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Established in 1974

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Ten Top Tips for Writing a Press Release

 

Before explaining how to write a great press release, it’s helpful to know what purpose they serve. Once you know that, it’ll be much easier for you to grasp what details need to be included to make it effective.

Many companies spend a lot of money developing new ideas or organising events, such as competitions. And, when they are ready, they want as many people as possible to know about it. But that’s not all! Companies often want to announce important personnel changes, such as a new CEO or a change of Directors, this is where a press release comes into its own.

As the name suggests, a press release is a statement that’s given to the press informing them of the important details related to the new product, event or change. So there are certain facts that need to be included to make it effective. Are you getting a feeling for what information you need to use? If not, don’t worry, below are ten top tips for creating the perfect press release:

1. The Five W’s – Where, When, Who, Why, What

These are the most important questions that need answering. If you don’t answer the five W’s there’ll be no point actually writing the release. People need to know what’s happening, when and where it’ll take place, who’s involved and why it’s important.

2. Timing

Make sure you send the press release in plenty of time, one week before the event, at the very least.

3. Use quotes

Including a quote from a key person will give the press release much more impact. It’s also helpful if the message you are trying to get across is part of the quote.

4. Don’t waffle

Only include the important facts. Media outlets receive hundreds of press releases, so you need to keep it brief so that they don’t have to trawl through lots of irrelevant information before getting to the important stuff.

5. Simple and easy to read

Use simple, everyday language and short sentences to make it as accessible and easy to read as possible.

6. Write in the third person

You should not use ‘I’ in press releases. They are usually written with ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘they’ or the company name, such as ‘The Writers Bureau Announce Their Annual Competition’. Remember, the person you are sending it to will take that information and use it as if they’ve written the piece themselves. They’ll want to do as little work on the information as possible, so give them what they want.

7. Contact details

Make sure you include contact details so if the journalist, or anyone else, wants to contact you for more information they know how to do it.

8. Send it to the right person

Find the correct person and send the press release directly to them. If you don’t, all your hard work might go to waste as press releases are time sensitive and, if yours goes to the wrong person, it may not get to the right person in time.

9. Follow it up

Once you’ve sent the press release contact the newsdesk to make sure they’ve received it. Email is reliable, but it’s not unheard of for messages to disappear, so a quick call to check receipt is a good idea.

10. Stick to the correct format

There is an accepted format for press releases, you can see it on these press releases for The Writers Bureau.

There you go! Follow these simple rules and you’ll soon be impressing your bosses with your effective, professionally produced press releases. However, if you feel you need more help, why not have a look at our Advanced Business English course. You’ll receive tuition on how to create press releases, reports, sales letters, memos, plus much more.