There is a lot out there to fear about running a business and trying to do your own publicity for it at the same time. The first one is doing it wrong and no one ever turning up to your event or product launch. The second one is doing it even more wrong and getting lots of attention – but not for the things you were hoping!
Promoting yourself via social media, especially when you are a young, new business can go horribly wrong. So when your YouTube video goes viral, you want it to be for the right reasons.
Which is why people still use professional PR companies, even in this day and age and you might well find yourself contemplating doing the same and employing a traditional press release writing service, to help you ace your idea on the world stage.
Should you decide to do this, the good news is that they are plentiful and as a source of advertising goes, getting someone to write and distribute your press release is still (relatively) inexpensive. However, this isn’t much use if you have precisely zero budget to spend.
At heart, what a press release distribution service does is not hard and not rocket science. And it can be learned and copied, you just have to have a little patience and really want to roll up your sleeves and learn how to write a good press release.
- THE BEGINNING
Before you actually begin writing a press release, you generally put a strap line at the top, with the date it is being released. Should you not wish your journalist or news sources to start publishing your news immediately, you need to put the date when they can do so here.
Press release best practices would also usually dictate putting where the business/event is taking place.
Then you can get started!
- THE HEADLINE NEEDS TO STAND OUT
It’s likely that you are not a trained sub editor used to turning out headlines, but your top line needs to grab the attention of the reader. Use an active voice and keep the words short.
Say you are promoting a new sausage, which you will be giving away somewhere. Instead of “we will be cooking sausages in a High Street promotion,” try; “sausages go bang in High Street cook off”.
- THE TOP PARAGRAPH SHOULD SAY IT ALL
Likewise, your follow up paragraph is supposed to summarise what the rest of your press release is saying. Without any filler, hyperbole or sales hype, it should inform the reader exactly what the content is, in about twenty five to thirty words. Again, if that sounds tricky, then that’s what you are paying a press release service for!
- NOW GET TO THE POINT
When people ask how to write a good press release, the first question that comes up is ‘how long should it be’?
The answer is ‘no more than two pages, but ideally one page’ however, the real answer is, as short as possible to get your point across.
The person reading it is looking for a news story, so you need to think about an angle that tells your news in a fresh light. Journalists like stories about the triumph of the human spirit over adversity and inspiration behind ideas. If you can put any of these elements into your press release, then you are on to a good start.
- ILLUSTRATE YOUR POINT WITH A QUOTE
Journalists are busy people and will be looking for something that can be re-written with a minimum of effort. Offer them everything they need in one go and you stand a chance of your press release making it into print.
A quote is pretty much verbatim when it comes to writing a press release. If there is someone famous who said something relevant about what you are doing or trying to achieve, it is worth including. Make sure you check it carefully for accuracy though!
- MAKE SURE YOUR ENGLISH IS PERFECT
Checking your sources is just the start. You also need to accurately proof read your press release, for spelling and grammar errors, before releasing it. Once again, this is something that you can get from a decent press release distribution service, even if you do not employ them to write the thing.
- THE BOILERPLATE
This is a block of text, about you as a company/ person/ organisation, which will be re-printed on each press release, each time you issue one. It puts some background information out there to the reader, who may not be familiar with who you are and what you do.
- CONTACT INFORMATION AND NOTES FOR EDITORS
This is an appendix at the end of the press release, detailing anything that an editor may need to know about. More information about your product or business could go here, or a glossary of any terms that they may not know.