes
<Main Paragraph(s)> — Who aimed at (the facts). Who cares?
<Final Paragraph> — Summarise; or call to action
<Full contact details>
(Want to look at an example? Visit sample press release
Note: this example didn’t get much media attention, because it simply wasn’t newsworthy enough.)
=> Step 5 – Is Your Press Release Ready?
1) Is your press release published on your website?
2) Better still, do you have an online press pack?
3) Do you know what to do or say if a reporter calls?
Phew! That’s a lot to take in, I agree!
So can you guess what the main problem is, with doing all of the above
…Your press release will be L-O-N-G (long).
=> The missing ingredient — KISS
Yes, the vital ingredient to your press release, the one factor that WILL increase the chances of getting your news published is to:
Keep It SHORT Stupid (yet another KISS !)
Not convinced? Ask yourself these questions, then:
* How many of these press releases do you think editors get to read every day?
* How many long, badly-worded releases will they read before eventually becoming instantly put off just by the length of a press release?
* And how much more likely do you think a press release will be read if it’s a SHORT, quick read.
Keep your press release short, simple as that!Like this? Share it with others...