Kelly Kirkham walks you through how to create a press release…
Recent news suggests that Google will soon be placing more emphasis on the mentions businesses get in the press when it comes to ranking websites in their search engine listings. So it’s never been more important to make sure your company is available for comment and quotes on stories that affect your industry or area of expertise.
Big brand businesses employ entire teams to handle press enquiries and submit stories to journalists. But where do you start when you’re a small start-up business? The first step, is to learn how to write a press release…
Step 1: The Headline
The headline of your press release acts as a first impression. It needs to get to the point – so try to incorporate some key words from the body copy. It also needs to create interest, though. To grab your reader’s attention your headline must pack a punch. You want your reader to instantly ask questions, which you will answer in the body of your press release. Be careful to create interest but not sensationalism, readers are put off by outrageous claims that don’t truly represent the body of your text. Formatting is also important here – use capital letters at the start of Each Proper Word.
Step 2: The Dateline
This simply shows who you are, who you are writing for, the city the press release originated from or the city to which it correspond, and most importantly the date released.
Step 3: The Introduction
This part is also known as a strapline in the media and it’s a short one or two sentence line. Use this portion of your press release to answer the basic questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? And of course how? Keep the introduction simple, you can go into further details in the body of your press release.
Step 4: The Body
The body is where you dig in. Get to the nitty-gritty of what is going on. Paint a picture for your reader to allow them to feel part of the story. Make your reader an expert and they will return to you for news the next time they are looking for a story. Include statistics, background, and anything else you find relevant, but strive for simplicity and avoid repetition.
Make the PR copy crisp, clean and too the point. It must be applicable to the audience. Always remember that mediating between you and your designed audience is an editor – you must convince them as much as the audience, as otherwise, the audience will never gets to see your copy.
Step 5: The Boilerplate
This portion acts like a contact or ‘about’ section. The boilerplate generally consists of a short synopsis providing information as to who you are, where you work, what your company does, fields of interest, and so on. You can include your contact information here or save it until the very end after the sign-off.
Step 6: The Sign-off
This is the section where you get to feel like a true to life journalist. Traditionally in North America, journalists symbolize the close of their press release with “-30-“. This appears after the boilerplate but before the contact information. For our UK friends, feel free to sign off with “###”.
Step 7: Contact Info
The very end of your press release should be information for those who wish to congratulate you. Include email address, social media handles, and even telephone and address if you so choose.
Now that you have all the tools you need for a press release, get set up with your own .press web address today at the Midphase website.
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