Friday, June 5, 2009

Press Release Guidelines

Press Releases can do wonders for your marketing but many start-ups and individuals don't know exactly how to write an effective press release. If you can get a press release picked up by an editor or journalist you've hit that jackpot and there are certain rules you'll need to follow if you want that to happen.

First we need to review what a press release actually is. Thrive Learning Institute defines a press release as a statement or story prepared to be distribution to the various media outlets. The underlying purpose of a press release is to give journalists information that is both accurate and interesting.

There is a standard form and there are standard rules for writing a press release and once you get a handle of writing them, all you have to do is fill in the blanks. In fact the rules are so rigid that if you don't conform the set format then your press release probably won't even be read by journalists let alone be published. If you can get a pres release published with no changes to the content of the release then you know you've nailed it.

Lets start with the title. The title needs to be short and to the point. There is no room for superfluous writing in the title or anywhere in press release for that matter. Keep it snappy and catchy explaining the body of the release in plain terms.

The body of the release must contain the accurate and interesting story you're so eager to tell everyone about so they'll buy your stuff :) The beginning needs to start with the place and time the release originated. Very briefly, explain the who, what, where, why and how of the story.

The first paragraph of the release should tell and very straight-forward terms exactly what the press release is about. It should be clear why this story is newsworthy. Tell them what the rest of the release is about and then back it up with the details in the ensuing paragraphs.

The second paragraph explains the details. What individuals are involved? Where is the event happening? When? Why should the reader care? Also include a quote or two from participants or leaders of organizations to spice up the release and add a bit of down to earth realism. This is the paragraph you can repeat several times if necessary to get all the juicy details out there.

The last paragraph needs to be a summary of the release with extra information about the organization releasing the story and what their mission is or you could add a bit of history to provide some context.

Journalism's standards basic parameters to define the end of a press release. Its three pound symbols in a row, ###, centered directly underneath the last line of the release indicate the end of a press release.

So the next time you are asked to write a press release for your company or if you are an individual and want to get the word out about your new website,fear not, the rules are clear and concise: Accurate and interesting information portrayed within the set journalistic guidelines.

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