Last week I wrote the post 10 Press Release Examples That Build Media Buzz, which sparked great interest particularly from a new visitor Ntathu Allen of Yoga Inspires, whose comment is responsible for this week’s blog post.
When preparing to write a press release, it’s important to keep a journalistic approach especially if you want to get the media’s attention. Although there is much debate about traditional versus non-traditional methods, I would argue that you can’t get away from the five “Ws” who is the release targeted, what is the release about, when is this information relevant, where can it be found, why is this information important, and the “H” how the information benefit the intended target, this is classic Journalism 101.
Before I begin drafting the release, I need to know its objective. Since I primarily write press releases for authors, this typically involves me reading their book, their biography, and other background information.
If it’s a new book, then I know that we are focusing on an announcement. However, if it’s regarding a speaking engagement, then I must focus the release around that event. The objective of the release allows me to determine the appropriate distribution of local, national or online reach.
The contact information is the first part of the press release. Depending on which distribution service used, this information is include at the bottom. If you are posting the release to your website, I recommend that you put this information at the top.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Janet Doe
P.O. Box 111
City, State, Zip
Phone: (123) 456-7890
The headline and sub-headline are the second components of your press release. It’s important that your headline grabs the journalist or reader’s attention immediately, which is why media hooks are effective. In addition, the sub-headline should make the reader want to continue reading.
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Date line and location is the third part of the press release. You want to type the date the release was written and where the release originated. The name of the distribution service should be included as well. In the example below, I use PRWeb. Remember, this will change depending on the distribution service you use.
BEDFORD, New Hampshire, (PRWEB) March 11, 2012 –
The fourth part of the release is the body. It contains the meat of the release and focuses on the five “W’s” and the “H” of journalism. You also want to include a powerful quote but nothing boring from the CEO of the company. For an author using a powerful testimonial from a customer would be more interesting and not to mention provide credibility. I only advise this if it adds value to the media release.
The final component of a release is the company or author information also known as boilerplate. This should be a standard paragraph about the author or company. It should be short and factual information. Once it’s written you can reuse it for every release thereafter.
If you have something relevant and newsworthy, your company or book can benefit from the use of media releases in your marketing.
Need help crafting your next release? Leave your contact information in the comment section below.
Photo Credit: john_a_ward