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.
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!