Tips for writing effective press releases

02Jul09

press-release

There has been a great idea for helping eachother at Wendy Piersall’s eMoms at Home blog. It’s called the To Do List Group Research Project and the aim is to split up our ‘to do’ lists, each one of us taking something from another and compiling our research into an article.

My offering revolves around press releases, and everything you need to know about them.

Rather than add another ‘how to’ article to the long list of press release advice online, I’ll simply compile what I feel are worthy press release resources.

Press release resources

Let’s start with the basics.

The BBC holds some great info in it’s article, How do I write a press release? It covers such topics as:

There’s also great advice for using the correct style and sending your press release.

What you’ve been advising

I recommend reading Nate Moller’s Why should I write a Press Release? He mention’s Ponn Sabra’s ultimate list of press release distribution services, which is certainly a worthwhile compilation when planning your press release distribution.

Writing Effective Press Releases is an article by Meryl K. Evans that deserves a mention (please look beyond the first sentence which doesn’t make much sense). Meryl states:

Get to the point in the first sentence and title. I want to know right away what the press release is about otherwise “Delete.”

Don’t exaggerate or use positive and opinionated descriptive words like great, excellent, high quality, best. We know you think a lot of your product or service, but we’re not going to believe it because we know you’re biased.

Tom Chandler takes a look at How Not To Write A Press Release, which doesn’t need any explanation. Thanks Tom.

If you’re publishing your press release online then take a look at Patsi Krakoff’s 10 Steps to Writing an Internet Press Release.

Press releases are relatively simple, but not easy to write. They take some time to craft because you must tell your story in a compelling way, and deliver the facts in the fewest words possible. In addition, like a news story, they should follow basic journalism standards. Oh, and did I mention, they need a clever hook to really work? All that in only 350-500 words.

In the HookJab article, How to write a great press release, there are three headlines compared against eachother, and a few useful pointers.

Kirsten King’s Inkthinker is a great copywriting blog, and a particular article: Tips for Marketing and Promotions, holds a few diamond links for press release info.

Hopefully that’ll be enough to set you on the right track.

I know there are some great copywriters amongst you, so if you’ve written (or know of) an article on press releases that I’ve missed, please do link to it in the comments below.

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