How to Write a Press Release

advertisement
Get the Word Out
Press Releases
The Press Release
 The press release is a tried-and-true public
relations tool, and has been one of the most
popular communication formats for PR pros for
many years, even today with so many online
options. A press release that is actually picked up
and printed in a national publication reaching
your target market can pay off big time.
Compelling topics for your press release
What is press worthy
 Last week we discussed topics that are relevant to media, tying
into the seasons, trends, current events etc., to help you create a
more compelling press release. Think like an editor, giving them
information that interests them and ultimately their audience.
Again, consider, “What’s in it for them?”
 The media love stories presented with concise bullets. Example:
"Six Tips to Stay Cool, Calm and Collected this Summer". Or,
"Five essential foods for healthy school lunches or "Upcoming
Workshop Offers 10 tips on____
Divide your press release into sections:
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
Contact information
For immediate release
Press release headline
Subhead (can be used to further explain headline)
Dateline and lead paragraph
Press release body
i. Address the Who, What, Why, When, How in
more detail
ii. Human interest quote
g. Call to action
h. Boilerplate
Agency Contact: Holly Padove (805) 773-1000; [email protected]
Client Contact: Caroline Duell (805) 464-0464; [email protected]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Elemental Herbs “All Good Lips” Lip Balms Feature
All Good Ingredients For Healthy, Kissable Summer Lips
MORRO BAY, CA (March 19, 2010) – Elemental Herbs’ commitment to beneficial ingredients in its line
of healing products is more than just lip service. “All Good Lips™” SPF organic lip balm is now all the
more natural with the ingredient oxybenzone removed from the formula.
“We stand by our intention to use the safest ingredients for both people and planet – our
customers know that they can count on us for this,” said Caroline Duell, president of Elemental Herbs.
With an SPF of 12, the formula provides unsurpassed moisturizing and healing benefits,
along with more than 90 percent coverage from the sun’s harmful rays. One of the few lip balms
including certified organic and natural ingredients, All Good Lips SPF formulas are offered in original,
sweet tangerine and cool spearmint flavors, and in a non-SPF moisturizing-only formula. Ingredients
include 100 percent botanical essential oils, organic infused dried medicinal herbs, organic extra virgin
olive oil and pure beeswax. Individual lip balms retail for $3.50 each at retailers nationwide or at
www.elementalherbs.com.
Elemental Herbs organic herbal-based healing formulas include All Good Goop™ healing balm,
All Good Lips™ lip balms, Herbal Cool™ pain relief spray and Sunscreen Sport™ zinc-based sunscreens.
The products are currently available online and at 400+ retailers nationwide, including health
food stores, outdoor sports shops and high-end gift shops. The company donates one percent of its
revenues to environmental organizations through 1% for the Planet and tests only on humans. For more
information, visit the website at www.elementalherbs.com; or contact Caroline Duell at
[email protected]; (805) 464-0464. For more details, images or samples, media may contact
Holly Padove at [email protected]; (805) 773-1000.
The Press Release Headline
 If your headline fails, your press release will never see the light of day.
 If the headline is appealing, the editor then scans the first paragraph
(also known as the lead paragraph) to see if the press release bears
further reading.
 If the headline is vague the editor usually passes on the press release
rather than taking the time to determine if the press release is worth
pursuing.
Sample Headline:
Elemental Herbs “All Good Lips” Lip Balms Feature
All Good Ingredients For Healthy, Kissable Summer Lips
(word count 16, characters 89)
The Lead
First Paragraph- The Lead
 The lead summarizes the information found in the release,
answering the Who, What, When, Where and Why (in particular for
a calendar or event based release.) The following paragraphs will
give additional details. The lead, like all paragraphs in your release,
shouldn’t be more than a couple of sentences, or contain any
unattributed opinions or quotes.
 Example: For example: If you don't eat healthy, it's likely you'll feel tired
in the afternoon. As opposed to "If you don't eat healthy, it's likely you'll
feel tired by afternoon," explained Holly Padove, clinical Ayurvedic
specialist.
Examples:
 MORRO BAY, CA (March 19, 2010) – Elemental Herbs’ commitment to
beneficial ingredients in its line of healing products is more than just
lip service. “All Good Lips™” SPF organic lip balm is now all the more
natural with the ingredient oxybenzone removed from the formula.
 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA (March 20, 2012) - With Father's Day around
the corner, many fun, family-oriented activities celebrate dad's special
day. Live Oak Music Festival, taking place Father's Day weekend, July
15-17, in Santa Ynez, offers just that opportunity with music, food and
fun for the entire family...
