A press release can be one of the best ways to distribute information about an event, issue or product; however, it will only be effective if it is interesting, well written and received by the right people. To ensure a press release covers all these requirements, adhere to the following five tips.
1. Use the Correct Format
A press release needs to be easily readable and engaging; format can help with this tremendously. The press release should begin with a short title in bold letters that immediately catches the attention of the reader. This should be followed by contact information including address, phone number, contact name, telephone number and email. Before the main body, the press release needs a headline of around six or seven words to briefly detail the content. The entire press release should span no more than one page.
2. Demonstrate Why the Press Release is Newsworthy
The body of a press release should briefly answer the questions of what happened or will happen, who will be involved or was involved, when and where it took place or will take place, and why this is significant. The introduction should begin with the key information and follow with additional details. Everything should be written in third person, be free from opinion, and should include for a quote from a credible source.
3. Engage the Reader
A press release is useless if it does not grab the reader's attention. This can be achieved by ensuring there is an element of human interest in the press release. An easy to read and clear writing style is essential, and the addition of a photograph of the person quoted is highly desirable.
4. Distribution of the Press Release
If the press release does not reach the right people, the whole purpose is defeated. The press release needs to reach its audience through radio, television, newspapers or Internet. The key is to decide what reporters would be the most likely to use the information and if this would enable the information to be reached by the target audience. It is also useful to know the copy deadlines of the sources and what is there preferred method of delivery i.e. physical mail or email.
5. Timing of the Release
The time of release plays an essential role in the effectiveness of a press release. For this reason, it is important to know when the cutoff period is for the different forms of media. For example, while television cutoff time tends to be two hours prior to newscasts, a weekly newspaper may have a cutoff time two days before printing.
These are just a couple tips for writing a good press release. By far the most important thing is to make it interesting. They say you only have a couple seconds of the persons attention before they move on, so make sure your release its interesting right from the start. If you have any other tips for a good press release, make sure to leave them in the comments.