The Real Purpose for Press Releases
OK, I'm going to let you in on a little secret...
Press releases aren't just for inviting the press to press conferences anymore. In today's online and mile-a-minute world, press releases often substitute for journalist research and article crafting. It is not at all uncommon for a press release to form the basis of the article picked up in media. In some cases, it might actually be the article that the media picks up.
What does this mean for how you craft a press release?
- Start with a short catchy title.
- Follow it up with a subtitle that fleshes out the hook for the Press.
- Use the first paragraph to provide the who, what, where, when, and how of the press release. If this is as far as the Press reads, you want them to have the nuts and bolts.
- The remainder of the Press Release should be used to backup the claims you've made in the above sections. It should carry your message, have a good quote or two, and most of all, be the paragraph you HOPE the Press will lead with.
- Next comes the mandatory paragraph, providing - at a very high level - a quick overview about the company.
- Finally, provide links to you website and other important locations where additional information can be gathered.
Since we're hoping that media both wants to cover your story - and is too tight on time to be able to write their own article, be sure that your article refers to your business in the third person and is as neutral sounding as possible. Pretend you're writing the news. Now that doesn't mean you can't insert your position or present your version of the events. But it does mean that if you want to be sure you press release isn't covered, you should write an over the top press release that reads more like a commercial than news.
It's even better if your press release solves a problem for the media or provides insight into an issue that your community is dealing with. This is a great way to position your company as being aware the problem and providing the solution all in one go.
Use press releases, they're easy to write, fairly easy to distribute and most of all - an effective way of getting the news out about what your business is doing.
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