With a well-written press release, you won’t waste your first shot at introducing yourself to the media. A very important tool that you barely can do without in creating buzz about your business is the press release.
But what is a press release?
A press release is a pseudo-news story, written in the third person, sent to newspaper editors and other key persons in the media organization that you are targeting, with the aim of convincing them of your business’s newsworthiness.
How long should it be?
A press release is used by editors merely as a springboard from which they could develop their own stories about the topic you are proposing. It is therefore crucial for you, with a few hundred words (500 or less), to put your best foot forward, without boring or drowning the editors with too much information.
Keep the press release to one page as much as possible. If you feel that editors could benefit from more information about your company, do not attempt to say everything in a single press release. Give them a link (URL) to your website, from where they could derive more information for themselves.
A typical press release is structured like a news story. Thus, it should have the following:
1. Headline: Use boldface type.
2. Dateline: This is the city your press release is issued from and the date you are sending the release.
3. Lead Paragraph: The first paragraph should capture the editor’s attention and should contain the relevant information to your message such as the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why).
4. Text: Explain here in greater detail the message of your press release.
5. Recap: This is the last paragraph of your press release summarizing the main points (keep them to 2 to 3 points) of your press release.
6. About your business: This is a brief description of your company (owners, year founded, main line of business, etc.), and comes after the note for more information/request for interview. Fine print may be used for this part of the press release.