Press Release Basics For Internet Publicity Or Mainstream Media Submission
Once you’ve determined that you have something to say to the press or specific online prospects, you’ll want to issue a press release or news release in accordance to your overall press release strategy. Press releases are relatively simple to write. However, there is a specific formula that you must use or you could damage your credibility. Plus, it cannot be sales-y. Your press release must actually contain news, which by definition is previously unknown information.
Many media outlets prefer 2-3 weeks advance notice to cover an event. At the same time, the Internet has greatly changed the way releases are distributed and has opened new areas of opportunity. You can distribute your message online much faster. Often online distribution sites also circulate to specific newswire services.
When compiling your press release information, keep the following in mind:
1. Keep the release short; no longer than one page. (This only applies to traditional media releases. Online releases can be a bit longer. Just remember, reporters are busy. If you’re after traditional media exposure, be respectful of their time.)
2. Open with an attention-grabbing headline. (consider character length – i.e. less than 140 characters for Tweeting with links)
3. Include the release date (month, day and year) and the city and state of origin.
4. If you want your information considered immediately, indicate “for immediate release”. If you want the media to wait for a specific date, indicate that as well (i.e. for release Valentine’s week –Note: not all media outlets will embargo your news).
5. Include specific contact information and be accessible. Telephone numbers, cellular phone numbers (depending on strategy), e-mail addresses, fax numbers and website addresses help the media reach you easily.
6. The opening paragraph is your introduction. What is the purpose of the release? Why is the information of interest? Be sure to keep your readers attention (remember reporters are busy people — make their job easier).
7. The second paragraph should include the details. This is the “Who, What, Where, When and Why” of the release. It’s a good idea to include quotes from credible sources that support your information.
8. The third paragraph is where you make a case for your final point.
9. Finally, include a company bio or boilerplate. This is a description of your company, your products and your services. Use the information commonly shared to describe your business or service.
10. When writing your release, know who you are writing it to and why they might be interested in running your story. Be clear about your purpose.
11. Close your release with this symbol ### centered at the bottom of the page (this signifies the end, and is proper formatting).
-Do you have a press release strategy?
-Are you regularly sharing your news so you can in turn share your gifts with the world and help more people?
-What have you or your company done lately that’s newsworthy?