The Body Copy
 Now’s your chance to tell your story. And, like any news
story, the purpose is to provide your reader with
information. Remember to keep your tone neutral and
objective—like a newscaster vs. an advertisement.
 The main body copy is typically two to three paragraphs,
however can be as brief as one paragraph. Don't add
irrelevant information if it's not significant. The
paragraphs below can be flipped, depending on the
material.
Body Copy
Opening paragraph (body copy)
 Elaborate on who, what, when, where, why and how in more detail,
if you didn't cover this information in its entirety in the lead
paragraph or have additional important details to add.
Next paragraph
 Add details to your press release that support your claim, add
interest, or reinforce what you are trying to say. Examples include
quotes from yourself or other key people, customers, experts in the
particular subject matter, statistics, charts, etc.
Summary or more details paragraph
 Traditionally, the final paragraph of a news release contains the
least important information. It could be used to summarize the key
points of the overall release, or is the section where you can add
even more details, depending on the nature of your release.
Example Body:
“We stand by our intention to use the safest ingredients for
both people and planet – our customers know that they can
count on us for this,” said Caroline Duell, president of Elemental
Herbs.
With an SPF of 12, the formula provides unsurpassed
moisturizing and healing benefits, along with more than 90
percent coverage from the sun’s harmful rays. One of the few lip
balms including certified organic and natural ingredients, All
Good Lips SPF formulas are offered in original, sweet tangerine
and cool spearmint flavors, and in a non-SPF moisturizing-only
formula. Ingredients include 100 percent botanical essential oils,
organic infused dried medicinal herbs, organic extra virgin olive
oil and pure beeswax.
Call to Action & Additional Information
 The final paragraph may be as little as one or two
sentences, providing customers, for example, with a
phone number to call to register for a workshop, or a
listing of stores or websites where they can purchase
your product, or information on how to book an
appointment with you.
EXAMPLE
Individual lip balms retail for $3.50 each at retailers
nationwide or at www.elementalherbs.com.
Boilerplate
 The boilerplate is the "about us" section.
EXAMPLE:
Elemental Herbs products are currently available online and at 400+
retailers nationwide, including health food stores, outdoor sports
shops and high-end gift shops. The company donates one percent of its
revenues to environmental organizations through 1% for the Planet and
tests only on humans. For more information, visit the website at
www.elementalherbs.com; or contact Caroline Duell at
[email protected]; (805) 464-0464.
Press Release Recap
 Communicate the who, what, when, where, why, and how.
 Write short, and easy-to-understand sentences. On average, depending on
the nature of your release, a press release is approximately 400 words, with
short paragraphs. The first paragraph should only be about three
sentences.
 Don't directly address the client or your target audience ( calling them
“you”).
 Do not refer to yourself or your company as “I,” “we”— both this and the
bullet point above flag that the information is a selling piece vs. news.
Instead, write in third person, using he/she, they, and referring to yourself
by name. For example instead of saying I will be offering... I would write
Holly Padove will be offering.... The exception would be if you were
quoting yourself or someone else. "I think Ayurveda will make big strides in
changing the way people see themselves," said Ayurvedic Specialist Holly
Padove.
Tips Continued
 Don't use exclamation points; inflated product/service claims;




descriptions of a product or service as amazing, etc., or capital letters to
CREATE EMPHASIS—as your message looks less credible as a result.
Don't Create link spam. Include no more than one to three links your
release. While a few links are great, too many links can cause your press
release to be flagged as spam and buried in search results.
Stay Focused. Many writers try to cram too many themes into one
message, with the intent of appealing to multiple audiences.
Unfortunately, the main effect is that your main message gets watered
down and is more likely not to get read.
DO double, even triple check your spelling and grammar and make
sure to use complete sentences – Have someone that’s good with words
proof your document and read it again after 24 hours.
Don’t use a lot of frivolous adjectives or opinions. Only use opinions if
you are quoting someone, otherwise, stick to the facts!
Press Release Example
Contact: Holly Padove (805) 440-4561;
[email protected]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Introduction to Ayurveda Workshop Provides Tools for Healthy Living
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA (August 12, 2008) – Learn how to eat well and stay
healthy this fall with a
five-session “Introduction to Ayurveda”
workshop, offered at Smiling Dog Yoga studio on Thursdays from
September 11-October 9 from 6:30-8 p.m.
The workshop is $89; $79 for students and senior citizens.
