Writing successful press releases

Whether you’re launching a new business, planning a community event or organizing a church play, a successful press release can make your endeavor even more successful.

Press releases don’t take long to write.  The payoff of free publicity makes the effort worth it.  While big business launches can call for an entire press packet, most items don’t.  Generally speaking you’re looking for about 300 words — sometimes less and sometimes more.

Make sure you include the vital information in the beginning: who, what, when and where.  Be specific in giving the name of event, the time it starts, the address, etc.

Some press releases lend themselves well to being short and to the point.  Check out this one that I recently wrote for a local church and sent to the local newspaper: fpurelease.  It is short and concise.  The text lends itself well to copying and pasting into various community calendars.  I use the online community calendars for newspapers, radio stations and sometimes television stations in the area.

Other press releases work better as a longer format as a kind of article that a publication can pick up and run.  These can have a bit more creative lead, but still need to get to the main point right away in order to draw in the reader and the publication’s editor.  Check out this release I wrote a couple of months ago: danrelease.  This one went out nationally and got picked up by numerous media outlets.  It ran verbatim in a couple.

Whether you’re going with a short, factual release or a longer article-type release, make sure it is as print ready as possible.  The less work editors have to do, the more likely they’ll run the text.  Remember the following:

  • Edit for grammar and spelling mistakes (remember that spellcheck doesn’t catch all misspellings)
  • Read it out loud to make sure it flows well
  • Read it from an outsider’s perspective to make sure you’ve included enough information for others to know what’s going on
  • Make sure you’ve included contact information

Once it’s written, you’re ready to starts sending it out!  Check back tomorrow for tips on how to effectively submit press releases.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this! Good press release tips.