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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Writing a Great Press Release

With so much information available on press releases, companies can get a little confused on what information they should include when writing their own. When it comes to what makes a press release successful startups can learn a lot by reviewing and implementing the strategies that work so well for large corporations. 
1. Audience: 
The press release is all about the content! The longer the press release the less interest it holds to the journalist and the less likely they are to publish it. Though your press release should always look to target your audience, press release writers must understand that the journalist is part of the audience. For example, you would not submit a press release for a cooking company to an industry magazine focused on tires and you would not contact the food editor for a press release about fuel. 
2. Released too late for effectiveness: 
When it comes to writing your press release, the news most be timely. Information should be written and distributed as soon as possible to make sure it still is relevant to current conditions. For example, distributing a press release two months after winning an industry reward would be ineffective; at this point, the information no longer has any value. 
3. Released too late for a response: 
The same standard applies when releasing information about an upcoming event sponsored by your business; writing the press release and attempting to distributed the day before an event is too occur doesn't provide enough time for a journalist to contact your PR person, verify the information, or write an article about it.
4. Contact information: 
The contact person on the press release has an important role to play; if a key representative of your business is listed, he or she should be available for contact if additional information is needed. If a primary contact is unavailable and the deadline is near, you could miss free publicity and miss the chance of having your press release published. 
5. Focus: 
Great press releases say everything important in 300 to 500 words, companies that typically write longer press releases than this, can benefit from better focusing their press releases on one specific subject or topic about their business. For example when writing a press release to promote your new product, the focus should not be diverted by discussing other products or services offered by your business. 
Often press releases contain quotes from key members of a business or even satisfied customers, anyone featured in a press release should be named and information should be given on how they represent your business. 
7. Invert information: 
The standard rule of writing a press release is opening with the most important details and ending with the least important. This style of writing is called an inverted pyramid. Some companies have misunderstood the purpose of an inverted pyramid. An inverted pyramid does not mean the information in the last paragraph or sentence is uninteresting. Keep in mind that the ending should include the lease relevant information but written in a way to engage.  

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