Writing a press release, how to get started
Crafting an effective press release can be tricky, especially if you are new to writing and find it hard to stand back from your story.
The first press release I wrote was so long ago it was written on a typewriter. Working in the PR department of several major publishers over 12 years, I must have written hundreds of press releases.
Now I’m running my own business I still write press releases, both to promote my own business and on behalf of my copywriting clients.
Before you start writing your press release…
…there a few things you need to consider…
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Who is your press release aimed at?
Local newspaper, national media, trade press? The style will be dictated by who is going to be reading the press release and you may want to produce more than one version, or at least different headers.
2. How long should your press release be?
If you are writing a standard press release, try to keep it to the equivalent of one page of A4, which is around 450 words. You can always separate out supporting information about the company or organisation and put it at the end under the header of Background or Additional Information.
3. Getting started on your press release
Getting started is often the hardest part of writing a press release. The blank page can be daunting. Sometimes the best approach is to get something down – anything – rather than keep staring at a blank page. You can always reorganise and improve your sentences later.
4. Find the core message of your press release
Start by jotting down a few words or key phrases that relate to your story. This will also help you to focus on the core message and points of interest in your story.
5. Do they know it’s a press release?
Opinion is divided on whether you should write PRESS RELEASE at the top of the page. A good alternative is to use FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. I usually place this at the top right-hand corner of the page and use a font that is slightly larger than the body of your press release but smaller than your header.
More blogs on writing a press release to follow.
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