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How to Write a Press Release for Your Business

Knowing how to write an effective press release is essential for your business! Press releases are a useful tool for getting free publicity and promotion of products. They are the vehicle for communicating a newsworthy message. This means whatever it is that your business is doing needs to be presented in a way that is eye catching and interesting to the reader. With these basics in mind and the following tips below, you should be able to write an effective press release for your business.

Inverted Pyramid Style.

The first step in writing a press release is knowing the correct format. Press releases are written in what’s called Inverted Pyramid Style, meaning the most important information is at the top of the release, and the information becomes less important with each paragraph thereafter. This is because of space limitations. In the print newspaper days, journalists would often omit parts of the releases due to low space, and cutting out the least important or least relevant information was the best way to do so. Writing in this style allows for journalists to simply cut off the last few paragraphs, leaving the newsworthy part of the message intact.

press release writing inverted pyramid style

This type of format is essential in press release writing, so make sure you’re release is following it correctly. Journalists won’t re-write a press release when they have a handful of  correctly written press releases they can choose from. Also, like this format, your writing needs to be to-the-point and concise. Avoid fluff in press release writing. Reader’s won’t finish a release that’s full of fluff.

The First Paragraph.

All press releases start with what is called a lead, or the first paragraph, but before you write out the lead be sure to write the date and city in which the release is being originated. Once that is done you can write the lead, which answers the 5 W’s and H (who, what, where, when, why, and how). If you are an avid news reader, you’ll notice that most press releases answer the 5 W’s and H in just one sentence.

 

Make sure that all of your sentences, including the lead, are less than 30 words. This helps with keeping sentences straightforward and helps with the reading score, or level of difficulty. Assume that your audience is a smart 6th grader, so avoid using business jargon or difficult sentence structures.

Sounds Good and Reads Easily.

Make your press release sound good by adding quotes in from your CEO or other influential employees related to the purpose of the press release. This means your CEO might say something like, “This is the best thing since sliced bread,” and you need to edit his quote to make it sound better and get approval from him before sending the release out.

 

Also, keep a factual tone in your press release. Avoid emotionally-charged words and sentences. News is unbiased, and your release needs to be the same.

 

Read the press release several times before sending it out to make sure it reads easily. Change any unfamiliar words, incorrect spelling, or grammar errors as you read it. A good rule of thumb is to read your press release out loud at least 3 times. You will notice things by reading it out loud that you may  not have noticed reading in your head.

One to Two Pages and No More.

Press releases should be one page, maybe two, but no more. Lengthy releases are less likely to be published, and for that matter, read through completely!

Concluding the Press Release.

Once you are done with writing the copy, conclude with three pound signs (###) center justified after the last paragraph. The pound signs indicate the press release copy is complete. After concluding, enter once and underline the words,”For more Information:” and list your contact information, such as your name, company, address, phone number, and email on the space below.

 

These are some of the basic principles of press release and news style writing. If your business needs help with it’s public relations strategies, you can call us or fill out the contact form below. Divvy specializes in maximizing marketing and public relations efforts!

 

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Powerful PR Tools For Your Business

Businesses and franchises face all sorts of communication challenges, and the art of public relations is new and rapidly changing with society. Keeping your business up to date with public relations is important is successfully promoting your business. The following tactics can be used for your business PR tools:

1. Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a digital media monitoring tool that tracks when certain keywords are written about in the media. Set up Google Alerts for your business name and industry and you will receive email alerts when there are discussions, news or debates on those topics. Remember that good PR is more than gaining publicity, but it is joining a conversation. Google Alerts will help you join in and be the first to comment!

2. Social Media

Don’t underestimate the power of social media as a PR tool. You can use social media channels to both activate, inform, or educate users on business and industry related trends. Use social media to become an opinion leader by sharing relevant news, product updates, and other relevant topics that will interest your customers.

You can also use social media channels to connect with journalists who will help your business gain publicity. Twitter and LinkedIn can help you connect with the journalists that are interested in your industry. Create those connections and make a list of media contacts. As you send out pitches, keep track of those who are reporting on your company, your competitors and your industry.

