At its most basic, a press release is merely a statement of something to the media. It may be news of the release of a new line of wedding gowns or the winning of a prestigious photography award, or, perhaps, you want to share a brilliantly newsworthy story about one of your couples?
Whatever your ‘news’, a good press release must convey the facts of that news as simply and clearly as possible, in the most interesting manner.
If the thought of writing a press release fills you with dread, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Press releases doesn’t have to be written in florid Shakespearean prose, that’s what the journalist is for. In fact, the more simple a press release, the better.
If, at this point, you’ve not ever seen a press release, be sure to read a few! We’ve included a list of places you can go to read press releases below so, please, visit them and read as many press releases as you can handle.
You’ll see that some are very proper and corporate, while others are fun or a little less formal. The style you choose will depend on you and the image you wish to project for your business.
Places to read press releases:
Writing a press release is an art form and, though you may not have written (or even read) one before, there is no reason you can’t start learning today and there is no better way to learn how to write a press release than reading as many as you can in as many different industries as possible, as well as press releases for different services, products and events.
You’ll be able to pick the common factors in the best releases quickly and if you’re going to learn, learn from the people who write the best press releases – or can afford to hire the best marketing and public relations minds to do it for them. It’s all there, in black and white. You just have to start reading.
Press releases need to be as concise, since journalists often receive hundreds of press releases a week, and must be accurate
because there’s no surer way to ensure the delete button is instantly hit on sight of future press releases from you than to lie or beat up your press release.
Avoid fluff and embellishments, as well as exaggerations.
Also, write your release in a news style, not an advertising fashion.
Journalists write news and a release that actually sounds like news is always more catchy that one that sounds like patent advertising.
Avoid phrases that are clearly biased or self-congratulatory. All the journalist wants is the facts, not your opinions of your own offerings.
Other things to keep in mind when writing a press release:
• Always print your press release on company letterhead. It should be displayed prominently on the page.
• Ensure there is a date on the release.
• Ensure your contact details (name, position, address phone, email, fax and website address) are on every press release.
When it comes to contact phone numbers, ensure there is a mobile number in addition to a landline number and preferably
for at least two people in case one is not contactable.
• It may sound obvious, but put the words Press Release or Media Release on the top of it. The avalanche of faxes and papers on a
journalist’s desk often make distinguishing something about to be tossed in the rubbish bin from something that has just been
received almost impossible.