So, you’d like to send out a press release to inform the public about your latest business news. Excellent idea! There’s just one thing standing in your way – the journalist who you’re sending it to. Yep, this press release better be good or you won’t be seeing your story in the press any time soon. Here are some tips to help you write the perfect press release.
Cut to the chase
Journalists are busy people. Journalists have a low boredom threshold. Journalists receive thousands of press releases a week. These are three good reasons why you need to get to the point. Believe me, journalists aren’t going to read through five paragraphs until they arrive at the ‘Oh, right, I get it’ bit. They’re not going to be chuckling to themselves at how long it took you to tell them what they needed to know. No – they’ll have binned your email four paragraphs ago.
Make your point – fast!
There’s never a good time for waffle. And this is REALLY not a good time for waffle. You need to summarise the ‘who, what, where, when, why and how’ of your story in the first paragraph. This is seriously concise stuff we’re talking here. It’s why people pay copywriters to write press releases. Because we’re used to shoehorning a LOT of information into one beautifully crafted nugget. We stand proud among the wafflers and the witterers and the what-the-heck-am-I-trying-to-say-ers.
Jargon? Jog on
Did I mention that journalists are time poor and a tad intolerant when it comes to badly written press releases? I did, didn’t I? Well, avoid jargon at all costs. Honestly, journalists don’t have time to consult a trade manual or tech guide to try to get their head around what you’re writing. Make their life easy, eh?
Annihilate the adjectives
When I was a journalist on the receiving end of a gazillion press releases a day, one of the biggest turn-offs for me was meaningless adjectives. So you’ve got an ‘amazing’ new product have you? This is a ‘brilliant’ new service, is it? Well I’ll be the judge of that, sunshine! I can’t stress enough that a press release has to be concise. You’re wasting your time and mine with superfluous words that don’t tell me anything. And don’t get me started on ‘ground-breaking’ and ‘innovative’.
Don’t forget to proofread
Yes, yes, I know you’re in a rush to get that press release sent off but let’s just take a moment here. Read it through again to check for spelling mistakes and odd grammar. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t proofread and realise, too late, that they’ve only gone and emailed their press release with a glaring typo… like on their brand name – oops!
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