PR Tools - Social Media

3. Press Releases

Reaching out to journalists and tracking media lists is pointless if you don’t have a plan in mind of where you want your business to go and what you want the public to see. Once you have crafted a well written press release and reached out to your list of media contacts, use PR Web or PR Newswire to further your reach. Both publish press releases across the web on websites, media outlets and journalists.

4. Survey Monkey

Public relations is more than sending messages to the public. It is improving upon your business based on the conversation and interaction your business has with the public. Use Survey Monkey to gain insight into the public’s opinions, attitudes, and beliefs regarding your business. Use the online survey software to craft a questionnaire, send it to the public and then analyze the results in digital graphs.

 

Public relations is easy if you are monitoring your business’s online presence, interacting with your customers, creating news about your business, and reaching out to journalists you have built a relationship with. These four tools can be used to strengthen your company’s PR.

 

If you need more help with your company’s public relations, contact us by filling out the contact form below. We specialize in branded marketing collateral, marketing consulting, and social media. We would love to help!

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Thanksgiving tribute: Companies who give back

Tis the season for giving thanks so we decided to highlight a few companies that are known for it. Whether they were built from the ground up on charitable foundations or found them along the way, these four companies are great examples of paying-it-forward.

Toms

 

This list would be incomplete without mentioning TOMS. If you have somehow gone this long without hearing about this shoe company; they donate a pair of shoes to a deserving child for every pair that is bought. They find communities that will benefit most from receiving the shoes and where local businesses won’t be negatively affected. But wait, there’s more! After making a name for itself with its shoes, the company branched out into eyewear; with every sunglasses purchase, TOMS will pay to restore or save the eyesight of one individual. TOMS also sells eye wear and under their “One For One” program, when one person buys a pair of TOMS glasses, one person somewhere in the world receives much-needed eye care. According to the company, TOMS has donated 10 million shoes and saved the eyesight of 150,000 people in more than 60 countries. TOMS even has an online marketplace that highlights other companies that give back as well.

Burt’s Bees

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Burt’s Bees partners with Habitat For Humanity to build eco-friendly homes, and in 2007 they established The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, which is funded by a percentage of their sales. Turns out this isn’t just another pretty face in the world of bath and beauty products. The goal is “to help empower non-profit initiatives whose efforts resonate with our own mission, particularly in the areas of natural health and well-being, the environment and social responsibility.” The company also gives back in another way by working to develop sustainable packaging solutions.

Tide

 

I remember when I first saw a Tide commercial that explained their charity efforts. When disaster strikes, most people don’t have a suitcase full of nicely folded clean clothes—or a box of detergent nearby. That’s when the Tide Loads of Hope program provides help with its mobile Laundromat. The company explains, “One truck and a fleet of vans house over 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day.” The Laundromat has been deployed in areas affected by floods and tornadoes, and it was most notable job was in assisting victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey.

Downton Abbey

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It’s not every day that you make a mistake as big as Downton Abbey did on their publicity shoot. And it’s even more uncommon that they are able to bounce back so quickly. When a plastic water bottle was left on set, photographed and published in this period-piece photo shoot, the internet mockery erupted. Someone at the BBC was clever enough to turn this into possibly the best PR flip-flop. The TV show answered the internet mockery with a new publicity shot, this time everyone in the cast held a bottle of water. The photo was posted to their Instagram page along with a link to the website for WaterAid; an organization that helps provide clean water t undeserved communities.

Honorable Mention: Movember

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Yes, even the tastefully-tacky, hipster-supported, Duck Dynasty phenomenon originally began as a fundraiser. No, there is no secret corporation like Bic or Gilette trying to brainwash their clients. Movember actually started in 2003 in Australia to support men’s health through sponsored mustache growing. Just last year, it doubled its Facebook reach thanks to the hipster fashion craze. Approximately 2.3 billion conversations about Movember happened last year alone.  To date, the Movember Foundation has raised $559 million and just halfway through this month $45 million.

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