Wednesday, June 26, 2013

10 Tips for Writing a Great Press Release

The first question which could come to the mind of business owners is: what should I write about in the Press Release? Well, there are many scenarios when one can send out a press release. You could do a PR on winning an award, for announcing a new product, new office opening, new customer acquisition or announcing your grand expansion plans. Press Release is one of the most important forms of formal communications.

Here is a handy checklist of 10 things to keep in mind while writing your next press release.

#1: Keep it grammatically correct

Grammatically incorrect sentences, spelling mistakes is a strict NO in a press release. Proof read the PR (many times, if required) to ensure that there are no language errors in your PR.

#2: Keep it short and newsworthy

It is not enough that you are excited about the news. The press release needs to catch the attention of the reader too. Make it newsworthy by mentioning clearly as to what is so great about the news. Don’t make it too long – I would highly recommend keeping it one page or maximum two pages.

#3: Headline Makes it or Break it

The headline of the press release will make the reader decide whether she wants to read further or not. Make sure that the headline no longer than 8 words. I usually recommend including company name in the headline. If required, include a sub-heading giving more information about the news – but do know that the headline should not be incomplete without the sub-heading.

#4: Spend 80% time in writing the first paragraph

Well, don’t take it literally! What I mean to say here is you need to pay very careful attention in writing the first paragraph of your press release. Include the crux of the news in the first paragraph – the reader needs to understand what you wish to convey. Include your company name, the news, why the news is so great and what is your company’s take on the news.  But – this certainly does not mean that your first paragraph is ten lines long. The first paragraph should not be more than 4-5 lines with very short sentences.

#5: Include quotes

Include quotes from the management/ customers/ partners to bring in some personal touch and authenticity to the press release. Don’t forget to include the complete and accurate title of the person whom you are quoting.  

#6: Bring in hard facts, accurate numbers

Bring in solid numbers, hard facts and statistics, as appropriate, to your press release. These add lot of influence to the release and make it newsworthy.   

#7: Allow people to know more

Considering that you have written a press release which can intrigue the reader enough, ensure that you provide a website URL or some other information for getting more information. Typically reporters, journalists or bloggers do like to know the more stories about the news which are not written in the release.

#8: Include Boilerplate

Boilerplate is the standard description about your company which is used consistently without change. Readers like journalists, bloggers, potential investors, customers or job seekers usually read the boilerplate to know about the company. It is important that the boilerplate is small, concise and clearly states what your company is, what it offers and whom does it provide products/ services.

#9: Optimize the keywords and language

Many press releases go online today and you need to ensure that the press release uses the right set of keywords so that it also helps in your Search Engine Optimization efforts. But do take care that you do not load the press release with unnecessary keywords.

#10: Include contact information

Provide clear contact information with name, title, email address, physical address and phone number of your media contact. Reporters might want to connect with you for more information and clearly stated contact information makes the job easier.

Good luck with your next PR! With the hard work of creating a newsworthy item done, focus on cashing on it! 

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