Mark Atkinson – Content Writer
Looking beyond all the digital noise, the traditional press release is still alive and kicking – a short piece of newsworthy information about a product launch or new company development for example. Press releases still have their own distinct role and value within your marketing mix. But how can you ensure, once you’ve sent it out to your network of media contacts, that it be will end up being published? Here are five points to consider:
A mistake so often made is writing promotional fluff. Yes, a press release is designed to draw attention to a particular company development or event. But it is a piece of news, not a brochure – so keep the language concise and informational. Rhetoric and superlatives have no place. Also avoid the sensational such as capitalisations and exclamation marks.
Get straight to the point. State the main thing you’re going to talk about in the first sentence – then expand from there. Use industry facts and figures wherever possible to support the points you’re making. The increase of a particular condition as the basis for launching a new health product, or the growth in corporate travel with figures to support the opening of a new business hotel for example.
Make sure that you name whichever source you’re using…‘According to recent data from the World Health Organisation’…‘As Dr Smith from XYZ clinic pointed out in an independent report…’. And be accurate – in your facts and in your writing. Eliminate typos and get the grammar right.
Your press release should be brief enough so people will read it, but not so short that you don’t get your point across effectively. It really depends, but a rule of thumb is up to around a page and half of A4, 1.5 spaced (makes it easier for the editor to read).
Use quotes economically also. Try not to make quotes too full of rhetoric when you can use them to put across key pieces of information – ‘The new range of smartphones has several interesting features which include…’ rather than the less substantial ‘We are so happy to have launched this new smartphone…’
Be in contact
Include end notes – a short profile of the company, and the PR agency if applicable, with full contacts details of each – relevant names, email addresses and phone numbers. If launching a product or service, also provide an end note synopsis with key features.
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Mark Atkinson - Content Writer