Preregistration is necessary through Smiling Dog Yoga, 1227 Archer
St. in San Luis Obispo, 546-9100. Interested participants can also
register online at www.smilingdogyogaslo.com.
Taught by Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist Holly Padove, the five sessions will
cover topics including food choices, herbs and spices for health, harmonious daily
routines, yoga, exercise, meditation aromatherapy and more. These easy-to-implement
daily choices will provide invaluable tools for better living, whether new to Ayurveda
or familiar with the concepts.
Ayurveda is the ancient healing science from India that offers a balanced and
natural approach to optimal health, for everything from weight loss to increased energy.
Padove also has a private Ayurvedic practice, Balanced Living Ayurveda,
located in Arroyo Grande where she offers wellness consultations to clients. For more
information on Balanced Living Ayurveda, visit www.balancedlivingayurveda.com.
Formatting a press release
Contact
For Immediate Release
Headline
Dateline and lead paragraph
Space so it it easy to read – 1.5 recommended or single space with
double spacing between paragraphs
Logo
• If you have a logo, include your logo on the top left
Formatting a Press Release
1. Contact information – Flush right, Single Space.
List contact/phone/email/web site; Logo is flush Left (or above left)
2. One or two Lines down: For Immediate Release, bolded, aligned left – Starting now, the
remainder of the release is at 1.5 spaces
4. Next line, heading – Try to fit in one line; two is acceptable– Bolded & Centered – one or
two fonts larger than text
5. Next – Dateline and lead paragraph – City is always capitalized, state is two letter
abbreviation. Date is next in parenthesis, with year as well. This first paragraph is not
tabbed
6. Start tabbing in on second paragraph, use tabs to separate paragraphs
7. Embed images and link to your website, for example or other significant information
available on another site to support your release
8. Final step is to make sure the body of the release is justified (and make sure that all
margins line up on the right side). Look for extra spaces and delete them – normally
between sentences.
Links
 The simple act of embedding an anchor text link
creates a call to action, inviting interested readers to
take the next step and visit the linked website.
 Also keep in mind that easy formatting changes such
as using bulleted lists and bold paragraph headers
capture attention when readers scan your content, and
make it easy for journalists and socially connected
readers to understand and share key messages.
Visuals (images)
 It is important to use visuals in PR campaigns and
press releases. Include photos, a graph or chart, or
even a link to a YouTube video if you have one. If you
don't have any photos available, then grab a stock
photo (example below from Google Images). Some of
them are free. However, make sure to use a "low
resolution" photo.
Definition
 Sometimes abbreviated as lo-res., low resolution is the computer
screen, image, or printed page that is pixilated. When referring to a low
resolution screen or image on the computer, this commonly refers to a
picture that has a small amount of pixels.
To make your image low resolution:
 In Photoshop, open the photo, go to Edit and go to Image Size...
Change the DPI (dots per inch) to around 72 or so... That's considered
low-resolution. You may have other programs on your computer that
allow you to resize your photo. If they are too high of resolution, they
take a lot of space (Megabytes), and therefore the editor may not be
able to easily open your email (clogging up their email system), or it
may go to spam if it is too large.
Fatal Attachments
 The fastest way to make your press release hit the recycle
bin is to send it as attached mail. Attachments take more
time to read since it may require the editor to save the file
to disk, switch to a word processing program and hunt for
the directory the file was saved into before they can see
what the release is all about. What’s worse is that
attachments can carry viruses.
 Cut and paste your press release into the body of the email.
Make it a font that's used by a wide range of computers,
such as Times New Roman.
Email Subject Line
 In general, use your headline as the subject line of the e-mail. If you've
written a good "grabber" headline, this will help your message stand
out in the editor's e-mail inbox. Avoid vague language for snappier
subject lines.
 To elicit a response, your email communication, starting from the
subject line, needs to be specific in terms what you’re promoting and
the action you’re prompting your recipients to take
 $$$$!!!!! Madness Repeating dollar signs and exclamation marks in your
subject line or text makes your press release look like an opportunity
scam. It may make your press release get blocked by spam filters, too. If
you want editors to receive your news release and take it seriously, ditch
those dollar signs and exclamation points and replace the hype with
persuasive facts.
Send your Release as a “BCC”
 Nothing is more annoying to a busy editor than
opening an email and seeing dozens of email
addresses including their own on the addressee list. To
avoid annoying writers and editors learn how to use
the blind copy function in email.
Download
Related flashcards
Create Flashcards