Writing a press release is the strategy to use when
you want to get the word out about something: a new book you have
written, an event you are sponsoring or a product you are introducing. This is one way to get your story in front of lots of readers.
Also known as a media release or news release, a press release is written as a news article and contains important information regarding whatever it is that you are promoting.
Reporters and news agencies can pick up your release and either print it in their publication or contact you for further information. It is a quick, fairly simple method of promotion, but there are some consistent rules that should be followed.
Before I give you the tips to writing a press release that will get your book, product or service in the news, let me tell you about my recent experience. November is National American Indian Heritage Month, so I wrote a press release tying in this event to some material in my book Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting Rather than just send a free release (there are such services on the web), I put out a little bit of money to have a professional editor work with me to target specific areas and publications for my release.
Targeting is essential because it gets your press release into the hands of those who are most likely to publish it. With this service, you'll also get detailed analytics. My press release went out to 50,989 media outlets with 1161 reads. This resulted in over 2000 sales of my book. Not a bad deal for a book that is more than 4 years old. Now, that you understand the advantage of paid press release distribution, read on.
7 Tips for Writing a Press Release
1. Capture their attention. The headline is your first chance to capture your reader's attention, and the first paragraph, the lead, is your second chance. This is one of the most important steps in writing a press release. If you don't make the grade on either of these, no one is going to read your release. Write a compelling headline that is descriptive, brief (no more than 80 characters including spaces) and makes your reader want to know more.
2. Remember the Six Serving Men of Creativity. Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem about the six serving men of creativity and journalists have long held to those six "men": who, what, when, where, why and how. All of these should be answered in your first paragraph.
3. Make it Newsworthy. You are not writing an article or a story, you are writing a newsworthy piece of journalism. When you write a press release, you are looking for the angle for your piece, so think along those lines. Are journalists really going to care if you wrote a book on weight loss, or is it more newsworthy to play up the fact that your book highlights a revolutionary, new process that allows people to eat more of the foods they love, while losing weight? Find the newsworthy angle and play it up, but remember, it isn't a sales page so stay away from sales lingo. More important, tie your angle into an upcoming event, like National Weight Loss Day.
4. Include Company Information. When writing a press release, you should devote one paragraph to company information. Give a brief history, or talk about what your company does. Include a quote or two from a key figure in the company. Don't go overboard with this part of the release, you don't want it to look like you are promoting the company. Remember, you are merely reporting the news.
5. Use Good Form. Write in a clear, concise manner and keep slang and trade jargon to a minimum. Don't use your press release as a sales page (yes, I said this before, but it bears repeating), write it as a solid news article, tailored to the reporters and news agencies that you want to pick it up.
6. Create a Boilerplate. A boilerplate is added to the last part of writing a press release and is the one place where you can get away with marketing. Write up your company, product or whatever you are promoting in a brief, 3 or 4 sentence sales pitch. Include contact information and web addresses. This is the one and only place in your press release where you can actually get away with a little sales copy. The same boilerplate that you create can also be used for your other releases as well.
7. Signal the End. At the end of your release, it is a standard practice to include # # # centered a space below the last line of your text, usually the boilerplate. This lets your reader know that they have reached the end of the release. It also puts a professional polish on your release.
By writing a press release and then sending it out via a Press Release Distribution service, you can:
* Reach 100,000 contacts * Increase web visitors to your website
* Increase your search engine rankings * Get top placement of your
news release on Yahoo! News * Get coverage in important media
outlets like USA Today * Know exactly how many people have viewed and
read your release which allows you to track your efforts.
Now that you have the tools to write an eye catching, newsworthy press release, sign up with the oldest and best Press Release Distribution service on the web. This is one of the best ways to promote your book, product or service. The world is waiting for your news!