Saturday, July 20, 2013

How to Write a Good Press Release

Sending out a press release is an excellent way to generate free publicity for your small business. Small businesses can send information to reporters and media people, who then write or report about the business.
How can you ensure that your press release is eye-catching enough for a reporter to open it, read it, and report about it?

1. Do your research. Before sending a press release, invest some time in
reviewing various writers' or producers' work. Find those who cover topics relevant to your business. That way, you can narrow down your audience to people who are interested in your line of business, thus increasing the likelihood of free P.R.

2. Choose the right style. Your research can also help you choose a writing style. Try to mirror the writer's typical style of presenting content (e.g., top ten lists, question and answers, or research-oriented). The writer will find your article more pertinent to his/her own work if it feels familiar.

3. Spice up your writing. Use action verbs, particularly in the headline, to attract more attention. The words you use should conjure up images of excitement and motion. Some examples: trigger, navigate, urge. Use your computer's thesaurus setting to inspire your writing.

4. Find an angle. Think of an interesting way to present your story. Instead of simply stating your business's focus, highlight something new. You can write about how people use your business, or how you've changed the way certain business is done.

5. Incorporate the five W's. Be clear about why your business is newsworthy. Answer the five basic questions: who, what, when, where, and why. This will tie in with your angle (see item #4).

6. Include important details. Write the date, and the city in which your business is located. Briefly describe your business, and add in your contact information.

7. Exclude blather. Keep your press release short. Don't use industry-specific jargon. Use short words and concise sentences. Above all, make it readable.

The media is always looking for new stories. Sending a good release can alert them to your business's story and give you the exposure you want.  

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